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BASTARD NATION ACTION ALERT: Pennsylvania HB 162 Amended and Gutted. Contact Rules Committee Today! Vote No!

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Pennsylvania HB 162 Rules Committee Action Alert

CALLING ALL BASTARDS!
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE FROM PENNSYLVANIA TO HELP!

Pennsylvania HB 162 Rules Committee Action Alert

Pennsylvania HB 162 has been amended to include a birth parent redaction demand provision! The bill has been committed to the House Rules Committee. Please take action now by contacting the House Rules Committee members. Email addresses, phone numbers, and available Twitter addresses are provided. If the bill passes out of Rules, we will issue an alert for the full House.

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 here.
  • Amended version here.

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 Children and Youth Committee, Pennsylvania House Bill 162 has been recommitted to the Rules Committee.

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copy of their original birth certificate (OBC) to be 18 and have had graduated high school, received a GED, or “legally withdrawn” from secondary schooling.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of the legislation, however any redaction demands filed during that period remain in full force or effect unless later withdrawn.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 Representative,

On June 25th, the Children and Youth Committee amended and passed 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’ due process rights (equal protection under 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 original birth certificate documents our birth, not theirs.

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, will one day have their rights restored to them, equal and on par to the non-adopted. However, this vehicle of HB 162 is not it. I strongly urge your “No” vote on HB 162.
Thank you for your time and service.

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.

Emails (Please, paste into the BCC.)

dreed@pahousegop.com
wadolph@pahousegop.com,
mbaker@pahousegop.com
bcutler@pahousegop.com
bellis@pahousegop.com
eevankov@pahousegop.com
mgabler@pahousegop.com
mgingric@pahousegop.com
rgodshal@pahousegop.com
aharris@pahousegop.com
rljames@pahousegop.com
rkauffma@pahousegop.com
jlawrence@pahousegop.com
tpickett@pahousegop.com
mreese@pahousegop.com
ttoohil@pahousegop.com
mturzai@pahousegop.com
kwatson@pahousegop.com
MCarroll@pahouse.net
dcosta@pahouse.net
PCosta@pahouse.net
FDermody@pahouse.net
FFabrizio@pahouse.net
DFrankel@pahouse.net
NGoodman@pahouse.net
MHanna@pahouse.net
PHarkins@pahouse.net
jharris@pahouse.net
skinsey@pahouse.net
JMarkose@pahouse.net
CParker@pahouse.net
msturla@pahouse.net
RYoungbl@pahouse.net

For those needing commas between emails (Please, paste into the BCC):

dreed@pahousegop.com, wadolph@pahousegop.com, mbaker@pahousegop.com, bcutler@pahousegop.com, bellis@pahousegop.com, eevankov@pahousegop.com, mgabler@pahousegop.com, mgingric@pahousegop.com, rgodshal@pahousegop.com, aharris@pahousegop.com, rljames@pahousegop.com, rkauffma@pahousegop.com, jlawrence@pahousegop.com, tpickett@pahousegop.com, mreese@pahousegop.com, ttoohil@pahousegop.com, mturzai@pahousegop.com, kwatson@pahousegop.com, MCarroll@pahouse.net, dcosta@pahouse.net, PCosta@pahouse.net, FDermody@pahouse.net, FFabrizio@pahouse.net, DFrankel@pahouse.net, NGoodman@pahouse.net, MHanna@pahouse.net, PHarkins@pahouse.net, jharris@pahouse.net, skinsey@pahouse.net, JMarkose@pahouse.net, CParker@pahouse.net, msturla@pahouse.net, RYoungbl@pahouse.net

Phone Numbers
Name
Phone

William Adolph
(717) 787-1248
Matthew Baker
(717) 772-5371
Mike Carroll
(717) 787-3589
Dom Costa
(717) 783-9114
Paul Costa
(717) 783-1914
Bryan Cutler
(717) 783-6424
Frank Dermody
(717) 787-3566
Brian Ellis
(717) 787-7686
Eli Evankovich
(717) 260-6129
Florindo Fabrizio
(717) 787-4358
Dan Frankel
(717) 705-1875
Matt Gabler
(717) 260-6142
Mauree Gingrich
(717) 783-1815
Robert Godshall
(717) 783-6428
Neal Goodman
(717) 787-2798
Michael Hanna
(717) 772-2283
Patrick Harkins
(717) 787-7406
Adam Harris
(717) 783-7830
Jordan Harris
(717) 783-1792
R L James
(717) 789-8188
Robert Kauffman
(717) 705-2004
Stephen Kinsey
(717) 787-3181
John Lawrence
(717) 260-6117
Joseph Markosek
(717) 783-1540
Cherelle Parker
(717) 783-2178
Tina Pickett
(717) 783-8238
Dave Reed,
Committee Chair
(717) 705-7173
Mike Reese
(717) 783-9311
Michael Sturla
(717) 787-3555
Tarah Toohil
(717) 260-6136
Mike Turzai
(717) 772-9943
Katharine Watson
(717) 787-5452
Rosita Youngblood
(717) 787-7727

Twitter:
@repbryancutler
@repevankovich
@reptoohil
@RepTurzai
@RepDomCosta
@RepFrankDermody
@RepDanFrankel
@RepNealGoodman
@RepMikeHanna
@RepHarris
@RepKinsey
@RepJoeMarkosek
@RepCParker
@RepMikeSturla
@RepYoungblood

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Help us celebrate 20 years of bastardy! Bastard Nation is proud to announce the publication of "The Bastard Chronicles: 20 Years of Adoptee Equality Activism in the U.S.and the Birth of a Bastard Nation", Compiled and edited by Marla Paul, "The Bastard Chronicles" is primer for adoptee equality. It features a diverse collection of Bastard theory, and practice, Bastard and Bastard Nation history, legislative and political action, personal stories, art, and literature. It is the public face of Class Bastard written by Bastard Nationals and those we have influenced. Get yours in time for the holidays. Available at Amazon in print and Kindle today. (After the first of the year the print edition will also be available through the Bastard Boutique.

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Proud Bastard Nation Partner: CalOpen

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Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Indiana Open Access

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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.