Governor Christie speaks out.
Governor Christie criticized the Supreme Court when they invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, claiming it was an incredible insult to the members of Congress who voted for it. Well don’t look now, but the Birthright Bill, which would add much needed transparency to adoption, is barreling towards his desk again.
Allowing adult adoptees to have their birth certificates has more support than other issues like gay marriage or legalizing marijuana. If fact, a super-majority of New Jersey senators, including Senator Nia Gill, voted for it. If Christie vetoes this legislation again, what would he say to these lawmakers? Judicial supremacy is wrong on the federal level, but his executive supremacy is fair play in New Jersey? The adoption community and the citizens of New Jersey who elected our Legislature deserve better.Adoption records in New Jersey were sealed prospectively and retroactively in 1940. Its purpose was to keep birth parents from coming back to get their children. It was a marketing ploy based on the unrealistic assumption that a birth mother would forget about losing a baby and that adopted children would not need to know where they came from. They were wrong in both cases, and today, secret adoption is considered a failed social experiment.
However, the archaic law remains on the books. Adoption reform activists and lawmakers have introduced reform legislation since 1980, but the powerful Catholic caucus in Trenton has been able to derail the efforts without much notice. Most recently, in the last legislative session, Archbishop Myers wrote to Governor Christie, urging him to not sign the Adoptees Birthright bill, and the governor conditionally vetoed it.
With access to one’s original birth certificates, adopted adults gain a window to their heritage, and if they choose to seek out their biological families they stand to gain emotional healing and a vital family medical history. Every bit of research shows that birth parents welcome contact from their children, and many testify that their decision was coerced and uninformed. With this knowledge, it should be clear that this debate is not between birth parents and adoptees, but in fact is between the adoption community and the powerful brokers of adoption. Why these brokers feel secrecy rather than transparency is a is safe business model when the “ownership” of a child is being transferred is the great mystery. You certainly will not find these ideas in the Bible or any modern professional guide to best adoption practices.