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

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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. 

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NOTICE:

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS moved to

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe) in January 2015.

I invite you to visit the new site and encourage you to Follow it.

New and updated articles on adoption will be posted on COMe

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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 (more…)

January 20, 2013

Adoptees Right to Original Birth Certificate in Pennsylvania

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
ADOPTEES RIGHTS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE

IN PENNSLYVANIA

In mid-January 2011 I was contacted, through CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS, by a sister my mother released for adoption. In early February I was contacted again, through this online magazine, by a second sister my mother released for adoption.

They were able to locate their biological family—mine—because they were released for adoption in the two states which have opened original birth certificate access to adult adoptees over 18 years of age—New Hampshire in June, 2007 and Massachusetts since May 2007.

MY EXPERIENCE IN ADOPTION
Since my husband and I moved to Pennsylvania in 1969 I have been involved in many aspects of the state’s adoption process.

  • In August 1969 my husband and I became involved in the adoption process in Butler County. We endured the necessary home study, completion of documents, and waiting period. A tiny three-week old baby girl was placed in our home on June 10, 1970.
  •  Between September 1969 and June 1970 I worked part time at an adoption agency in Mercer County. My job was to decrease a backlog of adoption homestudies.
  • For three years I served on the board of Catholic Charities in Butler County. Adoption—working through the adoption triangle—was one of their services.

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Looking back I consider it strange that in my pre-1984 experience in the adoption field I was totally unaware that Pennsylvania adult adoptees had access to their birth records. I assumed, wrongly, that records were (more…)

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