The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton Supports Adoptee Rights
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton (UUCP) passed a resolution to support the rights of adopted persons to unrestricted, unconditional access to their own original birth certificate. The resolution passed by overwhelming majority at the congregational annual meeting, June 2011.
The membership vote was taken after consideration of the issues and how and why the records of adopted persons were sealed in New Jersey, first in 1938 to the public and then in 1940 to all parties, including those named on the birth certificate and to whom it would otherwise belong.
Mirah Riben, UUCP member, author and long time adoption reform activist said she initiated the proposal because it seemed like such a natural fit with Unitarian Universalist focus on social justice and concerns of equality, civil and human rights.
The right of adopted people to be treated equally to non-adopted persons under the law regarding access to their birth certificates is grounded in the values of Unitarian Universalism and its principles of the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equality and compassion in human relations; and, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
The passage of this resolution comes at a time when a bill restoring the rights of New Jersey adoptees is awaiting the signature of Governor Christie, having passed the both the state Assembly and Senate after three decades.
Despite efforts of grassroots activists to secure unrestricted access, the NJ bill offers a compromise that provides a one-year period during which mothers and fathers who relinquished their parental rights or had them terminated can file a certified letter requesting their names are redacted from the birth certificate before being released.
NOTE: The NJ bill is the first step for NJ adoptees and the passage of this Princeton resolution is the first step in a four-year process to get the UUA (the governing board of all American Unitarian Universalist congregations) to approve a similar resolution.
UPDATE: Are you a UU who is touched by ADOPTION? An adoptee, adoptive or birth parent? An adoption professional? Or are you concerned with adoptee rights as a civil rights issue? If so, you are invited to join a new UU List Serve to discuss adoptee rights.
You can read all about it and sign on at:
OR, you can join by sending a "subscribe" email to: firstname.lastname@example.org