PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Since 1985, Pennsylvania has closed adoption records to adoptees, but a a new bill introduced by State Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff would allow adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificates.
KDKA’s Robert Mangino spoke with licensed psychologist Dr. Mary O’Leary Wiley about why adoption records were closed and the importance of the changes that could take place.
“When all of the adoptions records were closed back in 1985, adoptees’ birth certificates were sealed,” explained Dr. O’Leary Wiley, “and the government’s intention was to decrease abortions during that time.”
This process also included foster children who were adopted. Adoptees were issued certificates with their adoptive parent’s names instead of their biological parents.
Dr. O’Leary Wiley said, “If the new bill is put into action, it would only allow adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate, not necessarily give out medical history or help them get into contact with their biological families.”
When asked why adoptees would want to seek more information, Dr. O’Leary Wiley said, “Most of those who are adopted want to contact their families and also discover their medical history or historical background. Over 99 percent of the birth parents want to have contact with their children at some point.”
The doctor believes the House could vote on the introduced bill from as soon as a few weeks to possibly a few months.
Listen to Robert Mangino from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. every weeknight on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.