The relinquishment papers move the child from the birthparent to custody of the agency.
My birthmother signed hers at the agency office and there was a hearing in front of a judge. According to documents she was still a mess from the birth, had headaches from the saddle block anesthesia, and was crying hysterically.
My friend, a birthmom named Carol, had to sign hers while under the influence of drugs and while in active labor.
The relinquishment papers below are actual copies from a birthmother from Pittsburgh. They include her petition requesting the child be permitted to go to custody of the agency, as well as the agency attesting to their agreement to this plan.
There is mention of a decree in here- DON'T confuse this with the decree which finalizes the adoption- that decree is issued generally by the county in which the adoptive parents lived at the time they got the child.
While reading, keep your eyes peeled for promises of confidentiality, implied or overt.
Uh, did you catch that promise of lifetime confidentiality? No? Me neither. That's because IT ISN'T THERE.
That means we have laws built around something that doesn't even exist. That's scary.
PENNSYLVANIA ADOPTION MAIN SEARCH MENU PAGE
PAFind EMAIL LIST - a FREE e-mail list of PA searchers helping one another.
STATE REGISTRIES AND POLITICS - Why neither are helping PA searchers much.
YOUR OLD AGENCY - Backtrack here for possible help in search.
COUNTY OF FINALIZATION - Some county specific info. You need to find this out and it may not be where you think.
THE DECREE - Adoptee is adopted in the county of finalization, records now sealed. Want to see a decree?
FORMAL PETITION - Learn how some counties make it a bit harder.
NON-ID - Learn what it is, and how to ask for it.
WAIVERS OF CONFIDENTIALITY - File them!
PA ADOPTION LAW - the easy version or the actual wording.
ADOPTION GROUPS - known in PA that handle search, support, legislation or all three.
SEARCH BASICS - In addition to this whole menu, here's a list of ways to search and try to be found.
PHONE CALL AND LETTER IDEAS - When you are close to making that respectful first contact.
SEARCH SUCKS! I NEED A *@$#! BREAK! - Take one, pal.
HIRING A SEARCHER OR PI? - Caveat emptor! Read some parameters and cautions.
THE UNIFORM ADOPTION ACT or UAA - Learn more about "The Evil Act". Coming to PA or your state?
CITY PAPER - Coverage of adoption search, law and the UAA in PA.
PERSONAL ESSAY - on adoption with info for all sides of the triad.
REGISTRIES AND GENERAL (NON-PA) ADOPTION STUFF - links to varied good places.