Podcast Episode 28: History of Child Adoption in Pennsylvania

An overview of the Pennsylvania laws on child adoption for genealogists.

Podcast Episode 28: History of Child Adoption in Pennsylvania

The process and records of child adoption changed over the history of the commonwealth. The genealogical records you can access vary according to the time period. This episode is overview of the major law changes and tips on how to research adoption in PA.

Denys Allen covers for family historians:

  • the four major changes in child adoption laws in Pennsylvania
  • the first thing to do when researching adoption
  • how to request an adoptee’s original birth certificates
  • what can prevent you from getting that original birth certificate
  • and how adoptees used to seek out their birth parents.

Watch on YouTube


00:37 A way to think about adoption research

03:44 Guardianship records

05:35 First state law in 1855

09:50 1870’s – 1930’s

13:18 1970’s – 1990’s

16:19 Current adoption laws and adoptee rights

19:21 Research techniques

24:14 Wrap-up

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