PENNSYLVANIA: Bastard Nation Letter to Rep. Oliver: Please schedule hearings for HB1978

This is the post I sent to Rep. Oliver today on behalf of Bastard Nation and myself. Please feel free to post your letters here on on the Bastard Nation blog

Thank you all.


Dear Chairman Oliver:

I write today to urge you to schedule hearings for HB 1978, a bill that if passed would restore the right that all Pennsylvania adoptees once enjoyed: the right to his or her own original birth certificate (obc) with no conditions or restrictions. That is, to authorize the state to treat the adopted on the same legal level as those who are not adopted.

HB 1978 is an important bill. It is being watched by adoption advocacy and reform groups and individuals across the country.

The sealing of birth records is an archaic hold-over from an age when adoption was held shameful. That day has passed.

The restoration of the right of adoptees to their obcs is the keystone of ethical adoption practice not only in Pennsylvania but throughout the country. . As someone whose birth and adoptive families have deep Pennsylvania roots (Pittsburgh, Greenville and Bucks County), I would love to see Pennsylvania join the ranks of states that believe that the adopted and not-adopted should be treated equal under law. As an adoptee rights advocate, I am happy to see legislators in Pennsylvania come to the forefront to achieve that equality.

Please join us . Please schedule hearings for this most important bill.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Marley Greiner
Executive Chair
Bastard Nation: the adoptee rights organization

Bastard Nation is dedicated to the recognition of the full human and civil rights of adult adoptees. Toward that end, we advocate the opening to adoptees, upon request at age of majority, of those government documents which pertain to the adoptee’s historical, genetic, and legal identity, including the unaltered original birth certificate and adoption decree. Bastard Nation asserts that it is the right of people everywhere to have their official original birth records unaltered and free from falsification, and that the adoptive status of any person should not prohibit him or her from choosing to exercise that right. We have reclaimed the badge of bastardy placed on us by those who would attempt to shame us; we see nothing shameful in having been born out of wedlock or in being adopted. Bastard Nation does not support mandated mutual consent registries or intermediary systems in place of unconditional open records, nor any other system that is less than access on demand to the adult adoptee, without condition, and without qualification.

3 Replies to “PENNSYLVANIA: Bastard Nation Letter to Rep. Oliver: Please schedule hearings for HB1978”

  1. Here is my letter to the PA Rep.

    Honorable Representative Oliver:

    Re: HB 1978

    As Chair of the House Health & Human Services Committee, I urge you to schedule a public hearing on HB 1978 just as quickly as possible The bill deserves a public hearing so that adopted adults and birth parents everywhere can voice their opinions on this bill.

    I am a senior citizen, adopted in infancy. I totally support HB 1978, sponsored by Representative Benninghoff, because it would restore to all adopted adults their ability to request and receive their original birth certificate without any restrictions.

    I believe that it is unjust to treat adopted adults differently simply because of the circumstances surrounding their births.

    Anita Walker Field

  2. Thanks for a great letter and position statement on behalf of BN. Those of us with Pennsylvania adoptions are fighting hard to get HB 1978 out of committee.

    We appreciate the support!

  3. My letter to Representative Oliver:

    Dear Representative Oliver:

    I am writing to urge you to schedule hearings for HB 1978.

    A civil right must be restored to ALL PA adoptees. They should be treated like first-class citizens and be able to request and receive their original birth certificate just like those who have not been adopted.

    Thank you in advance for all consideration shown.

    Sincerely yours,
    Mary Lynn Fuller

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