A new law in New Jersey will give adult adoptees the right to get their original birth certificates as of January. A similar law took effect in Ohio last year, and more than 7,000 adoptees have received their birth certificates in one year.
In Pennsylvania, HB 162, sponsored by state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, would provide this same right to adoptees born in the commonwealth and whose rights have been denied since 1984. As with the New Jersey and Ohio laws, HB 162 has a provision whereby a birth parent can have his or her name redacted from the birth certificate for a specific period of time.
The bill passed the House overwhelmingly in the past two sessions and stalled in the Senate. It is now before the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare. It is time for Pennsylvania to pass the bill and join New Jersey, Ohio and several other states in treating all of its citizens equally.
Carolyn Grove, West Grove