National Conference of State Legislators and AAC Update
“Access to Adoption Records Breakfast: Focus on Original Birth Certificates
Adoptee Rights had a national audience this week. The breakfast and panel discussion on Tuesday, August 9 proved to be educational and enlightening for all attendees. There were State Representatives from Kentucky, New York, Texas, Maryland, Florida and Missouri. On the panel was:
• Sara Feigenholz, Illinois State Representative and Adoptee
• Aaron Ockerman, Lobbyist
• Barbara Sereda, Attorney and chair of the Adoption Act Rewrite Subcommittee,
• Elizabeth Samuels, professor specializing in adoption law,
• Bill Beagle, Ohio State Senator, brother of 2 adoptees
• Melisha Mitchell, Birthmother and founder of the White Oak Foundation
• Kerry Benninghoff, Pennsylvania State Representative and Adoptee
The panel discussion included the essential reasons of Adoptee Rights legislation. Panelists shared their personal stories and the reason why they are standing up and speaking out for all adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents nationally on this important issue. There are plans to continue reaching out to legislators around the country and developing strategies to pass OBC laws. Legislators asked how they can start legislation in their “closed” states. The AAC Legislative Committee, Board of Directors and AAC state reps will be reaching out to the legislators to start the education process.
There are many states where AAC state reps and volunteers are needed to help to establish the bills and lobby for the passage of the laws. WE NEED YOUR HELP! There is so much to do! As fragmented groups, we must band together and come to a decision that it takes a village to accomplish goals. Helen Keller once said,
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
This is not about individual accomplishments. We can help change the world for millions of adoptees by uniting. Can you imagine how much we can accomplish if we ALL work together to change the laws in ALL of the states? We can. We will.