Saturday, January 1, 2000

Pennsylvania OBCs


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Pennsylvania Birth Certificates

How to Get Birth Certificate in Pennsylvania if You Were AdoptedHow to Get Your Birth Certificate in Pennsylvania if You Were Adopted

Pennsylvania OBC Access Status: SEALED

adoptee rights birth certificates in pa

The Fight for Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights

General Bill info: Adoptee Access to OBC at age 18

What you can do to help support Adoptee Rights in PA:


Who May Access Original Birth Certificate Information in Pennsylvania

Per PA Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 2937 – No disclosure shall be made regarding an adopted person’s original birth record or regarding the documents or proof on which an amended certificate of birth is based or relating in any way to the birth parents unless the disclosure is made pursuant to the provisions of this section.
The birth parents may, at the time their parental rights are terminated or at any time thereafter, place on file with the court and the Department of Health a consent form granting permission for the court or the department to issue a copy of the summary of the adopted person’s original birth record, disclosing the identity of the birth parents, at any time after the adopted person turns age 18 or, if the adopted person is younger than age 18, to the adoptive parent or legal guardian.
If only one birth parent has filed a consent, a copy of the summary of the original birth record naming only the consenting birth parent shall be issued.
The consent of a birth parent may be withdrawn at any time by filing a withdrawal of consent form with the court and the

Access to Non-Identifying Adoption Information in Pennsylvania

Per PA Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, §§ 2924; 2931 – The following persons may request information from the registry, the court that finalized the adoption, or the agency that coordinated the adoption:

  • An adopted person who is at least age 18
  • An adoptive parent of an adopted person who is younger than 18, incapacitated, or deceased
  • A legal guardian of an adopted person who is younger than 18 or incapacitated
  • A descendant of a deceased adopted person
  • The birth parent of an adopted person who is at least 21
  • A parent of a birth parent of an adopted person who is at least 21 if the birth parent consents or is incapacitated or deceased
  • A birth sibling of an adopted person, if both the birth sibling and adopted person are at least 21, and:
         The birth sibling remained in the custody of the birth parent and the birth parent                     consents or is deceased or incapacitated.
          Both the birth sibling and adopted person were adopted out of the same birth family.
          The birth sibling was not adopted out of the birth family and did not remain in the                   custody of the birth parent.

A person listed above may request non-identifying or identifying information about or contact with the following persons:

  • An adopted person who is age 21 or older
  • A birth parent of an adopted person
  • A parent of a birth parent of an adopted person who is age 21 or older, if the birth parent consents or is incapacitated or deceased
  • A birth sibling of an adopted person, if both the birth sibling and the adopted person are age 21 or older, and:
         The birth sibling remained in the custody of the birth parent and the birth parent                    consents or is deceased or incapacitated.
         Both the birth sibling and adopted person were adopted out of the same birth family.
         The birth sibling was not adopted out of the birth family and did not remain in the                    custody of the birth parent.

Per PA Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, §§ 2925; 2932; 2934  – Nonidentifying information available to the registry shall be provided to the requester within 30 days of the request.
Before the release of information, the department shall remove any identifying information unless release has been authorized in writing by the subject of the information.
When the court or agency receives a written request for nonidentifying information, it shall, within 30 days, notify the requester of its receipt of the request. The court or agency shall, within 120 days, review its records and furnish to the requester any information concerning the adoption that will not compromise the confidentiality of the relationship between the adopted person and the adopted person’s birth parent.

PA Adoptees Obtaining Medical Information

Medical and social history information may be filed with the court that terminated parental rights or finalized the adoption, the agency that coordinated the adoption, or the information registry.
The following persons may at any time file, update, and request medical and social history information:

  • An adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • An adoptive parent of an adopted person who is younger than 18 or incapacitated
  • A descendant of a deceased adopted person
  • A birth parent
  • A legal guardian of an incapacitated birth parent
  • A survivor of a deceased birth parent

When the court or agency receives a written request for medical and social history information, it shall notify the requester within 120 days whether it possesses any medical and social history information related to the adoption.
For nonidentifying information, the court or agency shall, within 120 days of locating the information, review and furnish to the requester any medical and social history information that will not compromise confidentiality.
If the requester is an adopted person seeking information about a birth parent who is deceased, any information on file regarding the deceased birth parent may be disclosed.

PA Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Per PA Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, §§ 2912; 2925; 2933; 2934 – The Department of Public Welfare shall establish a Statewide confidential registry for the retention of medical and social history information for all adoptions finalized or registered in the State.
For identifying information from the registry, if an authorization form is on file, the department shall notify the requester within 30 days whether information may be released. If there is no authorization on file, the department shall designate an authorized representative to use reasonable efforts to locate the subject of the request and obtain written authorization before any information is released.
An authorization form allowing the release of identifying information may be withdrawn at any time by the person who signed the form.
The court or agency, within 120 days of receiving a written request for identifying information or contact, shall determine whether it has any records relating to the adopted person and conduct a good faith search for identifying information. A representative shall review the court and agency record for identifying information regarding the birth or adoptive family and shall determine whether an authorization form has been filed.
If the requester is an adopted person seeking the identity of a birth parent, the identity of and any information about a deceased birth parent may be disclosed. If the requester is an adopted person seeking the identity of both birth parents and only one birth parent agrees to the disclosure, only the information relating to that birth parent shall be disclosed.
When the court or agency receives a written request for medical and social history information, it shall notify the requester within 120 days whether it possesses any information. For identifying information, if an authorization form is on file, the information will be released.

Where the Adoption Information Can Be Located in Pennsylvania


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