in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fw (Pls share with pro lifers in NJ.): Urgent Legislative Alert from New Jersey Right to Life. Please Take Action Immediately!

Dear _____,

On April 28, 2014, Governor Christie conditionally vetoed Bill S873, the Bill to Open Adoption Records in NJ.   You may recall that Governor Christie conditionally vetoed a similar bill in 2011 in which he provided a very fair compromise that protected the rights of all parties in adoption.

Unfortunately, Governor Christie’s Conditional  Veto issued this time on April 28, 2014, is very different from  his Conditional Veto of 2011. It will do the following:

For Adoptions that took place in the past:

For persons adopted before August 1, 2015, birth parents may file a request for redaction of name and other identifying information of the birth parent to the State Registrar on or before December 31, 2016. There is no mechanism provided in the Conditional Veto for educational promotion to increase public awareness about this major change in adoption law.   How will the state of NJ notify birth parents that the law has changed and that they have to now proactively contact the State Registrar to request redaction?
A birth parent who is fortunate  to learn about the law and requests redaction will not be able to move on with their life, but instead be punitively required  to update medical history information every 10 years until the birth parent reaches the age of 40 and every five years thereafter.

For Adoptions that will take place in the future:

For adoptions finalized after August  1, 2015, there will be no such thing as private adoptions.  They will all be “open” as stated in the CV message.  This means that the long form copy of the birth certificate will be available to “an authorized requester.”  An authorized requester is defined as an adopted person 18 years of age or older, a direct descendent 18 years of age or older of a deceased adopted person, or the adoptive parent or guardian of a minor adopted person.  This means that access to the birth parents’ identifying information would be available immediately upon surrender of the child.

The legislation contains a non-binding contact preference  provision which says that the  “birth parent may submit a document of contact preference regarding contact with the adopted person,” but even if the birth parent fills out the form and requests contact only through an intermediary or no contact at all, the legislation provides that the long form copy of the birth certificate with the birth parent’s name and address would be provided to the “authorized requester.”
If enacted, the language contained in the Governor’s CV will deny NJ women the option to have a private adoption. The Governor’s CV unfortunately applies a “one size fits all approach” to this very complicated issue.   Contrary to the claim in the Governor’s CV message, not all parties in adoption  desire  a “partnership.”  

From an equal protection argument, this CV is grossly unfair.  NJ women who choose abortion have the right to keep their medical decision and identity private, but under the CV,  if that same woman chooses to carry the child to term and wants to place her child for adoption, her personal information will be part of a public record.  Since Governor Christie issued his conditional veto on April 28, we are hearing from a number of birth mothers who have told us they would have had an abortion if the state of NJ denied them the ability to have a private adoption.

Please Take Immediate Action:

The NJ Senate has scheduled a vote on this legislation for Monday, May 12 at 12 noon.  If it passes both Houses, the Governor will sign it into law.

Please contact your State Senator immediately by phone and email.  Urge them to Vote No
on The Governor’s Conditional Veto of S873 for the reasons stated above.  The Assembly may vote on this legislation as early as May 22. After you contact your State Senator, please also contact your Two Assembly Members and urge them to Vote No on the Governor’s Conditional Veto of S873 also.  Please pass this Alert on to pro-life family and friends.

To contact your legislators, please go to the Legislature’s website here. You can also call the Office of Legislative Services at 1-800-792-8630 to obtain the names and contact information for your State Senator and Two Assembly Members.

Thank you,

For Life,

Marie Tasy, Executive Director

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