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Genealogy: Searching for your Adoption Roots

Adoption and Genealogy Resources at the State Library of Pennsylvania

Adoption presents a challenge to genealogical research. By law, Pennsylvania adoption records are confidential: "All adoption records and other papers shall be withheld from inspection except upon a court order. The adoptee, who is at least 18 years of age, or the adoptee's adoptive parents, if the adoptee is under 18 years of age, may request of the court information concerning the natural parents that will not reveal their identity. Upon such a request of an adoptee who is 18 years of age, or the adoptive parents, if the adoptee is under 18 years of age, the court or the agency which placed the adoptee may attempt to contact the natural parents to obtain their consent to release of their identity. Information shall only be released about parents that agree to the disclosure" (23 Pa. C.S.A. 2905).

Further information about access to adoption records in Pennsylvania is available at 23 Pa.C.S.A. 2905ff.

Guides for Searching 

362.734 K686s
Searching for a Piece of my Soul: Searching for a Missing Family Member or Loved One.  (A guide to sources for finding family members as well as dealing with emotional issues involved with locating the birth family.)  
362.8298 St82Z  St8 
Birthright: the Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents, and Adoptive parents. (Advice on how to search for birth parents, having a support group, and planning for reunion)