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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2012 11:35 AM
From: Representative Anthony M. DeLuca
To: All House members
Subject: Filial Obligations, Title 23 (HB 321 of 2011)
In the near future I will be re-introducing HB321 of 2011; legislation amending Title 23, Domestic Relations, pertaining to filial obligations, by exempting from financial responsibility children who have had no communication with their parents for at least 10 years. Current law is not only outdated and impractical, but it also has vast potential for abuse and to unfairly cause serious harm.

The concept of filial responsibility dates to pre-colonial times and simply does not work in today’s society where many families are fractured, blended or where adult children may not have even grown up in the same households as their parents. Realistically, while we would all like individuals to do the right thing and accept moral responsibility for their parents, it is important to recognize that the passage of a decade without communication between a parent and a child indicates they have parted ways in every respect.

Furthermore, with many people unemployed, or underemployed, placing this additional (and for the most part, unknown) financial burden on individuals, can create serious hardship for them, especially in these trying economic times.

The Commonwealth has other, alternate avenues to seek financial redress in the case of public assistance for indigents and therefore, this legislation would have virtually no impact on the Department of Public Welfare. My legislation would not pose a problem for recovery in those cases.

Introduced as HB224