Pa. bill would reinstate adoptee rights

PA billHARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker has reintroduced legislation to give adoptees access to their original birth certificates.

Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) said his proposal, House Bill 162, would reinstate the right of adoptees who reach the age of 19 to apply for and receive a copy of their original birth certificate without redactions.

Benninghoff said the legislation would allow birth parents to fill out a contact preference form to identify whether or not they wish to be contacted.

Birth parents who submit contact preference forms, even those who choose “no contact” as their preference, would be required to provide medical information to be kept on file for the adoptee.

Under current Pennsylvania law, adoptees may petition the courts for a copy of their birth records, but the request may be denied by a judge or certain birth information may be redacted.

The legislation unanimously passed the House last year, but did not get a vote on the Senate floor.