1Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, further providing for the definition
3of "child abuse."

4The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
5hereby enacts as follows:

6Section 1. The definition of "child abuse" in section
76303(b) of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is
8amended to read:

9§ 6303. Definitions.

10* * *

11(b) Child abuse.--

12(1) The term "child abuse" shall mean any of the 

14(i) Any recent act or failure to act by a
15perpetrator which causes nonaccidental serious physical
16injury to a child under 18 years of age.

17(ii) An act or failure to act by a perpetrator which
18causes nonaccidental serious mental injury to or sexual

1abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of

3(iii) Any recent act, failure to act or series of
4such acts or failures to act by a perpetrator which
5creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or
6sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18
7years of age.

8(iv) Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator
9constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or
10the failure to provide essentials of life, including
11adequate medical care, which endangers a child's life or
12development or impairs the child's functioning.

13(1.1) It shall be considered child abuse if a child
14tests positive at birth for a controlled substance as defined
15in section 2 of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64),
16known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic
17Act, unless the child tests positive for a controlled
18substance as a result of the mother's lawful intake of the
19substance as prescribed.

20(2) No child shall be deemed to be physically or
21mentally abused based on injuries that result solely from
22environmental factors that are beyond the control of the
23parent or person responsible for the child's welfare, such as
24inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical

26(3) If, upon investigation, the county agency determines
27that a child has not been provided needed medical or surgical
28care because of seriously held religious beliefs of the
29child's parents, guardian or person responsible for the
30child's welfare, which beliefs are consistent with those of a

1bona fide religion, the child shall not be deemed to be
2physically or mentally abused. The county agency shall
3closely monitor the child and shall seek court-ordered
4medical intervention when the lack of medical or surgical
5care threatens the child's life or long-term health. In cases
6involving religious circumstances, all correspondence with a
7subject of the report and the records of the Department of
8Public Welfare and the county agency shall not reference
9"child abuse" and shall acknowledge the religious basis for
10the child's condition, and the family shall be referred for
11general protective services, if appropriate.

12Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.