Judiciary Committee to Hold Public Hearing on Bill to Reunite Families

Contact:
Krysta West
Communications Director
Senate Republican Office
(207) 287-1505
krysta.west@legislature.maine.gov

***MEDIA ADVISORY***
Judiciary Committee to Hold Public Hearing on Bill to Reunite Families

Who: Judiciary Committee
What: Public hearing on LD 505, “An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Issuance of Birth Certificates for Adopted Persons Born in Maine”
Where: State House, Room 438
When: 1:00 PM, Thursday, March 16

In 2009, two of Senator Dana Dow’s (R-Lincoln) employees at Dow Furniture in Waldoboro discovered that they were long lost brothers. They are now pushing to change the state law regarding birth certificates through LD 505 to make it easier for other adoptees under the age of 18 to access their birth records.

“Right now, birth certificates of adopted children are sealed or falsified to protect the identity of the birth parents until the age of 18,” said Sen. Dow. “But in doing so, the state has made it nearly impossible for these folks to know anything about their families, their family medical history or where they come from.

“Until the law changed in 2007, no one who was born in Maine and went through the adoption process had access to their unadulterated birth certificates. But, when the law changed, it made all of the difference to my two employees and their two half-sisters they’ve found since. They went from not knowing anything about where they came from to having a family.”

Under current law, when someone born in Maine is adopted, unless the adoptive parents or the adopted person ,once they reach 18, requests otherwise, the original birth certificate is sealed and they are issued a new certificate that lists the adoptive parents as the parents of birth. LD 505 would strike this provision.

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