Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption Matters

  • Petitions regarding termination of parental rights and adoption do not have to be presented in Motions Court by counsel.  They can be delivered to the Family Court Filing Office on the third floor of the Brominski Building for scheduling.  
  • Before an adoption can be granted, biological parents’ rights must be formally terminated by the Court regardless of the level of a parent’s involvement in the child’s life.  Please be aware that the surrender of custody rights does not constitute a termination of parental rights.
  • While legal representation is always recommended, pro se Petitions to Confirm Consent and Petitions for Adoption are available from the Family Court Filing Office on the third floor of the Brominski Building.  There is no pro se paperwork available to initiate an Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights.  
  • Adoption and termination documents are filed by the Register of Wills office. There are fees required for the docketing of most adoption and termination paperwork.

Adoption Records (1925 to Present)

  • Adoption records are available from 1925 to the present. No adoption records whatsoever are available prior to 1925.
  • Adoption files are confidential and are not accessible to the general public. Identifying and non-identifying information must be requested, in writing, from the Luzerne County Adoption Liaison Officer.  Written requests for adoption information should be mailed to:
                                                                     Family Court
                                                     Bernard C. Brominski Building
                                                              113 West North Street
                                                             Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
  • Information that may be released to eligible recipients will be provided via correspondence through the US Postal Service. Information will not be disseminated by telephone or electronic mail.
  • Birth certificates are not available through Orphans’ Court. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website for information regarding Pennsylvania birth certificates.