According to Rell, many women may have agreed to give their babies up for adoption only because all that information would be kept secret. She said the proposed change in the law would "violate that principle" of privacy rights.
"This question of privacy is a nagging one," says state Sen. Ed Meyer, a Guilford Democrat. Meyer has repeatedly offered legislation to overturn that 1975 ban, even if it's only for people who are adopted after the bill would become law. And he's failed every time. He tried again this year.
"We have not been able to get that through," says Meyer. "The hold-up is a conceptual hold-up." At the legislative hearing on the 2013 version of the bill, almost all the testimony submitted supported passage. Just about the only opposition came from the state's Department of Children and Families.
The DCF position was the same as Rell's in 2006: "There are many birth parents who gave up children for adoption with an expectation of anonymity and their privacy should be protected."
Gov. Dannel Malloy hasn't yet weighed in on the issue. Asked for a comment on adoptee rights, Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba pointed out that talks are scheduled between Access Connecticut and DCF.
"While we are concerned about respecting the privacy of birth parents who relied on confidentiality when they gave up their children," Doba responded last week in an e-mail, "the commissioner [of DCF] will meet with advocates to discuss the issue and hear their perspectives."
Which, of course, doesn't commit Malloy either way.
Meyer says doctors and other medical experts have repeatedly testified that adopted people need to know about their family's genetic background. "That's been very popular," he says.
Despite his past failures, Meyer says he plans to try to raise the adoptee rights issue once again in 2014. Caffrey and his other activist allies insist they can pull it off this time around.
"We're much more organized, we're doing more groundwork," Caffrey says. "We're getting more people involved."
Caffrey argues that lawmakers and Malloy may (since 2014 does happen to be an election year) be more inclined to listen to the arguments of adoptees now than in the past.
"Society has changed," she says. "We're going to reach a critical mass at some point."