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Pennsylvania Adoption Laws

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Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 2905

Information may be accessed by:
  • The adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • If the adoptee is under age 18, his or her adoptive parent or legal guardian
Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 2905

The home study and preplacement report, as required by § 2530, shall be made available to parties to an adoption proceeding only after all identifying names and addresses in the report have been deleted by the court.

Upon petition by any person listed above, the court shall release to the adoptee as much information concerning the adoptee's birth parents as will not endanger the anonymity of the birth parents.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 2905

Any person listed above may petition the court to attempt to contact the birth parents, if known, to obtain their consent to release their identity and present place of residence to the adoptee. The court shall ensure that no one but the birth parents are informed of the adoptee's existence and relationship to them. The petitioner may also request the agency that placed the adoptee to contact the birth parents.

If the court or an agency contacts the birth parents, information relating to both birth parents shall only be disclosed if both birth parents agree to the disclosure. If both of the birth parents are deceased, their identities may be disclosed. If one parent is deceased, his or her identity may be disclosed. If only one parent agrees to the disclosure, then only the information relating to the consenting parent shall be disclosed.

The birth parents may, at the time of the termination of their parental rights or at any time thereafter, place on file a consent form granting permission for the court or the department to disclose any identifying or nonidentifying information about them, at any time after the adoptee reaches age 18 or, if younger than age 18, to his or her adoptive parent or legal guardian.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 2905

No disclosure shall be made regarding the adoptee's original birth certificate unless the disclosure is made pursuant to the provisions of this section.

The birth parents may, at the time of the termination of their parental rights or at any time thereafter, place on file with the court and with the Department of Health a consent form granting permission for the court or the department to disclose the information contained in the adoptee's original birth certificate at any time after the adoptee reaches age 18 or, if younger than age 18, to his or her adoptive parent or legal guardian.

If both parents give their consent, the information on the birth certificate may be disclosed. If only one parent gives consent, only the identity of the consenting parent shall be disclosed.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Adoption Medical History Registry, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Vital Records

Contact:

Debbie Mondillo
Diakon/FDR
P.O. Box 4560
471 JPL Wick Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17111
717-231-6426
Email:


Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)

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