New bill could make it easier to adopt Pennsylvania children

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ThinkstockPhotos: Adoption(ThinkstockPhotos)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Thousands of children are currently awaiting adoption in Pennsylvania, and there’s a new bill aimed at making it easier for those seeking to adopt, to do so here in the state.

On Wednesday, The House Children and Youth Committee held a public hearing on legislation by Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks). Advocates say House Bill 1526 is a key 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 in a release, “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.”

Related bills before the committee today would allow adoptive parents to provide reasonable expenses to birth mothers, and would provide for counseling services for birth mothers.