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New law restores birth certificates after adoption

Pictured at the signing of the Lloyd Jarchow Act are, left to right, Deb Armbruster, Rita LaVenture, Sen. Bob Jauch, Mary Fruehauf, Gov. Scott Walker, Rep. Nick Milroy, Mrs. Tom Larson, Larson staff member Matt Pulda, Rep. Tom Larson and Jauch staff member Lisa Lundquist.

Wednesday was an emotional day for resident Mary Fruehauf and her siblings Deb Armbruster and Bill Jarchow.

A legislative proposal they initiated was signed into law allowing their biological father’s name to be returned to their birth certificates.

Fruehauf and her siblings contacted state Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, a few years ago to explain the difficulty they were experiencing to restore their original birth certificate with their deceased father’s name.

Born to Lloyd and Rita Jarchow, the siblings’ father died while they were very young. Their mother remarried and their stepfather formally adopted the children, altering the birth certificates to remove their biological father’s name and replace it with their stepfather’s. Within a short time span, their mother and stepfather divorced and the children did not continue a relationship with their stepfather.

“Ironically, as easy as it was to have the biological father’s name removed, there is no avenue under current law to have it put back on the birth certificate under any circumstances,” Milroy said.

Fruehauf, her sister and their mother attended this week’s bill signing.

This is a once in a lifetime experience; we have been looking forward to this day for years, they said.

The “Lloyd Jarchow Act” was introduced by Milroy, Rep. Tom Larson, R-Colfax, and Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar. The bill had unanimous support in both houses as it progressed through the legislative process.

Milroy said he has worked on this bill with the sisters for more than four years.

“It’s a perfect example of an issue that is affecting an individual’s day-to-day life that can be corrected by a simple change of the statutes,” Milroy said. “This is an issue that I would never have pursued had my constituent not approached me.”