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Some Adoptees Oppose Proposed Changes To Safe Haven Law

Save Abandoned Babies Foundation

Some adoption rights advocates have a problem with a proposal in the Illinois legislature. It would change the Safe Haven law, which allows parents to drop off newborns at certain locations anonymously.

A new plan by Sen. Heather Steans would help protect the parents' identity even more by creating a foundling birth certificate, which would leave off information about the parents.

Marley Greiner advocates for adoptees rights. She says people who are adopted, like herself, have a hard time finding out their birth information. She says the proposed changes to the Safe Haven law would make it even harder.

"The vast majority want information," Greiner said. "We are the only group of people in the United States whose own birth certificates are sealed from us by the state. It's like you're in the witness protection program."

The plan also requires parents who return for their babies go through the state’s child welfare system, rather than the hospital where the baby was taken. The waiting time for the baby to be put into the adoption would also be shorter.

The proposal passed committee and is now waiting for approval from the full Senate.

Steans, a Democrat from Chicago, says she is looking into introducing an amendment that would address these concerns.

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.
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