Adoption Cont'd
Adoption records are confidential! 

The Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) 
The Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) is both a broad-based cooperative effort and a centralized information and facilitation service funded and overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. SWAN includes county children and youth agencies, juvenile court judges, foster and adoptive parents, private adoption agencies, the Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange and many others, all working together on behalf of children who need permanent homes.
 
Registry
PA Information Registry Birth Parent/Birth Survivor Authorization to Release Information and Registration Form
 
 
Filing the Petition 
The caption for all pleadings and the docket entry regarding an adoption shall be in the name to be taken by the proposed adoptee. Where there was a prior relinquishment or termination proceeding known to the adopting parents, there shall be a reference thereto by number and year in the petition for adoption.
Each child will be assigned a case number even if multiple names are on one petition.
​The original and two copies of the petition shall be filed in the Clerk of Courts Office along with the filing fee for each child.
The Clerk of Courts office will assign a docket number and forward document to the Orphans' Court Judge.
 
An Order of Court will be filed in the Clerk of Courts office. A copy will be forwarded to the Petitioner.
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Hearings are held on Adoption Day which occur every odd month. See Court Calendar for scheduled Adoption Days.
 
Accessing Information from Adoption Records

The Pennsylvania adoption Law (Act 101 of 2010) allows parties to an adoption (adoptee, birth parents, adoptive parents, and some extended family members) to have access to information about their adoption without the need for a court order from a judge. It also provides an option for adoptive parents and birth relatives to enter into a voluntary agreement for ongoing communication or contact between the child and the birth relative or between the adoptive parent and the birth relative.
An individual may find what County handled the adoption by contacting the Department of Vital Statistics in writing. There is no fee for the information but the individual must provide their adoptive name and date of birth. They must also provide a copy of their driver’s license or two other forms of ID (bills, etc) that have their name and address on them and their phone number. 
 
Contents of Written Request: Requestor must file a written request including their name, maiden name, address, date of birth, place of birth, and (adoptive parents’ names). They should indicate whether they want identifying or non-identifying information. [Read More]