STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3302

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 2082

H.D. 1

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred H.B. No. 2082, H.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ADOPTION RECORDS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to allow adopted individuals who have attained eighteen years of age, adoptive parents, and natural parents unfettered access to the adopted individual's adoption records.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Adoption Circle of Hawaii, Bastard Nation: The Adoptee Rights Organization, National Center on Adoption and Permanency, and thirty individuals.

 

Your Committee finds that states began sealing adoption records in the middle of the twentieth century to protect adopted children from the stigma of illegitimacy. However, current research has illustrated that the secrecy surrounding an adoption has significant negative psychological consequences on an adoptee. Furthermore, cultural changes have largely diminished the stigma surrounding adoption, and recent genetics research has highlighted the importance of genetic history to an individual's medical care. Hawaii's adoption records law continues to condition access to records on birthparent approval, which is a major hurdle for adoptees to overcome. This measure eases the restrictions on access to sealed court adoption records in the interest of transparency and access to family medical history and ethnic background.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by deleting its contents and inserting the contents of S.B. No. 2153, S.D. 1 (Regular Session of 2016), a substantially similar measure that incorporates technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2082, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2082, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,

 

 

 

________________________________

GILBERT S.C. KEITH-AGARAN, Chair