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Yes, same sex marriages are legally recognized in Pennsylvania.
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Adoption information is confidential and the records are sealed (impounded) by the Court. Only the Court may access those files. All requests for non-identifying information or the appointment of a search agent are handled by a judge. You may send requests to our office, marked "confidential" and we will direct them to the appropriate judge.
To obtain a Pennsylvania birth certificate based upon a foreign adoption proceeding, Pennsylvania residents must bring all original foreign documents including the adoption certificate and the certified English translations for each document to our office.
Adoptive parent(s) will be asked to complete a form that requires a social security number and a statement of citizenship/residency. This form provides the information required to complete the Vital Records forms. We certify and forward the requisite documents to Vital Records. Adoptive parents will be provided a birth certificate application form and must send it separately to Vital Records with a copy of their photo ID, payment. We are no longer permitted to obtain the birth certificate for you.
Adoption regulations, laws vary from country to country. While adoptions from some countries permit a simple registration, others may require a re-adoption hearing in Pennsylvania courts. You should consult with your adoption agency and an attorney well versed in foreign adoptions immediately to ensure the future of your child's welfare.
This matter requires the services of an attorney. We suggest that you contact your attorney or the Butler County Bar Association at 724-283-7359 for a referral.
See our Marriage Licenses page for more information.
If you applied for your license in Butler County, you will receive one certification of your record via mail after we receive the marriage return from your officiant. Additional copies may be obtained in person for $5 each or by mail for $5 research plus $5 per certification.
Alternatively, you may mail a request for the duplicate certificate/certified copy of the application. There is a $5 research fee plus the cost of the certificate/certification(s). When making a request by mail, payment must be made via U.S. money orders only. We do not accept personal checks for marriage license certifications. This method also requires a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return mailing.
If you applied for your license in another county, you must contact the county where you applied for your license.
You must get your license in the state or country where the marriage will take place. Check with your travel agent for requirements. Foreign countries usually require Apostilles from the Pennsylvania Department of State. Information from them can be obtained by calling 717-787-5280 or by emailing the Pennsylvania Department of State.
No. Your marriage will never be registered anywhere other than the place (county/state/country) where you applied for your license.
No. In Pennsylvania, records of marriage licenses are maintained only in the county where you applied for the license. If you applied in Butler County, but were married in another county within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, your records would only be in Butler County.
You can apply in any county of the Commonwealth and use the license in any other county of the Commonwealth. Just remember where you applied in order to retrieve records for future needs.
Pennsylvania law clearly lists those who are recognized to officiate at marriage ceremonies.
If individuals choose to be married by someone other than those listed as an ordained minister of a regularly established congregation or a civil official authorized by Pennsylvania law, the burden of proof regarding legality (or lack thereof) is on the individuals involved should future issues arise that require a determination of the marriage's validity. We do not determine what is or is not a church/congregation.
No. Pennsylvania courts have ruled common-law marriages after September 17, 2003, are invalid for the state of Pennsylvania.
The 1996 Federal Welfare Reform Act and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Act 98-127 requires the verified social security number of an individual (who has one) in order to apply for a marriage license.
The social security number is protected by federal, state law. It is available only to authorized personnel as specified under the law. It does not appear on the application itself, or on any other public documents of this office.
Federal and state statutes do not permit us to take any marriage application without your social security number.
Provision is made for those who do not have a social security such as non-citizens. The application is taken and the license is issued. All U.S. citizens are required to provide us with their social security number.