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…
- 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
|Alloway, Richard L. (R)||33||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-4651||Majority Caucus Secretary|
|Argall, David G. (R)||29||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-2637||Policy Committee Chair|
|Aument, Ryan P. (R)||36||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-4420|
|Baker, Lisa (R)||20||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-7428|
|Bartolotta, Camera (R)||46||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-1463|
|Blake, John P. (D)||22||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-6481||Appropriations Committee Vice Chair|
|Boscola, Lisa M. (D)||18||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-4236||Policy Committee Chair|
|Brewster, James R. (D)||45||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-5580|
|Brooks, Michele (R)||50||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-1322|
|Browne, Patrick M. (R)||16||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-1349||Majority Appropriations Committee Chair|
|Corman, Jake (R)||34||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-1377||Majority Floor Leader|
|Costa, Jay (D)||43||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-7683||Floor Leader|
|Dinniman, Andrew E.(D)||19||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-5709|
|Eichelberger, John H.(R)||30||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-5490|
|Farnese, Lawrence M.(D)||1||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-5662||Minority Caucus Secretary|
|Folmer, Mike (R)||48||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-5708|
|Fontana, Wayne D. (D)||42||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-5300||Minority Caucus Chair|
|Gordner, John R. (R)||27||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-8928||Majority Whip|
|Greenleaf, Stewart J.(R)||12||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-6599|
|Haywood, Art (D)||4||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-1427|
|Hughes, Vincent J. (D)||7||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-7112||Minority Appropriations Committee Chair|
|Hutchinson, Scott E.(R)||21||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-9684|
|Kitchen, Shirley M. (D)||3||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-6735|
|Leach, Daylin (D)||17||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-5544|
|McGarrigle, Thomas J.(R)||26||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-1350|
|McIlhinney, Charles T.(R)||10||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-7305||Caucus Administrator|
|Mensch, Bob (R)||24||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-3110||Majority Caucus Chair|
|Pileggi, Dominic (R)||9||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-4712|
|Rafferty, John C. (R)||44||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-1398|
|Sabatina, John P. (D)||5||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-7084|
|Scarnati, Joseph B. (R)||25||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-8925||President Pro Tempore|
|Scavello, Mario M. (R)||40||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-5839|
|Schwank, Judith L. (D)||11||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-6535|
|Smucker, Lloyd K. (R)||13||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-7175|
|Stefano, Patrick J. (R)||32||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-1141|
|Tartaglione, Christine M. (D)||2||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-6801|
|Teplitz, Rob (D)||15||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-5072|
|Tomlinson, Robert M.(R)||6||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-8524|
|Vance, Patricia H. (R)||31||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-3076|
|Vogel, Elder A. (R)||47||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-6538|
|Vulakovich, Randy (R)||38||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-3817|
|Wagner, Scott (R)||28||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-6063|
|Ward, Kim L. (R)||39||Remail@example.com||(717) 787-1427|
|White, Donald C. (R)||41||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-8724|
|Wiley, Sean (D)||49||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-8927|
|Williams, Anthony H.(D)||8||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-5970||Minority Whip|
|Wozniak, John N. (D)||35||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-5400|
|Yaw, Gene (R)||23||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||(717) 787-3280|
|Yudichak, John T. (D)||14||Demail@example.com||(717) 787-7105|
You will have to send individual messages to FB.
Twitter Quick List
NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination! https://twitter.com/senatorkitchen,
NO on HB162! Adoptees deserve equality not discrimination! https://twitter.com/chuckmcilhinney,
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