CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

January 22, 2013

Pa. House Bill 162: Adult Adoptees Right to Access Original Birth Certificate


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

PENNSYLVANIA. HOUSE BILL 162:

ADULT ADOPTEES RIGHT TO ACCESS THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sign to Support Adoptee Rights to Their Original Birth Certificates

CURRENT STATUS OF ADOPTEES RIGHT TO ACCESS THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORD

UPDATE: HB 162 will be heard in the

Senate Committee on Aging & Youth

on March 18 at 10:00 a.m. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Support HB162 by contacting

  • Bob Mernsch, chair of the PA Senate, Aging and Youth Committee:www.senatormensch.com , 717-787-3110 or 215-541-2388
  • LeeAnna Washington, minority chair: Washington@pasenate.com , 717-787-1427 or 215-242-0472
  • Kim Ward, Westmoreland County, vice chair
  • Your PA state Senator

UPDATE 140212:

A letter to the editor was published in the Greensburg Tribune-Review (southeast of Pittsburgh)—read Open Birth Recordshttp://triblive.com/opinion/letters/5540321-74/adoptees-adult-birth#axzz2sxbs4fI1

UPDATE 01/24/2014:

On October 23, 2013, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB 162 (Benninghoff), which allows Pennsylvania-born adopted adults to obtain their original, factual, birth certificate. There were no “no” votes. It is currently currently in the PA Senate, Aging and Youth Committee.

I encourage you to support HB 162 by contacting your state senator.

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If the Senate passes HB 162 it will allow Pennsylvania adult adoptees the same access to their original birth certificates as non adoptees have, and as my sisters had in New England.

A child adopted in the state of Pennsylvania receives an altered (or amended) birth certificate to make it appear as though the adoptive parents actually gave birth to the adoptee. There is no indication on the amended birth certificate that an adoption even occurred.

The original, factual birth certificate is sealed away.

This original birth certificate is not legally recognized. Thus, Pennsylvania-born adult adoptees (age 18+) are not allowed to access it.

PRIOR TO 1984

Prior to 1984 things were different. Adult adoptees born in Pennsylvania were able to access their original birth certificates just as all non-adopted adults who were born in Pennsylvania.

In 1984 this equality under law changed upon the enactment of the Adoption Act 195, which took away the right for adult adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates.

UPDATE 2010-2011

In 2010-2011 Pennsylvania created an Information Registry for the receipt and retention of medical and social history and the distribution of authorization forms. Adoptees (18 and older) and birth parents may authorize or refuse the release of identifying information. If no authorization form is on file, a state-trained representative shall use reasonable efforts to conduct search. The law provides for the release of a summary of the original birth certificate (OBC) only, not the actual OBC. Passage of HB 963 would amend this law

JANUARY 17, 2013—CURRENT PROPOSED LEGISLATION

Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre County, 171st Legislative District) and 22 co-sponsors introduced a new bill restoring Pennsylvania-born adult adoptees the right to access their OBC:

HB 162, an unrestricted access bill, was introduced in the PA House of Representatives on January 16, 2013. The bill would allow Pennsylvania-born adopted adults to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate. HB 162 has been assigned to the Committee on Children and Youth.

ORGANIZATIONS THAT FULLY SUPPORT HOUSE BILL 162

PENNSYLVANIA ADOPTEE RIGHTS

Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights is a grassroots group of adult adoptees, original families, adoptive families, and allies who share the common goal of influencing positive legislation that restores original birth certificate access to adult adoptees born in Pennsylvania.

THE AMERICAN ADOPTION CONGRESS (AAC)

Mission Statement

The American Adoption Congress is comprised of individuals, families and organizations committed to adoption reform…We promote honesty, openness and respect for family connections in adoption, foster care and assisted reproduction. We provide education for our members and professional communities about the lifelong process of adoption. We advocate legislation that will grant every individual access to information about his or her family and heritage.

Committed to:

Increasing public awareness about the realities of adopted life for birth and adoptive families

Changing public policies related to adoption practices in order to acknowledge adoption as an extension of family

Enacting legislation in all states that guarantees access to identifying information for all adopted persons and their birth and adoptive families through records access and preservation of open adoption agreements

Facilitating birth family reunification for all adopted adults, without prior restraint, through search and support group networking and/or social service assistance

Beliefs:

AAC supports the right of all those whose lives have been impacted by adoption to decide for themselves whether and when to search. We are considered the foremost advocate for all those who have been adversely affected by the adoption system as it is currently being operated. That’s our thing! While we have provided a listing of some groups within each state, searching and providing support for individuals are both outside our mission and expertise. We”re here to get the system healed and, of course, we need and appreciate your assistance.

SUGGESTED ACTION

If you are have an adoption connection to Pennsylvania and support this legislation contact:

HB 162 has the following cosponsors so far:

Benninghoff, Caltagirone, Causer, Clymer, Costa D, Davis, Emrick, Fleck, Gingrich, Harris, Knowles, Kortz, Lawrence, Major, Mundy, O’Brien, O’Neill, Pickett, Reese, Swanger, Thomas, Watson

  • Contact Children & Youth Committee Members (* signifies co-sponsor as of 1/17/2013) to share your concerns and ask them to support HB 162:

Majority (Room 41A EW)

*Watson, Katharine M. , Chair

Bishop, Louise Williams , Democratic Chair

Bloom, Stephen

Dunbar, George

Greiner, Keith J.

Keller, Fred

*Lawrence, John A.

Maloney, David M., Sr.

Moul, Dan

Oberlander, Donner

Rock, Todd

Sankey, Tommy

Stephens, Todd

Tallman, Will

Toepel, Marcy

Toohil, Tarah

Minority (Room 326 MC)

Boyle, Kevin J.

Brownlee, Michelle F.

Conklin, H. Scott

Deasy, Daniel J.

Gainey, Ed

Haggerty, Kevin

Kinsey, Stephen

McCarter, Stephen

Rozzi, Mark

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Adoptees Right to Original Birth Certificate in Pennsylvania

Desperation Pregnancies

My Mother’s Special 90th Birthday Gift

My Mother’s Secret: An Adoption Story

We’re Adopting a Baby! Part 1

JOCHEBED & LUCY: STORIES OF ADOPTION AND MOTHER’S LOVE

http://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2008/05/11/jochebed-lucy-stories-of-adoption-and-mother%e2%80%99s-love/

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS: ADOPTION CATEGORY

http://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/category/adoption-2/page/3/

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