Non-I.D. - What it is and how to try to get it in Pennsylvania

Non-I.D. (non-indentifying information, pronounced "non-eye-dee") is info about the person you seek that will not identify them. It often includes items like, race, eye color, religion, occupation and so forth. It can give you a lot of peace to read non-id because it begins the process of filling in those mental holes. It can also make you a little nuts since even after getting it you are still in the dark. It may irk you further if you coughed up big money for it and get maybe a paragraph of info, most of which you may have already known. Still, most people think it is worth the monetary gamble.


By PA law, adoptees are entitled to non-id, though the law does not define it and doesn't say it's free. There is no provison in the law for birthparents to be entitled to non-id on their biological "child"- having given up rights to them, but many b-parents do successfully get some. Essentially, you are asking for the world and hoping for as much as you can get. Birthparents can easily alter this letter which was written from an adoptee standpoint, but cannot use the state statutes mentioned in this letter since the law does not officially support their right to non-id.


To Whom It May Concern:

My name is (your name). I was born on (your d.o.b) in (your town) PA. I was adopted at birth by (amoms name, nee, maiden), and (adads name) of (city, state aparents lived at adoption). My adoption was finalized in (your county) and was handled by (agency and/or attorney).

According to Pennsylvania Law, S2905, I am entitled to "as much information concerning the adoptee's natural parents as will not endanger the anonymity of the natural parents." I am therefore requesting copies of all original documents with identifying info whited or blacked out. If this request cannnot be honored, I then request answers to the following:

Regarding my natural mother:
1. Age and Date of Birth
2. Name at time of my Birth
3. Height
4. Weight
5. Hair color
6. Eye color
7. Education
8. Religious background
9. Socio-Economic background
10. Ethnic origins
11. Number and ages and sex of siblings that she had
12. Where she was born
13. Where she lived at the time of my Birth (city, county and state)
14. Marital Status
15. Her Parents ages
16. Her parents educational backgrounds
17. Her parents physical descriptions
18. Her parents professions
19 Any and all other non-identifying information

Regarding my natural father:
1. Age and Date of Birth
2. Name at time of my Birth
3. Height
4. Weight
5. Hair Color
6. Eye color
7. Education
8. Religious Background
9. Socio-Economic Background
10. Ethnic Origins
11. Number and ages and sex of siblings he had
12. Where he was born
13. Where he lived at the time of my birth
14. Marital Status
15. His parents ages
16. His parents educational background
17. His parents physical descriptions
18. His parents professions
19 Any and all other non-identifying information.

Also, pursuant to S2905 D 3, I am hereby requesting complete medical histories on my natural mother, natural father, and their families.

I also hereby petition the court under Pennsylvania Law S2905 C 1, that the court, or its designated agency, attempt to contact my natural parents to obtain their consent to release their identity, and present place of residence to myself. The purpose of this contact would be for complete medical history disclosure, and, only if all parties consent, to establish a relationship of some form. However, the second is not a necessity, whereas the first is.

Furthermore, in conjunction with Pennsylvania Law, S2905 C 3, I hereby request that the court orders that the agency that administered my adoption contact my natural parents if the court does not.

Also, pursuant to Pennsylvania Law, S2905, I hereby request that the court examine my file for the purpose of determining whether or not my natural mother and/or father placed on file with the court of the Department of Health, a consent form granting permission for the court or the department to disclose the information contained in my original birth certificate or any other identifying or non-identifying information pertaining to my natural mother and/or father.

[ADOPTEES - You can add this is you are feeling brave. Basically you had legal access to your original birth certificate from roughly 1974 to February 1985 in Pennsylvania, so if you were alive during these years you could have had your OBC and have been stripped of a right you once had. Be shocked if you get anything, but if you want to make a point, your call-]

Finally, please note the following. According to Article 1, Sections 9 & 10 of the United States Constitution, no laws may be enacted ex post facto. As, in the past all original birth certificates were available to the populus of the State of Pennsylvania - inclusive of adoptees and birth parents - I am entitled according to the above named Federal Law to my original birth certificate - not amended. To withhold this from me would be a violation of my Constitutional rights, therefore I hereby request and demand to receive said original birth certificate.

Thank you for your help in this matter.


Your Name

[Text of above letter Dawn R. Henderson 1996-1999.]


Birthparents OR adoptees may also wish to add questions about the adoptee including when and in what county the adoption was finalized, how many adoptions there were (rare for more than one, but it may make you feel better), how long the adoptee was in foster care and where, and the health status post-relinquishment.

Pennsylvania Adoption Search and Education Links


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.

RELINQUISHMENT PAPERS - Like to see an example of PA relinquishment papers?

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.


PA ADOPTION LAW - the easy version or the actual wording.

ADOPTION GROUPS - known in PA that handle search, support, legisilation 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.

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