REQUESTS FOR ORIGINAL NONCERTIFIED
BIRTH RECORDS BY ADOPTED INDIVIDUALS
On Nov. 3, 2016, Governor Wolf signed Act 127 of 2016. This Act outlines the process and requirements for adopted individuals to receive a noncertified copy of their original birth record. This Act went into effect on Nov. 3, 2017.
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INFORMATION FOR BIRTH PARENTS
Birth parents wishing to redact their names from the noncertified copy of the original birth record for an adopted individual must submit a Name Redaction Request (NRR) Form. This form must be received and processed by the Department of Health, Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries (BHSR) prior to BHSR processing the Adoptee's Application for Noncertified Copy of Original Birth Record. Once a birth parent's name has been redacted, it will not be included on the noncertified copy of the original birth record provided to the adopted individual.
In addition to completing the NRR form, birth parents must also complete the Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry's Birth Parent/Birth Parent Survivor Authorization to Release Information and Registration Form (CY 910). To meet the requirements of the NRR process, you must complete at a minimum Sections I, II or III, and VI of this form (CY 910). This form (CY 910) must be on file with the Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry for us to accept and process your Name Redaction Request Form.
Each birth parent wishing to redact his/her name from the original birth record must submit their own separate NRR form.
BHSR is planning to process all NRR forms within two weeks of receipt. If volumes are higher than anticipated, this processing time may be revised. Please check back to this page for updated processing times.
A fee is not associated with the filing of NRR forms.
BHSR will primarily communicate with a birth parent via the email address supplied by the birth parent on this form. The birth parent must respond to all email requests for additional information within 72 hours of the time the email is sent by BHSR to ensure timely processing of the NRR form.
Birth parents who do not supply us with an email address will be contacted by phone. Please note that we will be placing our calls from the following phone numbers: 724-656-3100 or toll-free 844-228-3516.
Birth parents who do not respond to our email or phone inquiries will receive written communications from us via first-class mail. If we receive no response to attempts to contact you for additional information, we will reject your request for redaction. Please note that all issues surrounding your Name Redaction Request Form must be resolved for BHSR to process your request.
BHSR will provide you with confirmation once we have processed your request. This confirmation will follow the communication methods as outlined above.
HOW TO WITHDRAW A PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED NRR
To withdraw a previously submitted name redaction request, the birth parent must submit a Name Redaction Request Form indicating their desire to include the name on future issuances of the noncertified copy of the original birth record. Processing times and communications methods will follow the same process as outlined above.
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INFORMATION FOR THE ADOPTED INDIVIDUAL
Individuals who are adopted must submit an Adoptee's Application for Noncertified Copy of Original Birth Record. Eligible applicants include the adopted individual and the lineal descendants of the adopted individual. No other individual, including adopted parents or birth parents, will be considered eligible.
If you were born outside of Pennsylvania, your original birth record is not available to us. Please contact the state or country of your birth to inquire about the possibility of obtaining a copy of your original birth record.
Please allow 45 days processing time for applications submitted on or after Nov. 3, 2017. If you applied prior to Nov. 3, 2017, you will receive your noncertified copy of original birth record by Dec. 18, 2017.
A $20 fee applies for each application received. To streamline this application process, we will release only one copy per application. Please photocopy this document if you need multiple copies.
Applications received by ineligible applicants will be rejected and the fee returned.
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IF YOU ARE DETERMINED TO BE ELIGIBLE
Applications received from eligible applicants with the required fee and identification will be processed within 45 days of receipt. Once your application has been accepted, we will conduct an extensive research of your record based upon the information you have provided on your application. You must complete all information listed under the "Information on Official Birth Record (Post-Adoption Record)" section of the application for us to accept your application.
Please complete as much information as you may know under the "Information on Original Birth Record (Pre-Adoption Birth Record)" section of the form. We understand that you may not know this information.
Based on the results of our research, we will send you one of the following two documents:
1. Noncertified Copy of Original Birth Record
If your birth record was registered in Pennsylvania, we will issue you a noncertified copy of your original birth record if our records confirm that an adoption was documented by our office. This document will include your original birth name, birth date, county of birth, and name(s) and age(s) of birth parents.
This noncertified copy represents the initial information reported to us at time of your birth. It will include any parent name listed on your birth record unless we have processed a Name Redaction Request (NRR) form from the birth parent(s) listed on your original birth record. Any birth parent name redacted on the noncertified copy will be displayed as “NAME REDACTED”.
If the name of a birth parent was not recorded at time of your birth, the noncertified copy of original birth record will indicate “NOT RECORDED” by that field.
If you have been adopted multiple times, we are only authorized to release to you the noncertified copy of your original birth record. You will not be able to receive noncertified copies of your birth record based upon prior adoptions.
If the noncertified copy of original birth record matches the current copy of your birth certificate, then our records do not document an adoption. Depending on the timeframe during which your birth and/or adoption took place, we may not have original birth information or the adoption information on record for you, or you may not be adopted. If an adoption has not been filed with us, you will receive a copy of the official birth certificate.
2. Statement of No Record Found
If we are unable to locate a birth record for you, we will issue to you a statement of no record found. Please note that we will not have a birth record for you if you were born outside of Pennsylvania even if you were adopted in Pennsylvania.
Due to the extensive research that goes into these requests, the application fee will still apply.
WHAT YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE IF YOU ARE DETERMINED TO BE ELIGIBLE
Certified copies of original birth record will not be issued. Act 127 only authorizes us to release noncertified copies of original birth records to eligible applicants. It does not authorize us to release any information on your birth parent(s) or other birth family members, including copies of their birth and/or death records. Act 127 does not authorize us to release information to you regarding name changes or parental changes registered through other amendment processes.