Adoptee right bill passed!!!!!!!!
The vote in the Assembly was 140-6.
(Final vote; 4 abstentions.)
Senate voted last week, 56-6.
Many of the people we expected to vote against it folded, and two who had been our staunch opposition in the past spoke about changing their minds. Joe Lentol, for one, who had held up the bill in the past, as he is chair of Codes. Yesterday, however, when Codes passed it, he voted for it then, and spoke today on the floor passionately and eloquently about having his mind changed.
Assemblywoman Debra Glick did the same. In the past, she always spoke of birth mother privacy, but her tune was different today, about how times had changed. I couldn't believe it. Even Danny O'Donnell, who we have excoriated in the past for his attitude when we lobbied him, in the end voted Aye for the bill. Totally surprising!
|Daughter Jane and Lorraine|
I was wondering if we were going to hear from Helene Weinstein, who had just spoken about one of her own bills so I knew she was there...but NO!
Chief sponsors of Adoptee Right bill, Sen. Velmanette Montgomery,
Assemblyman David Weprin, Carol Schaefer in rear, and Lorraine
Dusky at press conference for bill on steps of City Hall a few years ago.
I was sitting in the kitchen, watching it on television, messaging The Good Adoptee playwright Suzanne Bachner in the middle of it, posting on Facebook that it was on, crying, holding my husband's hand, who was also teary--I was really crying at times, not just teary, and then the immediate vote. At first it appeared to be 126-2, then 127-2, but the next day when the final votes were in, it was 140-6. There are 150 assembly persons, so four did not register a vote.
|Florence Fisher and her father|
Out to dinner with friends tonight, my eyes still slightly burning from the tears, but tears of joy. Peace and love and gratitude in my heart for every vote, every person who has lifted a phone to make a call in support, every person who wrote a letter, an email, a fax. Kudos to Joyce Bahr, who has worked tirelessly for this day to come, and Adam Pertman who has always been a staunch supporter, and Annette Marie O'Connell and Megan Mary DePerro and Claudia Corrigan D'Arcy, and Tim Monti-Wohlpart, and everybody in Unsealed Initiative and New York Adoptee Rights Coalition and the rest!
The bill, A5494/S3419, now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature. We have good reason to believe he also wants to be on the right side of history, and will sign the bill in law. As of January 15, 2020, adopted people in New York will have the right to a copy of their unamended birth certificate for the first time in 83 years.
We did it! The rest of the closed or "semi-open" states look out. The tyranny of closed birth records of adoptees is falling. Freedom for adoptees is coming.--lorraine
Want to watch the hearing? Grab a tissue, for here it is:
From the New York Times:
Adopted Children Who Wonder, ‘What Was Mother Like?’