Update: the Weprin/Montgomery bill ultimately garnered overwhelming support from every corner of the state, with 101 co-sponsors in the Assembly and the historic 56-6 passage in the Senate. NYSAE nevertheless said “no” to this letter.
Cathi Swett and Carolyn D’Agostino
New York State Adoption Equality
PO Box 2
Bronx NY 10464
RE: Request to Unite Around the Weprin/Montgomery Bill (A5494/S3419)
Dear Cathi and Carolyn:
On behalf of adult adopted persons from New York and from across the country, we ask that you and New York State Adoption Equality unite with us around A5494/S3419, the adoptee rights bill sponsored by Assembly Member David Weprin and Senator Velmanette Montgomery (the Weprin/Montgomery bill). The Weprin/Montgomery bill has already received overwhelming support from our supporters. It also has nearly 80 co-sponsors in the New York Assembly, and we expect many more co-sponsors to be added in the coming days and weeks, both in the Senate and in the Assembly.
In our recent meeting with you and others in Albany, Assembly Member Weprin requested that all advocacy groups—including the American Adoption Congress, NYSAE, and Unsealed Initiative—unite with us to pursue enactment of the Weprin/Montgomery bill. In an unprecedented response, the AAC and Unsealed Initiative agreed and committed to the bill, as did the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition and its partners. You and NYSAE, however, continued to insist on pursuing a competing bill that has little support in the legislature and will cause confusion among legislators and advocates as the Weprin/Montgomery bill moves ahead.
The successful united effort to secure Governor Andrew Cuomo’s veto of A5036B, a badly regressive bill from 2017, shows that we can accomplish clean and unrestricted adoptee rights reform in New York—but only if we unite around our issue. We now have our best chance in decades to enact clean legislation in New York, but it will not happen without all advocacy groups uniting around a single clean bill. That bill is the Weprin/Montgomery bill.
Please let us know in writing if New York State Adoption Equality will join us and all of our partners and supporters, as well as the AAC and Unsealed Initiative, in endorsing the Weprin/Montgomery bill and moving it to enactment. It’s up to us to make this happen.
NEW YORK ADOPTEE RIGHTS COALITION
Richard Heyl de Ortiz
ADOPTIVE AND FOSTER FAMILY COALITION OF NEW YORK
Gregory D. Luce
ADOPTEE RIGHTS LAW CENTER PLLC
BASTARD NATION: THE ADOPTEE RIGHTS ORGANIZATION
Annette O’Connell and Barbara Fuller
Co-Spokespersons: NEW YORK ADOPTEE RIGHTS COALITION