Friday, March 9, 2012

Senate Passes Knapik Adoption Bill, 36-0

The Senate yesterday unanimously approved an adoption bill sponsored by Senator Michael R. Knapik (R-Westfield). The bill allows the siblings of an adopted person (including half siblings and stepsiblings) to request information on the identity of the adoptee, provided their biological parents are both deceased and the person requesting the information is at least 18 years old. The bill also requires the adopted person to consent in writing to the release of the information, but if the adoptee is under the age of 21, the adoptive parents must provide written consent before any information can be released by the placement agency.

“This is a small but important adjustment to our state’s adoption law” Knapik said. “If passed, Massachusetts will join 38 other states in providing a legal avenue for siblings to request this information. I think it is vital to provide this option to all parties involved, including biological siblings, to ensure the opportunity to build relationships isn’t lost upon the death of the biological parents”

The bill now heads to the House for further action.