The Authorized Representative

Act 101 defines an authorized representative as one appointed to conduct a search and who has completed the standardized training program required by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

The authorized representative appointed by the court or an agency assures that no one other than a birth parent is informed of the adoptee’s existence and relationship to birth parent. DHS requires each court and agency to appoint one or more authorized representatives to carry out the requirements of Act 101. Courts and agencies may contract with an authorized representative who is not a staff member.

County agencies may use casework staff, which could include paralegals, to conduct diligent searches to support the work needed by the authorized representatives, but they cannot be assigned as the authorized representatives. Authorized representatives are intended to be experienced in providing adoption services.