posted 3/8/2013 by ViewFinder
"I am a Birth-mother to two children whom I placed for adoption just over 15 years ago. Wednesday, 3/6/13 I spent several hours on the lower level in room 25 in the "House" at the Utah State Capitol. I was participating in the presentation of House Bill 148 to the House Health and Human Services Committee. The schedule posted gave a start time of 4:10 PM. However multiple committee members arrived after 4:10, one not even until after the first bill was about to be voted on.
|Local Residents standing through 1 1/2 hours of SB0166S02|
After several other members of our community spoke up in support, there was one last public speaker. Gayle Ruzicka (a constant presence during legislation) just one woman was able to say her words and help to sway our committee members to put the bill on hold until the next Legislative Session- A FULL YEAR~! The very odd thing is that Gayle spoke NOT of personal experience, but of personal opinion and what she states she believes a young woman would choose to do if adoptions were not automatically closed. Gayle presented her thoughts to be that women would choose abortion if adoptions were not closed.
I have never met another Birth-mother personally who did not share in my desire to reunite someday with their children. I have never met another Birth-mother who would choose abortion because they feared contact in the future from the infant they gave birth to. I have never met another Birth-mother who opted for closed adoption and didn't later wish that they had chosen open. MY experience is that the opinions Gayle Ruzicka presented are not realistic.
|Rebecca Davis pictured above|
Part of House Bill 148 allows the Birth-mother to update her Medical History, and allow for that to be open, giving adopted children access to their biological medical history. THIS IS HUGE! My Grandfather died of Cancer. My Maternal Grandfather also had type 2 Diabetes. My father had type 1 Diabetes. Both of my sisters and my mother have required their Gal-bladder out around the age of 35 (luckily I still have mine). My children need this information- it could potentially save their lives. Without this bill passing, the current law prohibits adopted children access to updated medical records. This is ridiculous. From my understanding the option to update medical records carries over even into partially open adoptions, as the law is written- because once the adoption is finalized the records are unable to be updated, unsealed etc. unless by a court order.
There were warnings from friends and associates when I told them that the Utah Eagle Forum was opposing this bill, warnings that I would be wasting my time because "all Gayle has to do is nod her head in approval or disapproval and the house representatives will vote as she nods", "they fear her, and the potential 100+ protesters she can produce in a moments time with just a phone call".
I was certain, despite warnings, that this bill was the RIGHT THING, and that it wouldn't matter what one woman's opinion was... our representatives would have no choice but to do the "right thing". BUT... they didn't. Our support for the bill was not enough for it to pass and move to the State Senate. It has been moved back to the rules committee for an interim study.
Representatives stated their concern was that this bill could potentially have adopted children appear on the doorsteps of their biological mothers who did not want contact. But the bill is written in a way that the birth-mother actually CHOOSES if she wants to have her Identity a part of the records that are open. She gets to CHOOSE if she does NOT want her identity a part of the records. SHE ALSO HAS THE OPTION TO CHANGE HER MIND AT A LATER DATE! If her circumstances change, and she later wants the contact or NOT- she can DO SO! Why in this day and age are we allowing the government to choose for us what our future should/could/will be? Why is a woman's right to choose for herself not being taken into consideration. The representatives concerns are invalid because the adopted child still does not have to seek out their parent- but would still be able to access vital information about themselves such as updated medical records.
HOW IS THIS A PROBLEM?!
WHY IS GAYLE RUZICKA'S OPINION SO IMPORTANT THAT IT OUT WEIGHS SEVERAL OTHER CITIZENS PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ON THE MATTER?
WHY ARE OUR REPRESENTATIVES NOT REPRESENTING THE MAJORITY HERE?
The evening prior to this hearing I created a Sign On Petition in support of House Bill 148 that will be delivered to our representatives when we have received enough support to show them that our community agrees that a mother should be able to choose for herself and not have the government impose on her only one option.
I am asking that you please review House Bill 148, and if you agree that Adopted children should be given access to their UPDATED MEDICAL history, and that the Birth-mother should be allowed to CHOOSE for HER records to be open, or closed, and also have the ability to change that at a later date- then I urge you to please consider sharing this truly important matter with your family and friends and seek their support.