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For many families, filing the petition in the Orphans' Court is the last step in their long process for adoption. Your adoption may have been facilitated through an intermediary agency. A birth parent's parental rights must be terminated to file an adoption. Investigations and background checks need to be completed. Whatever steps you have gone through, our office will do our best to help you complete the process, but please keep in mind that we are bound by the law and by confidentiality. We will not be able to assist you with all issues.  There are different types of adoptions which include Adult Adoptions, Foreign Adoptions, Foster Parent, Private or Parent Initiated, and Stepparent Adoptions.  

You must provide the completed petition and the fees due to the Orphans' Court office. The original petition and two copies shall be filed along with a self-addressed stamped envelope. The petition will be forwarded to the Judge for action. The matter will be scheduled for a hearing and the petitioner directed to complete the Certificate of Adoption H105 form and present it to the Court at the time of hearing. 

 Once a Decree has been entered, allow 6-8 weeks before requesting a certified birth certificate from the Vital Records. Contact the Department of Health, Division of Vital Records, 101 S. Mercer St, New Castle, PA 16101. Telephone 1-877-PA-HEALTH or 724-656-3100 or go to www.health.state.pa.us/vital records

Adoption records are confidential!