House passes measure to protect adoption records
State Rep. Chelsa Wagner, D-Allegheny, said the House has unanimously passed a measure she co-sponsored that would require adoption agencies that are closing to file a plan with the state Department of Public Welfare for how their records would be transferred to another qualified agency.
The bill (H.B. 1907) would also require DPW to notify each county court of common pleas of the name, address and phone number of the agency that closed, as well as the agency to which the records were transferred, within 30 days following the approval of the agency closure plan. Wagner said records would be labeled to identify the court which finalized the adoption or where a petition has been filed to either terminate parental rights or adopt a child.
"Currently if an adoption agency closes, its records could be lost forever because there is no law requiring them to provide for proper transfer or storage," Ms. Wagner said. "These records could be vital to adopted people who need their medical records or who someday want to reunite with their birth families."
The bill awaits discussion in the Senate.