Adoptee Rights Pennsylvania Action Alert: Support HB 1978, Oppose HB 1968

Please help Pennsylvania adoptees fight for their rights. Remember: HB 1968 is the BAD bill. HB 1978 is the GOOD bill, the one we want to move forward. Even if you don’t have a Pennsylvania connection, what happens in one state affects others.
Below are two messages from the folks at PAR, Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights. The most recent is first and is a call to action for today, Monday, August 9th.
Dear Advocates,
As you may have read in our previous email, HB 1968 stands to make
adoption law in Pennsylvania even worse, as well as threatens the
ability of HB 1978 (the good bill) to move forward.
We cannot let this happen.
Monday, August 9th, is Contact Representative Sonney Day.
Representative Sonney is the Primary Sponsor of this bill. Send him
your letters, emails, phone calls and faxes on Monday and tell him to
withdraw this bill!
Hearing all of our voices at once cannot go ignored.
Hon. Curtis G. Sonney
149B East Wing
PO Box 202004
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2004
Phone: (717) 783-9087
Fax: (717) 787-2005
For more help discussing the issues with Rep. Sonney, here are some
resources:
Our education page:
PAR’s Position Statement on HB 1968:
PAR’s call-to-action on HB 1978:
A Guide Letter for drafting letters and emails:
If you decide to call, it is likely that one of his staff members will
answer. Tell them you would like to make a position on a bill. They
will ask you the bill number and then ask your position. They may ask
you to give a short reason as to why you oppose the bill. Should they
ask you a question you can’t answer, refer them to our website or give
Thank you!
PAR Board
Dear Advocates,
As you may have known, there were two bills in the Health and Human
Services Committee that seek to change the portion of adoption law
that governs an Adult Adoptee’s access to identifying information.
HB 1968 is the BAD bill. HB 1978 is the GOOD, equal rights, bill.
Unfortunately, despite all of our outpouring of support for HB 1978,
it is still sitting in the HHS Committee. HB 1968, on the other hand,
has made its way out of committee and is now before the PA House of
Representatives for consideration.
It is of utmost importance that HB 1968 be defeated. HB 1968 not only
does not change the current law much at all; it actually makes it
worse. Worse even yet, should HB 1968 pass, we worry that legislators
(1) will believe that the law is improved when it isn’t and (2) won’t
want to re-address this issue and portion of law, and will leave HB
1978 to die in committee.
We cannot let the law get worse with HB 1968. We cannot let HB 1978
die.
We have created a call-to-action made available at this link:
In the call-to-action you will find:
(1) the text to the bill
(2) bill sponsors to contact
(3) a guide letter to assist those who are new to contacting
legislators in drafting letters and emails.
(4) ways to help PAR and defeat HB 1968
(5) our Position Statement of Opposition to HB 1968 to give you an
overview on the bill and why we oppose it.
(6) information on how to find and contact your representative
If you need help with any of these things. Please do not hesitate to
contact us adopteerightspa@gmail.com If the above link to the call-to-
action does not work when you copy and paste it into your browswer,
please visit our website www.adopteerightspa.org.
Thank you
PAR Board

Gray Market Adoption: The Twin Who Didn’t Die

This is a guest post from Rose, who is kind enough to share her experiences. I hope there is someone out there who can help with her search. Tis the season, and we could use some miracles…
My name is Rose and I am an adoptee who was reunited with my birth mother in 1988 with whom I had a very close relationship until her passing in February 2001. To honor her life and the memory of my twin that I thought was stillborn I wrote the following story:
Two tiny spermatozoa maneuver their way through the dark passageway in search of the prize when suddenly two large oval shaped masses loom in front of them. Each sperm cell burrows its way into the warm gooey side of its respective prize and becomes one with the egg, fertilizing it and thus beginning the cycle of life anew as it has done since the dawn of creation.
The now fertilized eggs begin the trip back down the same way that the sperm traveled up not too long before. As they travel, toward their new home for the next eight months, the eggs begin to divide becoming multi-celled organisms. They eventually reach the uterus where they burrow into the soft lining and continue to grow and divide.
Six weeks pass and by then the host knows of the presence of the two travelers and she welcomes them, but not all are happy about their arrival. The host is told to get rid of the ‘unwanted mass of cells’ but she refuses to. She does her best to protect the two little travelers but it is difficult. On two separate occasions violent earthquakes rock the cocoon that envelopes the twins. They do not know that is happening, only that what was thought to be safe and secure is not. The twins grow more anxious as each day passes, afraid of what will happen next.
Though on the outside, the next six months pass by without incident, all is not well within as the food supply becomes non-existent. The smaller of the twins grows weaker each passing day and it becomes apparent that it will not survive to see the outside world. The Littlest One, as it is called, musters its remaining strength and telegraphs the message to the one in front that it can no longer hang on. As a bright light appears and surrounds The Littlest One, it telegraphs a final good bye to its companion and is lifted by gentle hands into the loving embrace of the Creator and carried into the light. ‘But, wait,’ The Littlest One asks, ‘What about the one left behind? I can still see her.’ ‘Don’t worry’, says the One with the gentle hands. ‘She will be born very soon. She will not know about you until many moons have passed but she will never forget you because she will carry that knowledge deep within herself that you indeed existed. You will not be forgotten. Fear not little one and rest now, for you are home.’
No one knew whether the Littlest One was a boy or girl nor did they care, except for the remaining one. She mourned the loss of her companion, yearning to once again see his/her face. It was the Creator of all Life who reached down and took the Littlest One home, where He named the child and where He continues to gently rock the little waif in His loving arms, even to this day.
With each anniversary of my mother’s passing, and my birthday, I would think of my twin. In December 2007, all of that changed when I found out information that changed my life for ever. While going through paperwork on Mom’s family tree, I came across what I assumed was Mom’s hospital records from my birth. Curious, I started to read and there it was in black and white: a ‘delivered and a healthy male infant…’ My twin, a brother, had been born alive!
I wish that my story had a happy ending and I could report that I found him and we are living happily ever after, but that is not the case. Unfortunately, my twin is just another statistic in the world of gray market adoption. For reasons that are known only to the doctor who delivered my twin and I, he felt that it was necessary to place my twin with another family. The couple who took him only knew that the birth mother could not care for him and he needed to go to a home that could give him what she could not. What the family did not know was that the fact that the birth mother had not given her consent and in fact did not know that the child had been born alive. She had been told that it was stillborn. The hospital records were altered to look as if Mom had given birth to only one child, me. However, fortunately for me the doctor did not completely alter the records so that the records I held in my hand contained the first clues as to what happened those many years ago.
As a result of the deception on the doctor’s part over fifty years ago, finding my twin is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, a haystack marked the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is not only a closed records state, it’s locked tighter than Fort Knox. In fact, it would be easier to get into Fort Knox than it is trying to find out anything from the powers that be. Pennsylvania, as in many of the other closed adoption records states, feels that the records should be permanently sealed to protect the privacy of the birth mother. In my case, protecting her privacy is a moot point as she is now deceased and she never wanted it protected in the first place. The only person that is being protected is the doctor who perpetrated this crime that has affected three innocent people, not to mention our spouses and children.
Since that December night, I have been on a search for one thing and one thing only: The truth. That is all I want to know, for in knowing the truth, I know that I will be set free and no one can take that away from me.
Rose
ISO twin brother, Pottstown Memorial Hospital, Pottstown, PA, March 17, 1959