Podcast Episode 28: History of Child Adoption in Pennsylvania
An overview of the Pennsylvania laws on child adoption for genealogists.
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
- Summary of federal adoption legislation – childwelfare.gov
- Pennsylvania state laws – legis.state.pa.us
- Online free Pennsylvania historic newspapers – panewsarchive.psu.edu
- PA Department of Health to request adoptee original birth certificate – health.pa.gov
- Books by E. Wayne Carp – Family Matters and Adoption in America
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