Tom Waring, the Wire
The House Children and Youth Committee held a public hearing on legislation by state Rep. Scott Petri that would make it easier for those seeking to adopt a child to do so in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 1526 is a bill in a package of nine bills that would update Pennsylvania’s adoption laws. Petri’s legislation would reduce the amount of time birth parents have to revoke consent for an adoption from 30 days to five days after a birth mother formally gives her consent. It would also eliminate the timetable for a birth parent or putative father who has consented to an adoption to challenge the validity of that consent.
“Pennsylvania is viewed as archaic in terms of its adoption laws,” Petri said. “Adoptive parents are told in advance that the waiting period during which a birth parent can revoke consent is too long. This causes many to go out of state, where adoption laws are more favorable. My bill would shorten the timeframe for consent, both improving Pennsylvania’s reputation as an adoption-friendly state and increasing the likelihood that Pennsylvania children will be adopted.
“Current laws are discouraging those who would provide children with a loving home. Our laws are also leaving many birth mothers with no choice other than to put their children in foster care. My goal is to make adoption an easier process – getting children in homes where they are wanted and will be loved.”
Related bills in front of the committee would permit adoptive parents to provide reasonable expenses to birth mothers, and would provide for counseling services for birth mothers.