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Pickett Votes for Bills to Get Children into Loving Homes
3/21/2017
HARRISBURG – As a way to help ensure that Pennsylvania children who are in need of loving homes are adopted, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) voted last week to approve a series of bills designed to improve the way in which adoptions are handled in Pennsylvania.

“Sadly, Pennsylvania has a reputation for being the most unfriendly state in terms of adoption, and we haven’t kept pace with other states in the nation in terms of updating our laws,” Pickett said. “So many couples want to adopt here in Pennsylvania but become increasingly frustrated with our current laws, which are archaic and complicated. This package is designed to help streamline the requirements to help children find their forever homes.”

One of the major bills in the package would shorten the period in which a birth parent can revoke his/her consent to an adoption. Currently, the time period is 30 days in Pennsylvania, which is one of the longest in the country and one of the key reasons why adoptive parents choose to go to other states to adopt. House Bill 58 would shorten that period to 14 days, and the window of time would start after consent for adoption has been given, not from the time the child is born.

Other bills would streamline and expedite the procedures for terminating parental rights; ensure that birth parents, if they so desire, have access to adoption-related counseling services; allow adoptive families to appeal the amount of an adoption subsidy; make it easier for parents who are incarcerated to relinquish their parental rights by allowing correctional staff to witness the individual’s consent to adoption; eliminate the hearing currently required to confirm a consent to adoption; refine the definition of “intermediary” to include a licensed attorney or social worker; and add reasonable living expenses incurred by a birth mother to the list of permissible reimbursable expenses paid by a prospective adoptive family during the course of the adoption process.

“So many children in Pennsylvania are in need of loving homes where they can be part of a permanent family,” Pickett said. “It’s time to update our laws so that we can give even more children that chance.”

The measures now move to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
(717) 705-2094
jkeaton@pahousegop.com
RepPickett.com / Facebook.com/RepPickett
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