Pennsylvania is not an open records State. Adults who were adopted don’t have the same rights as everyone else in obtaining a copy of their original birth certificate. Even in today’s world, there are still “secrets”. It’s time for adoption to not be treated as a secret that needs to be hidden. It should be every person’s right to know their origins.
HB 963, sponsored by Representative Kerry Benninghoff, is an unrestricted access bill that would allow Pennsylvania-born adopted adults to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate. The bill, introduced in March 2011, was assigned to the Committee on Children and Youth. Grassroots groups are lobbying for a public hearing.
HB 963 information -
|INTRODUCED BY BENNINGHOFF, BOBACK, CALTAGIRONE, CLYMER, D. COSTA, DAVIS, DENLINGER, EVERETT, FARRY, FLECK, FRANKEL, GILLEN, GINGRICH, GROVE, HARHART, HARRIS, JOSEPHS, KAVULICH, KNOWLES, MILLARD, D. O’BRIEN, PICKETT, RAPP, K. SMITH, SONNEY, SWANGER AND VULAKOVICH, MARCH 7, 2011|
House Bill 963, introduced by Rep. Benninghoff, authorizes the Pennsylvania Bureau of Vital Statistics to disclose the original or amended copy of a birth certificate upon the written request of an adoptee age 18 or older.
It has been referred to the Committee on Children and Youth in March, 2011. Here is a link to the Committee Members and their contact information: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/cteeInfo/cteeInfo.cfm?body=H&cde=48 This Bill needs to move out of Committee and back to the House.
Please contact the Committee on Children and Youth and request a Public Hearing.
Hon. Dan Moul – Vice Chair
G32 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202091
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2091
Hon. Louise Williams Bishop – Democratic Chair
326 Main Capitol Building
PO Box 202192
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2192
I am happy to see that my own Representative, Ken Smith is a co-sponsor of this Bill.
Anyone with an adoption connection to Pennsylvania, or are a resident of Pennsylvania who supports this legislation, please contact Carolyn Hoard, firstname.lastname@example.org. Carolyn is a Pennsylvania representative of the American Adoption Congress.
Here is a link to American Adoption Congress http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org/
For information for other State’s statutes go to http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/
To find out who your Pennsylvania State Representative is go here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#address