Discussing Adoptee Bill, Governor Christie Gets Personal At Recent Town Hall
Governor Chris Christie shows a personal side of himself during a recent town hall, talking about a bill that would give adoptees' access to their birth parents' identities.
Last year the legislature passed a bill that would have given adoptees access to their birth certificates with their parents names on them once they turn age 18.
Christie conditionally vetoed it and says the issue was one of the most difficult he's had to tackle so far in his first two years in office.
"It was not an easy decision by any means. I went back and forth on this and talked to a lot of people about it on both sides."
Christie said his younger sister was adopted at age two and he also spent a good deal of time discussing the bill with her.
"The compromise I put forward would have given adoptees the ability to access everything they wanted to access in terms of their medical history, but would respect the rights of parents who did not want to be contacted. In the end the bill that I got sent I thought disproportionately disrespected the rights of the parents who did not want to be contacted."
The adoption records bill has meandered back and forth between the state Senate and Assembly in various forms for more than 30 years.
Christie says he'll get back to work on it in 2012, but legislators who only want the issue to favor the rights of adoptees need to learn the art of compromise.
"If they are going to continue to say its my way or the highway, then we're going to end up having a stalemate on this issue and not be able to find compromise. That's not the kind of leader I am and that's not what I'm going to try to do."