Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Bill to Grant Illinois Adult Adoptees Original Birth Certificate Heads to Gov. Pat Quinn’s Desk

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

(Springfield, IL) – April 22, 2010. The Illinois Senate yesterday approved legislation that would enable adult adoptees to secure their original birth certificates unless the birth parents object.

Following on the heels of Illinois House passage last week, the Senate approved the plan 36-16. The legislation, House Bill 5428, sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), now goes to Governor Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign the legislation.

With Quinn’s signature, the law will take effect in November 2011.

In the meantime, a yearlong informational campaign will alert birth parents that their names would become available to their adopted children, 21 and older, unless they file a formal denial form.

Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi (D-Crest Hill) served as the chief Senate sponsor. Other Senate sponsors included Democrats: Ira Silverstein, Iris Martinez, William Delgado, Mattie Hunter and Donne Trotter.

Feigenholtz, an adoptee who has met her birth mother and labored for more than a decade in the legislature to advance the cause of adoptee rights, said the current system of birth certificate denial to adults, such as herself, is wrong and birth-parent anonymity was relic from generation that sought to hide out-of-wedlock births and adoptions due to stigma.

“Times change,” said Feigenholtz. “Adopted families have to close the book on the stigma.”

Other House sponsors included Democrats: Naomi Jakobsson, Chuck Jefferson, Carol Sente, Karen Yarbrough, Esther Golar, Susana Mendoza, Elaine Nekritz, Julie Hamos, Eddie Jackson, Bob Rita, Mike Smith, Monique Davis, Deborah Mell, Dan Burke, Karen May, Cynthia Soto and Eddie Washington. Republican  Angelo “Skip” Saviano was also a House sponsor.

The Child Care Association of Illinois backed Feigenholtz’s bill.

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