Action Alert! Urge a House Vote on SB64

SB64 has experienced great success through the Georgia Senate and in House Committees, but it still has not been scheduled for a House floor vote.

We urgently need your help in contacting ALL House members, by phone and email, to ask them to support SB64 and to urge Rules Chairman Parrish and Speaker Burns to bring it to the House for a vote!

Urge a House Vote on SB64

Whether you are an adoptee, a biological parent, an adoptive parent, or a supporter/loved one of an adoptee, here is what we need you to do:

We are asking all of our supporters to call representatives in the Georgia House asking them to support SB64 and urge a vote on the House Floor. If you live in GA and are a constituent, please be sure to say so and also include your city or town so that your Representative will prioritize your support.

Representative ____________________,

I am a [ADOPTEE, BIRTH PARENT, ADOPTIVE PARENT, FRIEND OF ADOPTEE, ETC]. I am asking for your SUPPORT of SB 64, which will restore the right of adult adopted persons to their own original birth certificate, and asking you to urge Chairman Parrish and Speaker Burns to bring SB64 to the floor for a vote.

Delaying the vote on SB64 only prolongs the uncertainty and frustration experienced by adoptees who are seeking vital information about their origins. Every day that passes without action on this bill is a missed opportunity to uphold the rights and dignity of adoptees in Georgia.

I urge you to stand on the side of fairness and compassion by supporting SB64 and advocating for its swift passage. By doing so, you will not only make a positive impact on the lives of countless adoptees and their families but also uphold the values of transparency and equality that our state holds in high regard.


IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: Please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied. If you do not live in GA, include your connection to the bill or how you are affected. (i.e. Georgia born adoptee, biological or adoptive parents of a Georgia-born adoptee, supporter/loved one of an adoptee, concerned citizen, etc.)

If you receive a response from a representative, please let us know what you hear. We can then follow up with the representative if they need more information or are unfamiliar with the bill. Contact us at to let us know.

2024 Session Update

We wanted to take a moment to give you a quick update. SB 64 remains an active bill in Georgia’s General Assembly during this two-year session. The bill passed the Georgia Senate unanimously in 2023, so this session it will only need to make it’s way through the Georgia House of Representatives.

The House does not often take up bills from the opposite chamber until close to or after Crossover Day, February 29th this year, which is why there is currently no action on the bill. (But, you should know that there is still a lot going on behind the scenes to educate legislators about the bill and why it is so important!)

After Crossover, SB 64 will begin in the House Judiciary Committee before it can proceed to the full House for a vote. That must happen before Sine Die, the end of the session, March 29, 2024.

We will soon need your help again contacting House members. If you have not already, please sign up to receive calls to action at and stay tuned for updates on this page.

SB 64 Unanimously Passes House Judicial Committee

In a unanimous vote on March 14th, the House Judicial Committee, gave a “do-pass” to SB64. It now will move on to the House floor.

Senator Randy Robertson presented the bill to the committee. He was joined by Jamie Weiss, co-chair of Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights, who provided testimony and responded to questions from Representative Kelley and Representative Crawford relating to the bill.

Jamie Weiss testifies before the House Judiciary Committee alongside Senator Randy Robertson.

As Senator Robertson was wrapping up, he said, “We (the Georgia Assembly) don’t often have a compassionate bill like this to vote on in the Senate or House.” He asked for the committee to vote in favor of un-doing an old wrong and giving adult adoptees equal rights to obtain their original birth certificate.

The bill also passed through the House Rules Committee and will be presented by Representative Beth Camp to the full House on Monday, March 20, 2023.

We’re Halfway There!

Senate bill 64 passed unanimously in the Georgia Senate on March 6th (crossover day), with a 54-0 vote. The bill restores the right for adopted persons (18 years+) to obtain their original birth certificate.

Senator Randy Robertson (R-Cataula) presented the clean bill to the full Senate and there was no opposition and no questions presented. (Except about where the Senator’s eccentric shoes originated from!)

Senator Robertson was a champion for this bill in the senate and garnered 18 co-sponsors from the initial introduction. On the Senate floor Senator Robertson said, “All I want to do is give these people (adopted persons) the same opportunity as us in knowing who they are.”

The bill will now crossover to the House of Representatives and when it passes there, the bill would be enacted at the time of the Governor’s signature.

Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights will keep you posted with sponsor and committee information, as well as any call-to-actions.

SB64 presented at 50:30

About Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights

The Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights is a coalition of state and national organizations with a singular focus: restoring the unrestricted right of all Georgia adult adoptees to obtain their own original birth certificates (OBC) upon request.

SB64 Passes Out of Committee

The Senate Children and Families Committee voted unanimously in favor of passing Georgia SB64 out of committee! Many thanks to bill sponsor, Senator Randy Robertson, and co-sponsor, Senator Bo Hatchett for their dedication to restoring adoptee rights. We would also like to thank Chairwoman Kay Kirkpatrick and the members of the committee for their willingness to learn about the importance of SB64.

SB64 now moves to the Rules Committee for consideration to be scheduled for a vote before the full Senate Committee. The bill must pass and crossover to the House no later than March 6, 2023.

Members and supporters of Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights are pictured with Senator Randy Robertson and his wife, Theresa, following the “do pass” vote by the Children and Families Committee.

Sign up here to stay informed and to get more involved.

About Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights

The Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights is a coalition of state and national organizations with a singular focus: restoring the unrestricted right of all Georgia adult adoptees to obtain their own original birth certificates (OBC) upon request.

Show Your Support

We are overwhelmed by all of the enthusiasm for our adoptee rights bill in Georgia! We are so thankful that people and organizations from the whole adoption constellation have come together to support Senate Bill 64. It is not only adoptees that recognize the need to have these rights restored, but also parents, adoption professionals, physicians, lawyers, legislators, and friends!

We are expecting SB64 to be considered in committee next week and will update when there is a definite date and time.

If you have not already, be sure to add your e-mail address to our mailing list. All official action alerts and updates will be shared directly by us on our social media pages and through our e-mail list.

In the meantime, grab one or both of these graphics to update your profile picture and header to show your support for SB64 and the restoration of rights to adopted people.

About Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights

The Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights is a coalition of state and national organizations with a singular focus: restoring the unrestricted right of all Georgia adult adoptees to obtain their own original birth certificates (OBC) upon request.

2023 Legislative Session

Senator Randy Robertson (R – Catula)

The Georgia Assembly is in session and Senate Bill (SB) 64 is active! 

SB64 will restore a right that has been restricted since 1961: the right for all Georgia-born adult adoptees to obtain their own original birth certificate upon request. Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights has worked with bill author, Jim Outman, and the bill sponsor, Senator Randy Robertson (R-Cataula) to assure a “clean” and unrestricted bill.

If you are a Georgia-born adoptee or birth parent, be sure that you sign up for our e-mail list to receive action notices and the latest news regarding the bill.

About Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights

The Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights is a coalition of state and national organizations with a singular focus: restoring the unrestricted right of all Georgia adult adoptees to obtain their own original birth certificates (OBC) upon request.

DNA Testing vs Birth Records: Which One Provides More Privacy?

For decades, adoptees have been denied the right to their own birth records, and as a result, denied the opportunity to learn about their origins. Many false claims about birth parent privacy or anonymity have been made as reasons to continue to deny equal rights to adult adopted persons. However, in the last decade, the availability and affordability of consumer DNA testing through sites such as Ancestry and 23 and Me, has opened up new avenues for adoptees from states with sealed records to find out where they came from. But, using DNA testing in an attempt to discover one’s origins is not without issues, one of which being the lack of privacy.

If you have never taken a consumer DNA, let me explain how it works. First, you purchase a kit from one of the consumer DNA testing sites and upon receipt, spit into the tube, and mail it off to be tested. Then you wait. It usually takes the lab a few weeks to perform it’s analysis. Once complete, your results are uploaded to the site and you will be notified that your results are available! At that point, you may be filled with excitement or anxiety as you click to link to find out what your DNA has to say, especially if you are an adoptee with so many unknowns.

Many people are aware that once they log in they will find out what percentage Colombian, or Irish, or Japanese they may be, but not everyone is aware that in addition to identifying your ethnicity mix, you are also matched with DNA relatives who have also taken a DNA test through that same company. (There are also platforms that allow DNA results from various companies to be compared, such as GEDMatch, if that is desired.) For most people, when they view their list of DNA matches, they will see some combination of 2nd-4th cousins listed. It is less common to log on and find that you’ve immediately been matched to a 1st cousin, sibling, or better yet… a parent! (Although this would be like hitting the jackpot for most adoptees.) Without being directly linked to a parent and having little to no knowledge of your origins, how do you use these DNA matches to find out where you belong in the family tree?

Well, you have to start shaking the branches and ringing the phone lines. You will need to contact some of your matches and hope you can get some of them to respond with helpful information. Even though some of them want to help they do not have the information you need, so they aren’t really sure where you belong. They may then begin to call their sister or aunt, or another cousin, or grandma asking about any information that they might have on a baby from the family that was placed for adoption. If that person doesn’t know either or has vague memories of something like this happening, they may call another cousin or uncle or brother. Before you know it, the whole family may be in on trying to discover where in the world you came from and who gave up a baby! This is obviously not a very private or personal way to attempt to learn your biological origins, but this is what is forced upon adoptees when states refuse to allow adoptees their own records.

If the concern for adoptees and biological parents is privacy, then allowing an adopted person the right to directly obtain their own birth record is the key. With this scenario, the only contact required is between the adopted person and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

Giving equal rights to adult adopted persons means more privacy, not less. It is that simple. Or as my kids would say, “Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy!”

Myths About Adoptees’ Access to Their Original Birth Certificates

Let’s Bust The Myths!

Whenever change occurs, resistance is often offered by those who believe and practice the current system. Before adoptee access to the original birth certificate was legislated in states, provinces and countries, no hard data existed regarding the impact of information being given to adopted persons. The results based on states that have instituted adoption reform and recorded in hard data, are as follows:

Only a small number of adopted persons want to know their birth information.

In a study of American adolescents, the Search Institute found that 72% of adopted adolescents wanted to know why they were adopted, 65% wanted to meet their birth parents, and 94% wanted to know which birth parent they looked like.

Psychological literature has established that whether mental or actual, searching is an understandable, common and part of healthy adaptation for adopted persons. (A Psychosocial Model of Adoption Adjustment by David Brodzinsky, Marshall Schechter and Robin Marantz Henig)

In Oregon, as of February 1, 2007, seven years after passage of approving access in 2000, 9,193 adult adoptees have requested and 8,878 have received their original birth certificates.

Most birthmothers want to forget the past and not have “old wounds reopened.”

Through registries and data collected in states and countries where access was legislated, 95% of birthparents who were contacted wanted reunion. (1989 Maine Department of Human Resources Task Force on Adoption)

In Oregon, only 0.25% of birthparents requested no contact. That’s less than 1%.

MYTH # 3
Birthmothers need to be protected from searching adoptees.

Adopted persons are most often reticent to pursue reunion in fear of risking rejection.

Birthparents have the same protections under the law as anyone else. They have the right of privacy and boundaries as does everyone, but privacy does not equal secrecy. Privacy is about healthy boundaries; secrecy prevents people from having information about themselves.

Researcher John Triseliotis from University of Edinburgh found in 25 years of study that adoptees needed genealogical and background information to confirm their identity based on both adoptive and birth family. In researching the impact of opening records in Great Britain, he found those who did search “did so with considerable forethought. Furthermore, the vast majority are over-careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings.” (In Search of Origins: The Experience of Adopted People by John Triseliotis)

Ninety-four (94%) percent of non-searching birthmothers when contacted by their adult birth children were pleased, according to a recent British study. (“The Adoption Triangle Revisited: A Study of Adoption Search and Reunion Experiences,” British Association for Adoption and Fostering, 2005)

MYTH # 4
Lifting secrecy will increase abortion.

Data from states where access exists reveals that if access has had any effect on adoptions and abortions, it was to increase adoptions and decrease abortions.

Since adult adoptees in Oregon and Alabama obtained access to their original birth certificates in 2000, abortions have declined much faster in those states than in the nation as a whole. Between then and 2003 (the last year for which national data are available) resident abortions declined 10% in Oregon and 13% in Alabama, but only 2% in the nation as a whole. In other words, after adoptees gained access in those states, abortions declined five times as fast as in the country as a whole.

Workers at pro-life centers such as Birthright report that young women today will only choose adoption if they are assured of updates or contact with the adoptive family. Gretchen Traylor, Birthright counselor in Minnesota, says, “When adoption is under consideration, the young woman’s overriding concern is that she will be unable to contact her child later in life, and that the child will not be able to find her as well. Pregnant women tell me that if such contact is NOT available, they would rather abort.”

In a national survey of 1,900 women having abortions, not one woman cited the inability to choose a confidential adoption as a factor in her decision to have the abortion. “Reasons for Terminating an Unwanted Pregnancy,” Guttmacher Institute, 2003.

A September 24, 2004 (Page D1) Wall Street Journal article reports that those parts of the country practicing open adoption currently do not have enough couples to adopt infants being relinquished by birth parents wanting open adoption.

Opening up adoption will break up adoptive families.

With a law that gives adults access to their original birth certificates, nothing changes while the adoptee is a child under the care of adoptive parents. Birth information and contact with birth family does not replace one’s relationship to adoptive parents but rather leads to a more cohesive identity for some adult adoptees.

Research from the United Kingdom on the results of access found that the loyalty and love adopted people felt towards their adoptive parents and family did not lessen as a result of the search and reunion process. In some cases adopted people reported that the experience of searching enhanced their relationship with their adoptive families. (British Association for Adoption and Fostering, 2004)

Many therapists believe the process of finding past history is so helpful to the adoptee that it strengthens the adoptee’s relationships with their adoptive families.

After New Zealand allowed adult adoptee access to adoption records, researchers found that reunion actually strengthened relationships between adoptees and their adoptive parents, often laying fantasies about birth family to rest. Results showed that adopted children and adults can successfully integrate two or more families into their lives. Finding birth relatives does not mean they relinquish their adoptive ones. (The Right to Know Who You Are, Keith C. Griffith) Research conducted by the University of Minnesota and University of Texas reveals that parental fears about entitlement in open adoptions were unfounded, and in many ways, contact with the birth family strengthened the bond between adoptive parents and children. (Openness in Adoption, Harold D. Grotevant and Ruth G. McRoy)

MYTH # 6
Adoptees conceived by rape or incest (and birthmothers too) will be devastated by search, reunion and/or learning truth about origins.

While unsavory details of one’s past are not pleasant to cope with, they still are a part of one’s life. Denying access to one’s personal information about himself/herself is robbing that person of his/her heritage. The contents of the information are not as important as the fact that information becomes available, and questions are able to be answered.

New Zealand found that adult adoptees can better cope with such traumatic revelations than with not having any information. Oddly enough, many had already fantasized the event. Most adoptees know that in exploring the unknown void of their origins, anything is possible, realizing that there must have been difficulties or they would not have been placed for adoption. This information remaining secret increases the shame. The reality, once it is confronted, is less than the enormity of the secret.

One adoptee conceived from rape said, “When we met things were pretty tense between us. I knew that my birthmother was holding back something. I asked her and she told me. We both held each other tight and howled for about an hour. Then we shared exactly what had happened and we shared our hurts and fears. It was one of my birthmother’s fears that one day I would find her and ask her. And now that traumatic time had come. Somehow, in the sharing of our deep personal grief feelings, we built up a relationship. We now understand each other on an issue that no one seems to understand.” (The Right to Know Who You Are, Keith C. Griffith)

Information from American Adoption Congress

About Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights

The Georgia Alliance for Adoptee Rights is a coalition of state and national organizations with a singular focus: restoring the unrestricted right of all Georgia adult adoptees to obtain their own original birth certificates (OBC) upon request.

GAAR Looking for Volunteers

Please sign up to help with the effort by visiting the Join Us page. If you have experience in advocacy, have relationships with legislators, the adoption community, or other triad parties in Georgia, please email us at