Hi all! I have been researching my family tree for a very long time now and I have discovered that my Great Grandmother was adopted when she was an infant and I was wondering if anybody had any ideas as to how I can get her records.
I know she was born in 1910 at the Florence Crittenton home of Erie Pennsylvania.
thanks in advance,
Hi Tracy,
[url=]Pennsylvania Adoption Laws[/url]
The above gives you a description of the laws and a place to contact. Of course they don't seem to recognise that the descendents may wish access when they write the laws. But they do state that if both birthparents are deceased the identifying info may be provided. It is guaranteed they are deceased but whether they will release it to the great great grandaughter of the adoptee is unknown. All you can do is try. They also may not have anything.
Some states only seal adoption records for 99 years - I would ask the people at the department in the link above whether PA has that 99 years on the books. If yes, then even if the state does not have anything if you can track down Florence Critterion (or find out where the records are stored) they would have to give you the info.
Also back in 1910 adoption records were not sealed away - that happened long after. Have you tried just requesting her birth certificate? It may not have been changed so if you know anything...
Be aware though that many adoption files from maternity homes have been either destroyed by "fire or flood" least that is what adoptees are told...
Good luck,
Thank you for the help. I did call the Erie courthouse and talked to a lady there and she said I would have to petition the court by hiring an attorney etc. Now that I know that adoption records were not sealed, I might be able to go to the courthouse and look them up. I have called the home and they told me they can't give me any information because they aren't allowed.
Thanks again, I will keep looking to see if I can figure something out.
Amber - the records may be sealed because they retroactively sealed some.
Go to the court house and ask about the 99 year law to see if they have it.
You should also be able to petition the courts without an attorney. Different state but my petition was simply a form to be filled out.
Kind regards,
I spoke to the adoption investigator for Erie county and she told me that because I am not the adoptee and because the biological mother did not give consent to open them that there is nothing I can do, even though everyone involved is deceased.
I asked her about the 99 year law and she said right now Pennsylvania does not have anything like that. Maybe in the future but not now. So I guess for now I am stuck and can not go any further.
I do want to thank you for your time and assistance.