is a grassroots effort established in 2012 for the purpose of passing legislation in Massachusetts to restore the human right for all adult adopted persons to have access to their original birth certificates (OBC).
Update on 2021-2022 legislative session!
H.2294 and S.1440, An Act granting equal access to original birth certificates to all person born in Massachusetts were filed by Representatives Sean Garballey and Kate Hogan in the House, and Senator Anne Gobi in the Senate. Hearing was held on May 10. A recording is available here. The House passed H.2294 to be engrossed on November 4, 2021. The Senate voted unanimously to pass H.2294/S.1440 on July 29, 2022 and the House and Senate enacted. Governor Baker signed on 8/5/2022. The new law will go into effect on 11/3/2022. We will post information about applications as soon as it becomes available.
Recap of the 2019-2020 session:
An Act granting equal access to original birth certificate to all persons born in Massachusetts. H.1892 in the House (filed by Representatives Sean Garballey and Dan Cullinane) and S.1267 in the Senate (filed by Senator Anne Gobi). They were assigned to the Committee on Public Health. HEARING was held on DECEMBER 10, 2019. We submitted written testimony from 32 people, and 10 appeared to testify in person. The Committee reported out favorably. H.1892 passed the House on Jul 27, 2020. Both H.1892 and S. 1267 were referred to the Senate Committee on Rules. Sadly, the 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ended without passage of An Act granting equal access to original birth certificates to all persons born in Massachusetts. This was the third time we filed to abolish the gap years, and although we made more progress this time than ever before, we did not achieve our goal.
Recap of 2017 - 2018 session:
Our bills were refiled at the beginning of the 2017 - 2018 legislative session. Legislators had until Feb 3, 2017 to sign on as co-sponsors to the House bill. We had a total of 56 supporters. (See the complete list.)
In the 2017 -2018 legislative session, bills were S.1195 and H.1163 An Act granting equal access to original birth certificates to all persons born in Massachusetts
Both bills were referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health. A hearing was held on Tuesday, May 16 2017. A panel testified on behalf of Access Massachusetts.
On May 30 2017 H.1163 (accompanied by S.1195) was referred to the House Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling. It was reported out on June 23 2017.
Sadly, in spite of exceptional efforts by Access Massachusetts and our legislative sponsors, H.1163/S.1195 were not brought forward for action.
Advocate for equal rights for ALL persons born in MA! Join Access Massachusetts!
Why should you care about granting adopted persons access to their original birth certificates?
For many reasons...
Watch Jean Strauss's short film of #OBC bill sponsor, Representative Sean Garballey, who shares thoughts about not having access to his own original birth certificate.
Contact Massachusetts legislators to thank them for supporting
AN ACT GRANTING EQUAL ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES TO ALL PERSONS BORN IN MASSACHUSETTS