For Immediate Release: September 13, 1999
Contact: Helen Hill 503-368-5786

Adoptee Rights Spokesman Dies Waiting for Measure to Take Effect

Oregonian Curtis Endicott dedicated the last year of his life to adoptee rights.

Curtis Endicott died of a lifelong, undiagnosed lung ailment on Saturday, September 11th at age 51, while waiting for Oregon's successful Adoptee Rights Initiative (Measure 58) to take effect. Despite considerable popular and legislative support, the successful measure is currently held up by an indefinite injunction imposed by the Oregon State Court of Appeals.

A former truck driver and computer store owner, Endicott, himself adopted, devoted the last year of his life to the struggle for adoptee rights. He was an active campaigner in support of the measure and was also an active participant in the ensuing lawsuit, where he had been granted intervenor status. Among the national media featuring Curtis's story were CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, the Jim Lehrer News Hour, Newsweek and Time magazine. Measure 58 Chief Petitioner Helen Hill says of Endicott, "Curtis was a hero to me and thousands of other Oregonians. My greatest sorrow is that Curtis died in limbo without the chance to see his original birth certificate. He spoke out eloquently out for all adult adoptees."

Oregon's Measure 58 restores the right of Oregon adoptees to access a copy of their original birth certificate, a right abrogated in 1957. M58 passed by a strong margin in the November 1998 election, despite repeated hostility to the measure in prominent local dailies. On November 28th a court case was filed against the Measure by adoption attorney Frank Hunsaker on behalf of six "shadow birthmothers" who opposed the measure. Since then M58 has been upheld by State legislation: HB 3194, which preserves the intention of the measure while allowing for a voluntary contact registry for birthparents. HB 3194 was signed into law by Governor John Kitzhaber in July of 1999. On July 16th Judge Paul Lipscomb upheld M58 in a court of law, opining "Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate either any contractual right to absolute privacy or confidentiality, or any impermissible impairment of any such rights."

Curtis is survived by his wife, Bobbi, and two sons, both of whom also suffer from possible hereditary illnesses. Wife Bobbi says of Curtis, "Up to the very end, his family and the fight for adoptee rights were the most important things in life to Curtis." The funeral will be held on Wednesday, September 15, 1999, 2 pm, at the Columbia Funeral Home in St. Helens, Oregon. 503-397-1154. The public is invited to pay their respects. The family asks that anyone who wishes to remember Curtis through a donation to benefit the defense of Measure 58 may send a check to the "Curtis Endicott Memorial Fund", P.O. Box 693, St. Helens, OR, 97051.

For information and updates on Oregon's Adoptee Rights Measure visit
Contact: M58 Chief Petitioner Helen Hill at 503-368-5786