Policy & Practice: Advocacy
The Adoption Institute has been involved in formulating legislation, providing testimony and letters at the federal and state level on a variety of issues relating to adoption, as well as submitting information in legal cases involving adoption. For inquiries and questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter to the Missouri Senate Health, Mental Health, Seniors and Families Committee on pending legislation concerning mothers' voluntary acknowledgement of paternity and fathers' rights and responsibilities. To read the letter click here.
The Adoption Institute submitted a testimony to the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services, Subcommittee on Social Services against SB 439, which would permit child-placement agencies in Virginia to exclude some qualified prospective adoptive or foster parents because of religious tenets. To read the letter click here.
The Adoption Institute submitted a testimony to the Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services, Subcommittee on Social Services on the availability of adoptive families for "waiting" children in the foster care system and the suitability of gays and lesbians to provide such families in Virginia. To read the letter click here.
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter to The Honorable Senator Amy Klobuchar endorsing the Supporting Adoptive Families Act. To read the letter click here.
06/16/2011 Letter and Testimony
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources on June 16 on legislation that would improve programs designed to protect at-risk youth. To read the letter click here.
03/18/2011 For the Records – Adult Adoptee Access to Birth Certificates
The Institute's educational event on restoring adult adoptee access to original birth certificates was a great success. To read about it and to view footage – including thought-provoking insights into policy and advocacy strategies and a rousing musical performance by Darryl (DMC) McDaniels and Zara Phillips click here.
03/16/2011 Letter and Testimony
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter and verbal testimony to the Honorable Members of the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut State Legislature on legislation (SB 890) that would permit adopted adults to have access to their original birth certificates. To read the letter click here.
03/02/2010 Letter and Testimony
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter to the Members of the New Jersey Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 2 on legislation (S799) that would permit adopted adults to have access to their original birth certificates. To read the letter click here.
02/03/2010 Letter and Testimony
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter and testimony to the Washinton Sentate on February 3 on legislation (SB6320) that would permit adopted adults to have access to their original birth certificates. To read the letter and testimony click here.
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter to the California Assembly and Judiciary Committee on March 26 on legislation (AB372) that would permit adopted adults to have access to their original birth certificates. To read the letter click here.
Executive Director Pertman provided a letter to the Illinois House of Representatives in opposition to a measure (HB3925) that would extend the period in which an infant could be legally abandoned from 7 to 30 days based on the Institute research paper on infant abandonment laws. To read the letter, click here
02/24/2009 Testimony and Letter
Executive Director Pertman provided a letter and written testimony in support of South Dakota legislation (S153) that would permit adopted adults in the state to access their original birth certificates. The letter cites findings from the Adoption Institute's policy report, "For the Records," including research that supports the argument that greater access to personal histories yields better outcomes for adoptees and their families. To read the testimony, click here; to read the letter submitted to the State Senate, click here.
In a Nov. 20 letter written to Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Executive Director Pertman advocated for making original birth certificates available to adopted persons once they reach the age of majority, and cited facts from the Institute's extensive report examining the issue. more.
Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman submitted written testimony to Nebraska legislators for their special session to revise the state's 'safe haven' law. In the testimony, Pertman urged policymakers to not only revise the age restriction for legally abandoning a child in the state, but also to address the root causes of the problem of unsafe abandonment in the first place. more.
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee of the California state legislature, regarding SB1726 which would shorten California's 30 day revocation period for a birthparent's relinquishment from 30 days to 5 days. more.
02/26/2008 Testimony and Letter
On February 26, Adam Pertman, Executive Director, submitted written testimony to the Senate Families and Public Health Committee of Missouri, regarding SB1132 permitting adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates. His testimony stressed that none of the dire consequences predicted by opponents to access laws have occurred in the six states that have passed such laws or the two states that have always allowed access. To read Pertman’s letter to the committee, click here; to read his testimony, click here.
01/24/2008 Testimony and Letter
On Jan. 24 Executive Director Adam Pertman testified before the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee in support of legislation (S611) that would permit adult adoptees 18 years or older to obtain their original birth certificates. To read the testimony, click here; to read the letter submitted to the Committee, click here.
On Dec. 3, the Florida Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs held a public hearing in Miami on issues relating to adoption and foster care. Executive Director Pertman presented oral comments and submitted written testimony at the hearing about Florida's ban on adoption by gays and
lesbians - the only such statutory prohibition by a state in the nation.
Dr. Ruth McRoy, a Senior Research Fellow of the Adoption Institute, testified on the Institute's behalf at the U.S.
Commission on Civil Rights hearing on transracial foster parenting and adoption on Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C. To read her testimony (pdf file) click
The Adoption Institute submitted written and oral testimony in support of legislation in Maine (LD1084) that would restore the rights of
adopted adults 18 and older (and their descendents) born in the state access to their original birth certificates and contact preference for
The Adoption Institute submitted a letter in support of legislation in Michigan (HB4259) that would permit second parent adoptions and
allow unmarried couples to adopt jointly in the state.
Executive Director Adam Pertman submitted testimony in support of legislation being considered in the Missouri House
of Representatives Judiciary Committee (HB509) that would permit adopted adults 18 and over access to their original birth certificates.
Executive Director Adam Pertman wrote a letter on behalf of the Adoption Institute to Nebraska state legislators urging them to reject
proposed bill LB6, Nebraska Safe Havens Act. more
Executive Director Adam Pertman wrote a letter on behalf of the Adoption Institute to California Governor Schwarzenegger urging him to veto AB 1873, the
Safely Surrendered Baby Act.more
Read our press release on this issue in our media section. more
02/14/2006 TestimonyExecutive Director Adam Pertman testified before the Florida state Judiciary Committee on bill SB172 that would allow adoptions by gay men and lesbians under certain conditions. more
12/19/2005 Amicus Brief
The Adoption Institute signed a friend of the court (amicus) brief with the Child Welfare League of America, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Dec. 19, asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold a lower court decision on gay and lesbian adoption in the state. The lower court struck down the state's 1999 regulation banning homosexuals, or any family with a gay member in its household, from becoming foster parents. The amicus brief explained that such categorical bans, like the one in Arkansas, deprive children of qualified caregivers.
Executive Director Adam Pertman testified and provided written remarks in favor of Massachusetts legislation (S959) that would allow adopted people to have access to their original birth certificates after they become adult. more
The Institute submitted a letter to members of the New Jersey Assembly in support of a bill (A3237) that would allow adopted adults access to original birth certificates and adoption records. more
06/09/2005 Letter to California State Assembly
Adoption Institute letter opposing legislative bill SB 116 which would permanently legalize anonymous infant abandonment in California. more
04/20/2005 Letter to Texas State Legislatuare
Executive Director Adam Pertman's letter to the Texas state legislature regarding open records. more
04/11/2005 Press Release
Adoption Institute calls Missouri law 'onerous' and 'devastating to children'. more
International Adoption and Regulation: Adoption Institute Testimony before House International Relations Committee Testimony of former Executive Director Cindy Freidmutter, Esq., submitted before the House Committee on International Relations in May 2002. The testimony focused on how the United States Federal Government could work to implement the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) and the Hague Convention by improving international adoption and ensuring ethical adoption practices. more
02/21/2002 Press Release
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute Opposes Florida Law Prohibiting Gays and Lesbians from Adopting. more