Friday, November 16, 2012

New bill introduced in Texas

Yesterday Representative Rafael Anchia of Dallas, TX, filed a new bill, HB 201, that would two people of the same gender to sign the birth certificate or supplemental birth certificate for adoptions. This is apparently the third time he's filed a bill like this, and I don't know if anything will come of it, but I wrote to my representatives to encourage them to support it anyway. More information here.

Here are my letters if anyone else wants to support it but can't think of what to write:


Dear Representative Anchia:

I am writing to thank you for filing HB 201, a new bill that will provide for accurate supplemental birth certificates by allowing both parents to be listed for same-gender adoptions. If passed, this bill will make a huge difference to families in Texas, by ensuring that the rights and responsibilities of parents and adopted children are recognized wherever they go.

Supporting families is so important to my husband and me, not least because we can’t yet afford to start one of our own. I want to live in a state where all families are respected and honored, no matter what they look like. Even if some families are different, the love that unites them is still the same. The compassion and nobility that motivates some people to sacrifice their spare time, privacy, social lives and disposable income in order to adopt a child is still the same. That love and that compassion should be honored with the same respect that we give to all adoptive families.

This bill means so much to me. We want you to know that we will write to my representatives and encourage them to support it as much as possible. Please continue to update us on the status of the bill and let us know what else we can do to help. Thank you for your time and consideration.

And to my representatives, John Carona and Stefani Carter. (If you live in or around Dallas proper, Sen. Carona probably represents you. He's a Republican, but he said some interesting things lately about his "evolving" views on equality for Gender/Sexual Minorities, including suggesting he would support a bill like this. Of course, when criticized by the Republican establishment, he backtracked. So I made sure to remind him of what he said, thank him for it, and promise him my support if he followed through.)

I am writing to urge you to support HB 201, a new bill introduced by Representative Rafael Anchia which will provide for accurate supplemental birth certificates by allowing both parents to be listed for same-gender adoptions. If passed, this bill will make a huge difference to families in Texas, by ensuring that the rights and responsibilities of parents and adopted children are recognized wherever they go.

When a child is legally adopted in Texas, a Supplemental Birth Certificate is issued to reflect the legal parentage and custody of the adopted child. However, the Health and Safety Code currently states that the child's birth certificate may only list one female and one male parent. As a result, thousands of Texas children with two legally-adoptive parents of the same gender are denied a birth certificate that accurately reflects their legal parentage.

Without an accurate birth certificate, an adopted child is denied recognition of their legal parents, faces difficulty obtaining a passport, getting a social security card, or registering for school. The legally-adoptive parent who is excluded from the Supplemental Birth Certificate is denied recognition of their legal parentage, has the parent's assistance with school registrations obstructed, is prevented from serving as a guardian to their minor child when traveling abroad, or is restricted in their ability to ensure their child has access to government programs or benefits.

Supporting families is so important to my husband and me, not least because we can't yet afford to start one of our own. I want to live in a state where all families are respected and honored, no matter what they look like. Even if some families are different, the love that unites them is still the same. The compassion and nobility that motivates some people to sacrifice their spare time, privacy, social lives and disposable income in order to adopt a child is still the same. That love and that compassion should be honored with the same respect that we give to all adoptive families.

This bill means so much to us. Please support it and do what you can to move it through the Senate. We know that you recently stated you are reconsidering this issue and others related to LGBT rights, and I want you to know that any of our elected officials who support equality will have our full support. Thank you for your time and consideration.

I'll share updates on this bill as I hear them.

No comments:

Post a Comment