AB 372: The "Birthmother Privacy Rights" Bill, moves out of Judiciary
Proponents of AB 372 are still shopping the notion that it will benefit 99.5% of California adoptees. I suppose so, if the state has or will be willing to obtain valid addresses for 100% of women who relinquished in California. Otherwise this "statistic" is worse than meaningless, its intellectually dishonest and insulting.
Proponents are also busy writing that they had to include a disclosure veto so the state could CYA for the past issuance of said vetoes. That the State Supreme Court would tear it up. Fair enough, but what's the rationale for making them prospective? If this is a bill to benefit adoptees, what principle is at play to not only continue the usage of disclosure vetoes, but to tune them up and make them the default in cases where contact is not made? I'll tell you why, political expedience.
A look at the list of supporters and opponents of AB 372 is enlightening, not for who is on it, but for who isn't. The ABA, the adoption attorneys, the ACLU. The agencies. All the folks who are inimical to our interests didn't show up. That's because they got what they wanted. Because that's the way they roll and they rolled over us.
But you know what, I'm folding my hand on AB 372, cutting my losses. I may blog on it as it moves forward. At this point I don't see any chance of stopping it in the Assembly. If the opposition organizations suddenly wake up and smell the coffee and grow their capacity, they might be able to do something in the Senate.
At this point I'm assuming that this bill, with some modifications, will pass and become law. What happens on January, 2011? Not much. It's not like thousands of California adoptees are going to apply for the OBCs the first month, like in Oregon or New Hampshire. Why should they? If the default is non-disclosure then the benefit will be marginal. No, California adoptees will do what they have done for years, hire search consultants that specialize in California and do a name search through the Birth Index and by doing so they will assert the right to their information that California will still deny them. A few adoptees may drink the kool aid, but their narratives of migraines and frustrations will pepper the internet and dissuade others from using the state system. In other words, the status quo will remain.