A Sad Day in Pennsylvania: Justice once more denied

HB 162, the clean OBC access bill already passed by the Pennsylvania House, has gone done to defeat under Disclosure Veto. Sen. Mensch offered an incredibly ugly amendment which passed that “opens a window” of three years for a birth parent to file a disclosure veto. If it is filed, the OBC remains sealed. If one is not filed for three years, then the OBC is available. Continue Reading →

Bastard Nation Action Alert: Vote Do Pass on HB 162!

HB 162 is being heard Tuesday September 16 in the Senate Committee on Aging and Youth. This is a clean bill that will restore the right of access without restriction to all Pennsylvania-born adoptees to their original birth certificates. The bill has already passed the House and is now being challenged by Catholic Charities, the ACLU and anti-abortion groups in the Senate. It is imperative that Pennsylvania legislators know that OBC access is a civil right that must be restored to all adopted adults. Continue Reading →

Pennsylvania HB 162: My personal testimony in support with addenda

This is the testimony in support of PA HB 162 I submitted for the March 18, hearing before the Senate Committee on Aging and Youth. I am re-submitting it for the hearing scheduled for September 16, 2014 with an addenda regarding arguments about abortion brought forward by Catholic Charities. Continue Reading →

Pennsylvania: My personal testimony in support of HB 162

For 60 years, the original birth certificates of Pennsylvania adoptees were available to them upon request. Up until 1985 all Pennsylvania adoptees were relinquished into an adoption system that guaranteed them the right to their own OBC. Unfortunately, the legislature that year decided to void that right retroactively, creating a legal class of citizens once permitted, then barred from owning an intimate public document about themselves that the state’s not-adopted can get for the asking. Some of those disenfranchised in 1985 may be at this hearing today. Continue Reading →

Pennsylvania: “Creating another generation of victims is not the answer.” A letter to PA Coalition Against Rape from Kristi Lado

One of the worst aspects of sexual violence is being treated like a “thing” with no feelings. Those of us who were conceived by rape deal with the same issue. We are called the “product,” “rape babies,” and worse names that imply we are something less-than-human. By suggesting that it is acceptable to strip us of a right that every other PA citizen enjoys, not only contributes to this myth but is an endorsement of discrimination. All of this based on the idea that a fraction of relinquishing mothers may not want to know their children? Continue Reading →

Pennsylvania: PA-NOW Joins Catholic Bishops. Opposes OBC Access

Late Thursday night I learned that Pennsylvania HB 162, a clean bill to restore the right of OBC access to Pennsylvania adoptees, may be in trouble. Last October the bill passed the House 197-0 and seemed to have pretty clear sailing in the Senate where a committee vote is scheduled for March 18. Suddenly the Catholic Bishops, ACLU, and a cranky clerk of courts, heretofore asleep at the wheel, noticed that adoptees are poised to appear uninvited and unannounced on the doorstep of cowering but brave birthparents across the state, and something had to be done to stop this travesty. Continue Reading →