Group to push for adoption records debate at Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An organization pushing the state to unseal some 50 years of birth records returns to the Statehouse. It’s a push for the same bill that failed earlier this year.

Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records – or HEAR – will testify Tuesday in hopes of resurrecting the failed bill.

The bill would give people who were adopted access to more than 50 years of sealed records.

Tuesday’s testimony is part of an effort to put the bill in the forefront for the next legislative session when it starts in January.

Beginning in 1994 if a person was adopted they could request a copy of their birth record as long as the mother hadn’t signed a form prohibiting it. The proposed bill would open up that freedom to those born as far back as 1941.

Opponents of the bill worry that a generation of birth mothers isn’t prepared for that to happen.

A local attorney told 24-Hour News 8 during this past session’s debate over the bill that what concerns him about it is that it gives a generation of adoptees the ability to search for their biological parents on their own. He said this could potentially catch the parents off guard who may not be prepared for that phone call. The attorney went on to say he believes it’s better for birth parents to be contacted by a 3rd party, such as an attorney like himself, to see how, if at all, they would like to move forward.

If this bill were to pass anyone who gave a child up for adoption would have to file a non-release form to keep their identities private.

Tuesday’s hearing starts at 1:00 p.m.

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