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Bastard Nation Action Alert: PA HB 162 – Redaction bill. Vote NO!

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December 17, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA HB 162

SENATE ACTION ALERT

Pennsylvania HB 162 has been amended to include a birth parent redaction demand provision! Please take action now. You do not have to be from or reside in PA to contact legislators, although if you are a constituent or PA adoptee or triad member, please do include that information in your contacts with legislators.

The original, clean bill would have provided a copy of an original birth certificate to adult adoptees at age 19 without condition. A standard and true “contact preference form” provision was also included.

The amended version is a redaction bill. Specifics set forth below.

Bill: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/BillInfo.cfm…

Amended version: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/…/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm…

Prime Sponsor: BENNINGHOFF
Sponsors:
DAVIS, CALTAGIRONE, EMRICK, GINGRICH, MILLARD, MAJOR, MUNDY, PICKETT, O’BRIEN, D. COSTA, KORTZ, O’NEILL, FLECK, C. HARRIS, REESE, LAWRENCE, KNOWLES, CAUSER, CLYMER, WATSON, THOMAS, SWANGER, COHEN, ROCK, YOUNGBLOOD, EVERETT, HELM,GROVE, GILLEN, DENLINGER, FARRY, MOUL, HEFFLEY, QUINN, BISHOP, ROZZI, MAHONEY and METCALFE

Current Status: Having passed out of the House, Pennsylvania House Bill 162 will come to the Senate floor for a vote.

Mandates:

  • Section 2 (3)(a) requires the adult adoptee requesting a copy of their original birth certificate (OBC) to be 18 and have had graduated high school, received a GED, or “legally withdrawn” from secondary schooling.
  • Section 2 (3)(a) contains a Contact Preference Form provision.
  •  Section 2 (3) (c) allows the birth parent to redact their name from the non-certified original birth certificate before it is released to the adult adoptee.
  • Section 2 (3) (c) (2) mandates that the option to file a redaction demand expires six months after the effective date of the legislation, however any redaction demands filed during that period remain in full force or effect unless later withdrawn.
  • Section 2 (3) (c)(4) A birth parent may withdraw their redaction demand at any time, however there is no provision to notify an adult adoptee that they have done so.
  • Section 2 (c) (7) allows an adoptee who has been the subject of a redaction of their OBC to every five years request that the Department of Health search for and contact the birth parent who filed the redaction demand and request that they remove it, as well as provide an updated medical history form. If it is determined that the birth parent is deceased, the adoptee will be entitled to an unredacted copy of their original birth certificate.

 

Email Template:
Subject:”No” to HB 162

RE: Please, vote “No” to HB 162

Honorable Senator,

On June 25th, the Children and Youth Committee amended and passed House Bill 162. On December 16, the House passed the amended version of House Bill 162. Although I thank the bill’s Prime Sponsor, Representative Benninghoff for putting forth legislation that would acknowledge adult adoptees’ civil rights through the ability to receive a copy of their unaltered original birth certificate just as any other citizen, I find the amended bill unacceptable.

The amended version violates adult adoptees’ rights to due process and the equal protection of the law by allowing a birth parent to redact their name from the original birth certificate record. Adults should not be required to get permission from our birthparents to obtain our unaltered birth record.

The amended version mandates that in order to receive the birth record information, one must be at least age 18 AND be either a high school graduate, have their GED, or be able to prove they have “legally withdrawn” from school. The subjects of school dropouts and birth certificate access are not related.

ADULTS, adopted as children, are entitled to be treated fairly under the law. HB 162 does not accomplish this. I strongly urge your “NO!” vote.

Thank you.

Respectfully,
YOUR NAME

If you want to include additional text in your own words, here are some additional points to consider:

The bill conflates search and reunion with an adoptee’s right to their birth record. Our right to our own record of our birth is fundamental and unchanging regardless of the personal choices we may make after receiving it, and should not automatically be assumed by the state to include contact with our birth families.

The bill provides not for the release of a copy of the actual original birth certificate, but a “birth summary” that is only allowed to include the adult adoptee’s original name, date of birth, the birth parents’ names and ages, and the county where born. Typical fields that are normally present on birth certificates such as race, birth size and weight, and even the time of one’s birth, are omitted from the summary.

The bill allows a birth parent to remove the redaction demand at any time, but does not provide for any notice to be given to an adoptee when or if that occurs.

The amended bill also sets up a cumbersome search system, without noting who will pay for it, whereby an adoptee who has been the subject of a redaction demand may ask the Department of Health every five years after first receiving a redacted record, to search for their birth parents and request that it be withdrawn. If the state is truly concerned about protecting birth parent “privacy”, this intrusive and costly system isn’t the way to go about it.

Senate Email addresses:

alloway@pasen.gov
dargall@pasen.gov
aument@pasen.gov
lbaker@pasen.gov
bartolatta@pasen.gov
senatorblake@pasenate.com
boscola@pasenate.com
brewster@pasenate.com
brooks@pasen.gov
pbrowne@pasenate.gov
jcorman@pasen.gov
costa@pasenate.com
adinniman@pasenate.com
jeichelberger@pasen.gov
lfarnese@pasenate.com
mfolmer@pasen.gov
fontana@pasenate.com
jgordner@pasen.gov
sgreenleaf@pasen.gov
haywood@pasenate.com
hughes@pasenate.com
shutchison@pasen.gov
kitchen@pasenate.com
dleach@pasenate.com
mcgarrigle@pasen.gov
cmciihinney@pasen.gov
bmensch@pasen.gov
dpileggi@pasen.gov
jrafferty@pasen.gov
jscarnati@pasen.gov
senatorschwank@pasenate.com

lsmucker@pasen.gov
stefano@pasen.gov
tartaglione@pasenate.com
senatorteplitz@pasenate.com
rtomlinson@pasen.gov
pvance@pasen.gov
evogel@pasen.gov
rvulakovich@pasen.gov
wagner@pasen.gov
kward@pasen.gov

dwhite@pasen.gov
wiley@pasenate.com
williams@pasenate.com
wozniak@pasenate.com
eyaw@pasen.gov
yudichak@pasenate.com

For those needing commas between email addresses:
(Note: some servers only allow 10 email addresses be sent at one time.)

alloway@pasen.gov, dargall@pasen.gov, aument@pasen.gov, lbaker@pasen.gov, bartolatta@pasen.gov,
senatorblake@pasenate.com, boscola@pasenate.com, brewster@pasenate.com, brooks@pasen.gov,
pbrowne@pasenate.gov, jcorman@pasen.gov, costa@pasenate.com, adinniman@pasenate.com, jeichelberger@pasen.gov, lfarnese@pasenate.com, mfolmer@pasen.gov, fontana@pasenate.com, jgordner@pasen.gov, sgreenleaf@pasen.gov, hughes@pasenate.com,
shutchison@pasen.gov, kitchen@pasenate.com, dleach@pasenate.com, mcgarrigle@pasen.gov, cmciihinney@pasen.gov, bmensch@pasen.gov, dpileggi@pasen.gov, jrafferty@pasen.gov, jscarnati@pasen.gov, senatorschwank@pasenate.com, lsmucker@pasen.gov,
stefano@pasen.gov, tartaglione@pasenate.com, senatorteplitz@pasenate.com, rtomlinson@pasen.gov,
pvance@pasen.gov, evogel@pasen.gov, rvulakovich@pasen.gov, wagner@pasen.gov, kward@pasen.gov, dwhite@pasen.gov, williams@pasenate.com, wozniak@pasenate.com, eyaw@pasen.gov, yudichak@pasenate.com

Phone Numbers:
Alloway, Richard L. (R)
(717) 787-4651
Argall, David G. (R)
(717) 787-2637
Aument, Ryan P.(R)
(717) 787-4420
Baker, Lisa (R)
(717) 787-7428
Bartolotta, Camera (R)
(717) 787-1463
Blake, John P. (D)
(717) 787-6481
Boscola, Lisa M. (D)
(717) 787-4236
Brewster, James R. (D)
(717) 787-5580
Brooks, Michele (R)
(717) 787-1322
Browne, Patrick M. (R)
(717) 787-1349
Corman, Jake (R)
(717) 787-1377
Costa, Jay (D)
(717) 787-7683
Dinniman, Andrew E.(D)
(717) 787-5709
Eichelberger, John H.(R)
(717) 787-5490
Farnese, Lawrence M.(D)
(717) 787-5662
Folmer, Mike (R)
(717) 787-5708
Fontana, Wayne D. (D)
(717) 787-5300
Gordner, John R. (R)
(717) 787-8928
Greenleaf, Stewart J.(R)
(717) 787-6599
Haywood, Art (D)
(717) 787-1427
Hughes, Vincent J. (D)
(717) 787-7112
Hutchinson, Scott E.(R)
(717) 787-9684
Kitchen, Shirley M. (D)
(717) 787-6735
Leach, Daylin (D)
(717) 787-5544
McGarrigle, Thomas J.(R)
(717) 787-1350
McIlhinney, Charles T.(R)
(717) 787-7305
Mensch, Bob (R)
(717) 787-3110
Pileggi, Dominic (R)
(717) 787-4712
Rafferty, John C. (R)
(717) 787-1398
Sabatina, John P. (D)
(717) 787-7084
Scarnati, Joseph B. (R)
(717) 787-8925
Scavello, Mario M. (R)
(717) 787-5839
Schwank, Judith L. (D)
(717) 787-6535
Smucker, Lloyd K. (R)
(717) 787-7175
Stefano, Patrick J. (R)
(717) 787-1141
Tartaglione, Christine M. (D)
(717) 787-6801
Teplitz, Rob (D)
(717) 787-5072
Tomlinson, Robert M.(R)
(717) 787-8524
Vance, Patricia H. (R)
(717) 787-3076
Vogel, Elder A. (R)
(717) 787-6538
Vulakovich, Randy (R)
(717) 787-3817
Wagner, Scott (R)
(717) 787-6063
Ward, Kim L. (R)
(717) 787-1427
White, Donald C. (R)
(717) 787-8724
Wiley, Sean (D)
(717) 787-8927
Williams, Anthony H.(D)
(717) 787-5970
Wozniak, John N. (D)
(717) 787-5400
Yaw, Gene (R)
(717) 787-3280
Yudichak, John T. (D)
(717) 787-3280
@GovernorTomWolfTwitter:
@PaSenateDems
@PASenateGOP
@SenatorAlloway
@SenatorArgall
@senbartolotta
@SenatorBrewster
@SenatorBrowne
@JakeCorman
@Senatorcosta
@SenatorDinniman
@SenatorFolmer
@SenatorHaywood
@SenHughesOffice
@SenatorMensch
@SenatorSmucker
@SenVulakovich
@SenatorWiley
@SenJohnYudichak

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SAMPLE STATE ORGANIZATION RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

SAMPLE STATE ORGANIZATION RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

Any political organization seeking to enact true open records legislation should be very clear with both their constituents and the legislators they work with about what the essential provisions of the proposed bill are. Any modification or deletion of the essential provisions of a bill should be immediate cause to have the bill killed.

Any political organization seeking the assistance of Bastard Nation to pass open records legislation must hold unconditional access by adult adoptees to the original record of their birth as an essential provision that cannot be modified or deleted. Read our Mission Statement.

Bastard Nation will not assist any political organization to pass open records legislation unless their governing board or other leadership

passes a written resolution such as the following that commits the board to a strategy of no compromise on key provisions
informs its constituents of this commitment and this strategy
informs the sponsoring legislators of this commitment and this strategy.

WHEREAS we recognize that disclosure and contact vetoes, redactions, mandatory intermediaries and registry provisions are an affront to the dignity of adopted persons everywhere and a violation of their right to due process and equal treatment under the law,

WHEREAS there has been a demonstrable negative effect on the ability to pass unconditional open records in states that have passed veto legislation and/or any provisions that are less than unconditional access on demand by the adult adoptee,

WHEREAS our primary goal is to restore the right of adult adoptees everywhere to be treated as full citizens under the law,

WE HEREBY DECLARE that under no circumstances will we accept the addition of veto, redaction, intermediary, or registry provisions, or any conditional provisions to our legislation that would be less than unconditional access for adult adoptees to the original record of their birth. All legislative sponsors and members of this organization will be informed of our policy on this matter to ensure that the bill is pulled promptly in the event of such revisions.

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