A new law will soon take effect that reinstates Pennsylvania-born adult adoptees’ rights to access their original birth certificates, according to state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-116, Butler Twp.
Act 127 of 2016 becomes official on Nov. 3, one year after it was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf.
“I was proud to support this legislation, which Pennsylvania-born adoptees around the country have patiently waited for many years to become law,” Toohil said in a news release.
“They finally have been granted the fundamental right to a document that is of such personal significance to them.”
Under previous state law, adoptees could petition the courts for a copy of their original birth records; however, that request could be denied by a judge.
Act 127 reinstates the right of adult adoptees to apply for and receive a copy of their original birth certificate, like all other state residents.
To address privacy concerns, the new law allows birth parents to redact their names. Birth parents who choose not to redact their names can submit a contact preference form to indicate whether they wish to be contacted.
Birth parents who choose to either redact their names or submit a contact preference form — even those who choose “no contact” as their preference — are still required to provide medical history information to be kept on file for the adoptee.