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HB 984 would require the state registrar to provide a noncertified copy of the person’s original birth certificate for a fee to a person who was adopted. If the adopted person is deceased the state registrar could provide the birth certificate to the adult descendant, adult sibling, surviving spouse, or adoptive parent of the adopted person provided they pay applicable fees. However, the birth certificate will only be provided if the adopted person was born in Texas, the request is made after the adopted person’s 18th birthday, a supplementary birth certificate was issued for the adopted person; and adequate proof of person’s requesting identity.
This bill will also develop a comprehensive procedure for contact between birth parent and child placed for adoption with both a contact preference form and medical history form. This would give information to the state registrar whether the birth parent authorizes contact between the adopted person. This would also allow a birth parent to provide supplemental medical information to be included in the adopted person’s genetic history report.
The Department of Family and Protective Services or other entity placing a child for adoption is required to inform the birth parents of the child of the contact preference form. A petition for adoption may not be granted until a copy of each birth parent’s contact preference form has been filed, unless the court finds that the birth parents are deceased or missing.
In terms of personal responsibility, supporting smooth adoption measures that support family stability and the health of the adoptee is of the utmost importance. HB 984 is a positive step toward preserving the individual liberty and promoting the personal responsibility of adoptees in Texas.
In the case of an adoptee, their parent’s medical history can be an important tool to their overall health and well-being. Knowing family medical history can help people to take preventative measures if that history shows them to be at risk for hereditary health issues.
People who were adopted should not have a more difficult time accessing their own birth records for the mere fact of having been adopted. This legislation would make it easier for adoptees to access their own vital records and family medical histories while at the same time preserving the individual liberty of birth parents who wish to remain anonymous. This legislation supports individual liberty and personal responsibility, therefore we support HB 984.