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Bastard Nation Action Alert: Pennsylvania HB162. Write to Senate today. Do Not Pass!

October 4, 2016 News No Comments

BASTARD NATION ACTION ALERT

October 4, 2016

Pennsylvania HB 162

Pennsylvania adoptees need your help today!

Please contact all members of the Pennsylvania Senate today

and tell them to vote DO NOT PASS on  HB 162.

 

Last week the Pennsylvania Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee passed HB 162 out of committee.  The once clean bill was deformed last year with anti-adoptee amendments, (Bastard Nation Action Alert)  backed by Pennsylvania Catholic Council, the ACLU, the Montgomery County Orphans Court, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, and professional searchers.   (Scroll down to “Pennsylvania” and click on opposition links).     

The bill passed last week deforms the bill even more, tightening  already proposed tight OBC restrictions. It includes an ambiguously-worded zombie veto which in practical terms creates a perpetual Disclosure Veto that bars release of the original birth certificate  by continuing the DV after the death of a parent who has requested it.  The bill now goes to the Appropriations committee and then to  the Senate floor.

Bastard Nation believes that HB 162 is unsalvageable and needs to be killed. Please contact the full Senate today and ask members to vote DO NOT PASS.  

Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights is not a Bastard Nation Partner, but has consistently held the line against compromise legislation in the state.  It  continues to oppose HB 162 and has issued the following action alert, which we are posting below.

 

Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights Action Alert:

 

On Tuesday, September 28, 2016 the PA Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee passed a bill that would allow adult adoptees to access their original birth certificates with restrictions. The bill, HB162, has been amended from its original form. It is now headed to the Senate for a full vote.

Page 4, Section C is of particular concern:

 

Prior to today’s vote, Section C:

1) Allowed birth parents a six-month window after the bill became law to redact their names from their relinquished son or daughter’s original birth certificate. Once the six-month period was over, there would have been no further opportunity for birth parents to make redactions, and all original birth certificates would have been provided upon request to adult adoptees age 18 and over.

2) Every five years, adoptees subjected to redactions could request that the PA Department of Health contact their birth parent(s) to see if the redaction status changed. If the department was not be able to make contact with a birth parent or found (s)he is deceased, the original birth certificate would have been provided to the adoptee without redaction. A birth parent could at any time can request that their redaction be taken away. All adoptees with adoptions finalized after the legislation took effect would have been able to access their original birth certificates at age 18 without redactions.

Today, the following changes were made to Section C:

1) The six-month redaction window was removed, meaning birth parents (for past and future adoptions) will be able to file a redaction form at any time.

2) The language allowing adoptees subject to redactions to contact the Department of Health every 5 years and request that the Department contact the birth parent regarding redaction status has been removed. This means the Department would not be required to search for and contact birth parents on the adoptee’s behalf after the birth parent has filed a redaction.

3) The section regarding deceased birth parents has also changed to read, “If the birth parent dies after submitting a name redaction form, a noncertified copy of original birth record shall MAY be provided to the adoptee without redaction of the deceased birth parent’s name.” Of course, an adoptee subject to a redaction would have no way of knowing a birth parent is deceased due to the changes outlined in the previous paragraph. The change of language from “shall” to “may” is also troubling, as it implies this would be at the Health Department’s or a judge’s discretion.

We encourage anyone concerned about adoptee rights in Pennsylvania to write or call members of the PA Senate. Express that you do NOT support HB 162 in its current form, and request that Section C be removed entirely from the bill. (This can be done on 2nd consideration on the Senate floor.)

Contact information for Senators can be found here:http://www.legis.state.pa.us/…/member_informat…/mbrList.cfm…

The full language of the bill can be found here:http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/…/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm…

Key Points:

  • Promises of anonymity are/were inappropriate. The alleged promise of anonymity was never made in relinquishment documents, nor does it hold the adopted person in equal regard under the law when accessing a vital record. It also defies Children’s Rights frameworks and holds adoptees to an alleged agreement regarding their own government record, to which they were too young to consent.
  • Even with Section C intact, it is impossible to promise anonymity. With the advent of DNA testing and the Internet, birth parents can be found regardless of removing their names from the birth certificate. It is irresponsible for the State to imply that redacting a birth parent’s name from a birth certificate ensures their relinquished son or daughter will never know their name.
  • Allowing redactions undermines the point of HB162, which is equality. This amendment allows for the personal preferences of one adult citizen to supersede the legal right of another adult citizen to access an accurate record of their birth.
  • Equal access to original birth certificates is not about reunion. HB162 seeks to assuage the conflation of reunion with the access to information as separate needs. Adult adoptees have a right to access information about themselves that any other citizen can access, regardless of their desire to reunite or whether or not they may be welcomed should they find their family.

Additional talking points and updates can be found on the Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights website at https://pennsylvaniaadopteerights.org/.

 

Pennsylvania Senate Contact Sheet

Name District Party Email Phone Leadership
Alloway, Richard L. (R) 33 R alloway@pasen.gov (717) 787-4651 Majority Caucus Secretary
Argall, David G. (R) 29 R dargall@pasen.gov (717) 787-2637 Policy Committee Chair
Aument, Ryan P. (R) 36 R aument@pasen.gov (717) 787-4420
Baker, Lisa (R) 20 R lbaker@pasen.gov (717) 787-7428
Bartolotta, Camera (R) 46 R bartolatta@pasen.gov (717) 787-1463
Blake, John P. (D) 22 D senatorblake@pasenate.com (717) 787-6481 Appropriations Committee Vice Chair
Boscola, Lisa M. (D) 18 D boscola@pasenate.com (717) 787-4236 Policy Committee Chair
Brewster, James R. (D) 45 D brewster@pasenate.com (717) 787-5580
Brooks, Michele (R) 50 R brooks@pasen.gov (717) 787-1322
Browne, Patrick M. (R) 16 R pbrowne@pasenate.gov (717) 787-1349 Majority Appropriations Committee Chair
Corman, Jake (R) 34 R jcorman@pasen.gov (717) 787-1377 Majority Floor Leader
Costa, Jay (D) 43 D costa@pasenate.com (717) 787-7683 Floor Leader
Dinniman, Andrew E.(D) 19 D adinniman@pasenate.com (717) 787-5709
Eichelberger, John H.(R) 30 R jeichelberger@pasen.gov (717) 787-5490
Farnese, Lawrence M.(D) 1 D lfarnese@pasenate.com (717) 787-5662 Minority Caucus Secretary
Folmer, Mike (R) 48 R mfolmer@pasen.gov (717) 787-5708
Fontana, Wayne D. (D) 42 D fontana@pasenate.com (717) 787-5300 Minority Caucus Chair
Gordner, John R. (R) 27 R jgordner@pasen.gov (717) 787-8928 Majority Whip
Greenleaf, Stewart J.(R) 12 R sgreenleaf@pasen.gov (717) 787-6599
Haywood, Art (D) 4 D haywood@pasenate.com (717) 787-1427
Hughes, Vincent J. (D) 7 D hughes@pasenate.com (717) 787-7112 Minority Appropriations Committee Chair
Hutchinson, Scott E.(R) 21 R shutchison@pasen.gov (717) 787-9684
Kitchen, Shirley M. (D) 3 D kitchen@pasenate.com (717) 787-6735
Leach, Daylin (D) 17 D dleach@pasenate.com (717) 787-5544
McGarrigle, Thomas J.(R) 26 R mcgarrigle@pasen.gov (717) 787-1350
McIlhinney, Charles T.(R) 10 R cmciihinney@pasen.gov (717) 787-7305 Caucus Administrator
Mensch, Bob (R) 24 R bmensch@pasen.gov (717) 787-3110 Majority Caucus Chair
Pileggi, Dominic (R) 9 R dpileggi@pasen.gov (717) 787-4712
Rafferty, John C. (R) 44 R jrafferty@pasen.gov (717) 787-1398
Sabatina, John P. (D) 5 D jscarnati@pasen.gov (717) 787-7084
Scarnati, Joseph B. (R) 25 R senatorschwank@pasenate.com (717) 787-8925 President Pro Tempore
Scavello, Mario M. (R) 40 R msmith@pasenate.com (717) 787-5839
Schwank, Judith L. (D) 11 D lsmucker@pasen.gov (717) 787-6535
Smucker, Lloyd K. (R) 13 R stefano@pasen.gov (717) 787-7175
Stefano, Patrick J. (R) 32 R tartaglione@pasenate.com (717) 787-1141
Tartaglione, Christine M. (D) 2 D senatorteplitz@pasenate.com (717) 787-6801
Teplitz, Rob (D) 15 D rtomlinson@pasen.gov (717) 787-5072
Tomlinson, Robert M.(R) 6 R pvance@pasen.gov (717) 787-8524
Vance, Patricia H. (R) 31 R evogel@pasen.gov (717) 787-3076
Vogel, Elder A. (R) 47 R rvulakovich@pasen.gov (717) 787-6538
Vulakovich, Randy (R) 38 R wagner@pasen.gov (717) 787-3817
Wagner, Scott (R) 28 R kward@pasen.gov (717) 787-6063
Ward, Kim L. (R) 39 R washington@pasenate.com (717) 787-1427
White, Donald C. (R) 41 R dwhite@pasen.gov (717) 787-8724
Wiley, Sean (D) 49 D wiley@pasenate.com (717) 787-8927
Williams, Anthony H.(D) 8 D williams@pasenate.com (717) 787-5970 Minority Whip
Wozniak, John N. (D) 35 D wozniak@pasenate.com (717) 787-5400
Yaw, Gene (R) 23 R eyaw@pasen.gov (717) 787-3280
Yudichak, John T. (D) 14 D yudichak@pasenate.com (717) 787-7105

 

Facebook (page and messages) and Twitter.

 You will have to send individual messages to FB.

.

Twitter Quick List  

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination!   https://twitter.com/SenatorAlloway,http://www.twitter.com/SenatorArgall, https://twitter.com/SenatorAument,  

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination! https://twitter.com/SenLisaBaker, http://twitter.com/senbartolotta ,https://twitter.com/enLisaBoscola

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination! https://twitter.com/senatorbrowne, https://twitter.com/jakecorman, https://twitter.com/larryfarnese

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination! https://twitter.com/senatorfolmer,https://twitter.com/waynedfontana,

 https://www.twitter.com/sengreenleaf

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination!  https://twitter.com/SenatorHaywood,https://twitter.com/SenatorHughes, https://twitter.com/SenHutchinson

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination!  https://twitter.com/senatorkitchen,

https://twitter.com/daylinleach,https://twitter.com/McGarrigle26

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination!  https://twitter.com/chuckmcilhinney,

https://twitter.com/SenatorMensch, https://twitter.com/SenJohnRafferty

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination!, https://twitter.com/PASenatorguy, https://twitter.com/SenSabatina, https://twitter.com/senatorscarnati,

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination !https://twitter.com/senatorscavello, https://www.twitter.com/senjudyschwank, https://twitter.com/SenatorSmucker

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination! https://twitter.com/Senatorstefano, https://twitter.com/SenatorTeplitz, https://twitter.com/SenTomlinson,

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination!  https://twitter.com/senatorvance, https://twitter.com/@SenElderVogelJr,  https://twitter.com/SenVulakovich,

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination! https://twitter.com/senscottwagner,  https://twitter.com/SenatorKimWard,https://twitter.com/SenatorWiley

 

NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination!,https://twitter.com/SenTonyWilliams, https://twitter.com/SenatorGeneYaw

 

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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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