Archdiocese of Philadelphia - Catholic Social Services- Adoption Serv Hot
Catholic Social Services aka Catholic Charities Phila. office
This office provides post-adoption services for people who went thru the CC or CSS system in Philadelphia and most surrounding counties. If you were a Saint Vincent's baby, this is your office. I know many many adoptees who have attempted to contact this place, their old adoption agency, who got put through a wringer to see if they can receive non id (info about their birthparents that does not identify them) as well as search services. It was bad enough that one social worker there with a bigger attitude than most was nicknamed "Cruella DeVil" because her name was similar sounding. This office no longer assists birthparents who wish to find their relinquished offspring, only adoptees.
But the adoptees pay out the wazoo and this agency makes good money off people they formerly placed by providing non id and search- it is a virtual machine. You attend a group meeting where the benefits of using their services are described, and at the end everyone is asked to pull out their checkbooks. If you want search and non id, last I heard it was $450 or $475 for the package. And they require mandatory counseling!
This is just wrong. For starters, they are sitting there with the files and all the names they need. A search with all they know is nowhere near that expensive to conduct. There have been cases where birthparents filed waivers with this agency (which say basically "If my child comes looking, please release my contact info") and that request has not been honored, or the adoptee was still charged for a search even though the agency held current contact info in their hands.
By law, each county orphans' court in PA must provide non-id to adopted adults who request it and whose adoption was finalized in that county. Additionally the law says an adopted adult may request search services as well, and each search request is entirely up to the judge. Very often the county will provide exactly what CC or CSS does, and for a lot less. Catholic Charities never mentions this of course, because they want the dollars most likely.
The PA Catholic Conference has been the number one blockade to getting more progressive laws in the state passed that would allow adopted adults access to their own birth certificates. Why? What will it do to their income stream if people can actually find on their own?