In most of the seven states that have granted adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates, the abortion rate has actually declined and adoption rates have risen ("Deadline looming for N.J. adoptees," April 20). New Jersey's proposed law allows birth mothers to choose between no contact, an intermediary, or direct contact. That provision has worked indisputably well in states that passed open-access legislation, without any of the opponents' fears being realized.
The country is quickly coming to a tipping point where the basic civil rights of those who are adopted are recognized. As was true in other civil rights movements, you either have the same rights as every other citizen or you don't. All adoptees should have the right to access their original birth certificates without state interference. Change is slow in coming, but Gov. Christie has a chance to be on the right side of history by signing the New Jersey Adoptees' Birthright Bill.
Tyson Perry, Cherry Hill
The heartbreaking shooting death of Jamara Stevens by her 2-year-old brother - who never should have been able to get his hands on a loaded gun - should encourage others to be more responsible with firearms and, in turn, save the lives of other children ("Mother surrenders in toddler's fatal shooting of 11-year-old," April 17). For too long, the gun lobby has protected gun owners from liability in gun-related deaths, including negligent shootings. Shooting and killing a human being, especially a child, due to an unsecured firearm or the negligent handling of a gun must be considered more than just an accident. Right now, more than 1.5 million children live in households where firearms are stored unlocked and loaded.
Our group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, for which I chair the Pennsylvania chapter (momsdemandaction.org), is calling on state lawmakers to ensure that adults will be held accountable if their negligence results in a child's shooting.
Christine Licata, Harrisburg
Flow on, DRPA aid
As the Delaware River Port Authority continues the policy of fiscal irresponsbility that has given the commuter $1.6 billion of debt, its board just announced the donation of the riverfront Gateway Park to Camden County. The county has been on the receving end of the DRPA's corporate welfare policies before, when it received millions of commuter toll money to revitalize Cooper River Park. Just for kicks, let's inform bridge commuters who pay the $5 toll of the assessed value of that riverfront property being given away.
Carol Rhodes, Barnsboro
Don't forget teachers
Signe Wilkinson's depiction of the School District as a disastrously run airplane had notable culprits missing ("If an airline ran like Philadelphia schools," April 20). To be minimally complete, she might have added a character with a teachers' union T-shirt riding a donkey carrying money bags labeled "pension debt" and bailing out with the parachute tangled.
Anthony P. Schiavo, Lafayette Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org
About a Vlad
Vladimir Putin may not be an intellectual like President Obama, but he has a deep, emotional feel for the exercise of power and a fundamental grasp of his adversaries' frailties ("Gunfight ends Ukraine truce," April 21). One does not have to like or agree with Putin's objectives to have a grudging admiration for his opportunistic geopolitical skills.
Ken Derow, Swarthmore
Shank's mare safe
Since suspending licenses appears not to work, let's confiscate drunken drivers' vehicles after a third conviction ("Keep drunks off the roads," April 21). This won't stop people from drinking, but I have yet to hear of an innocent person being struck and killed by a drunken walker.