House Approves Bill to Give Adoptees the Right to Fully Access Their Birth Records in PA
Legislation that would grant adult adoptees born in Pennsylvania the right to fully access their original birth record information has been approved recently by the Pennsylvania House.
Bill sponsor Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre & Mifflin) said adoptees are often unfairly denied access to basic birth record information and his bill would grant these people the right to know who they are and where they came from.
“House Bill 162 is now going to allow Pennsylvanians that were born in Pennsylvania, regardless of where they live, access to their original birth certificate. Currently, adoptees do not have that access, while people who live with their natural born parents or those who have been through the foster care system, can have that access. It’s about fairness. It’s about being able to see their name, their birth date, and their birth place on the same piece of paper with their birth mother. It’s again, the age old question: Who am I? Where was I born? We all want to know it, and these people are being told by their own government they can’t have access to it.”
Under current Pennsylvania law, adoptees may acquire a copy of their birth records, but certain information like the name of the birth mother or father may be withheld if the birth parents do not agree to have that information disclosed. Benninghoff’s legislation now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
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