Lawmakers take on bill allowing adopted adults to find parents - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Lawmakers take on bill allowing adopted adults to find parents

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Lawmakers took up a bill Tuesday that could change the lives of thousands of adopted folks in Connecticut.

The state House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow those who are adopted to know who their birth mother was.

People who want to know that information said they deserved to be treated like everyone else. Many said they were waiting for years to find out and that what they learn could answer some important questions about their medical history.

"It's the link to their past," said Carol Goodyear, who was adopted. "A link to their genetic history."

Goodyear said she was determined to find out more about her birth mother.

However, she and some 65,000 adoptees in Connecticut cannot get that information. It wasn't always that way.

Before 1975, those adopted were able to know.

Karen Caffrey of Access CT showed Eyewitness News a picture of her adopted mother and birth number. Now, Caffrey was trying to help others like her get the answers they so desperately want.

"It actually allows birth parents to say they don't want contact but it also allows them to say they do want contact," Caffrey said.

The bill would allow those who were 18 to know the name of their birth mother, but supporters said they had to agree to a compromise.

Only adoptions after 1983 would be impacted. That's because mothers who gave up their children starting in that year signed a form which told them their child may be given information that would identify them.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said he's a strong supporter.

"We are citizens, we are mayors, we are legislators, we are owners of businesses, we are voters and we are being treated like second class citizens," Finch said.

Catholic Charities had concerns with the bill. It said it can "respect the intent as long as the birth parent agrees. But even if they don't, nothing can be done to stop adoptees from finding them."

Since Goodyear was born before 1983, she still won't know who her birth mom was. However, she said she hoped someday she would.

"It would mean closure on what that birth certificate looks like and finding my birth mother and learning my medical history," she said. "Maybe connecting with my biological birth family."

The bill came up once before in 2006 and it passed both chambers. However, it was vetoed by former Gov. Jodi Rell.

Gov. Dannel Malloy's office said if it passed again, it would want to review it before making any decisions.

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