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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 7, 2015 10:55 AM
From: Representative Anthony M. DeLuca
To: All House members
Subject: Subject: Filial Obligations, Title 23 (HB 224 of 2013
In the near future I will be re-introducing HB224 of 2013; legislation amending Title 23, Domestic Relations, pertaining to filial obligations. This legislation removes the requirement of financial obligation for family members for the care of indigent parents.

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 there may very well have been little or no communication between a parent and a child or they have parted ways in every respect.

Current law gives the Department of Human Services authority to go after adult children to collect money for indigent parents care. This law is not only outdated and impractical, but it also has vast potential for abuse and to unfairly cause serious harm. Furthermore, with many people unemployed, or underemployed, placing this additional financial burden on individuals (unknown to many of those people), 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 Human Services. My legislation would not pose a problem for recovery in those cases.

I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor of this legislation. Thank you.

Introduced as HB242