Originally founded by Pearl S. Buck, the Welcome House adoption program matched more than 7,000 orphans and children from around the globe with adoptive families in the United States. Many of the children were biracial. In June of 2014 the program was phased out because of changes in international adoption regulations.
We are honored by visits and involvement from former Welcome House families as volunteers, speakers, and donors.
Pearl S. Buck International continues to serve adoptive families and adoptees through our work in intercultural programs and exhibits for the community as well as humanitarian aid for children and communities in need from the countries where many of the adoptive children were born.
For those who seek to access adoption records or locate their birth parents we recommend the following resources. (We are not permitted legally to provide details regarding birth parents.)
Orphans’ Court of Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Bucks County Courthouse
55 East Court Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
All requests ultimately have to be physically mailed, in order to be approved by a judge. The request form can be found at www.buckscounty.org/docs/row-officers-documents/requestforadoptioninformationorcontact.pdf?sfvrsn=2
Most of the information that is in the adoption files is the same information that a family would have received at the time of the adoption process. Please remember that Welcome House international adoption case files do not include information that would enable a search for biological family members. At this time, South Korea is the only foreign country who has established a website for initiating a birth search. If you were adopted from South Korea, contact the South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare at www.kadoption.or.kr/en/.
Adult adoptees who were placed in the U.S. from a foreign country, other than South Korea, may be able to secure birth search guidance by contacting the Baltimore, Maryland office of International Social Service-USA Branch (ISS-USA) at firstname.lastname@example.org ISS-USA is a member of a global network of social work agencies providing services in over 120 countries around the world. ISS-USA provides inter-country case management services on any case involving a child with family resources outside of the United States.
Seeking Guidance with an Adoption
Changes in international adoption regulations took effect in July of 2014. The new law requires that all individuals looking to adopt a child internationally to work with a Hague accredited agency regardless of whether or not the placing country is a Hague partner. The following resources may assist you in preparing for your adoption journey:
- The U.S. Department of State website at www.adoptions.state.gov offers many useful resources that will help you learn about international adoptions and how the process works in cooperation with each foreign country.
- The Council on Accreditation’s (COA) website at www.COAnet.org will assist you with identifying a Hague Accredited service provider. COA is the agency entrusted by the USDOS to review, accredit, and monitor adoption service providers. You can use COA’s website to search for an agency working in a particular state by entering the name of the state in the SEARCH field.
- The Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network website at www.adoptpakids.org/swan.aspx is available to assist adoptive families who reside in the State of Pennsylvania.