It's not over yet, but this afternoon New Jersey took one step closer to allowing people adopted as infants to obtain their original birth certificates, and with that the right to know their true identities. We congratulate our friend Pam Hasegawa and Judy Foster and the others in New Jersey who have fought so hard and worked so long for passage of this bill--31 years. We hope that the passage of this bill may lead to similar action in our neighboring state of New York. (See blog post of May 8.)
Final legislative passage was overwhelmingly won with a vote of 44 to 26, with two abstentions. A similar bill passed in the Senate last session. All that awaits now is the signature of the governor, Chris Christie, whose position is unknown.
Gov. Christie has an adopted sister, and while that would seem to make him more likely to be sympathetic. But as far as we know, she has not been involved in this process. It is not unlikely that someone who has never searched, or expressed a desire to search, might actually feel threatened by this bill and not wish to have that option. Christie is also a Catholic, and some of the strongest opposition to this bill in NJ has come from the New Jersey Right to Life and the New Jersey Catholic Conference, a group representing bishops. Both give their reason as a fear that abortions will rise if birth mothers who relinquish their children are not guaranteed anonymity if they desire it.