Adoption Search and Reunion


STATES' LAWS & LINKS




Alabama Law

In January 1, 1991, a change was made so that original birth certificates are NOT available to adult adoptees. Now the law says that mature adoptees age 19 or older can receive their identifying information only when there is a waiver on file for consent to release the information in the adoptee's file. When a consent isn't in the file, the adoptee can petition the Court to appoint an intermediary to try to contact the birth parents to see whether or not they object to releasing of identifying information. If they object, are deceased, or can't be found the Court will weigh the interests and rights of the parties to determine whether the information should be released to the adoptee. The Court holds the right of restricting use of identifying information, and prohibiting contact between the adoptees and birth families.

** As of May 25 2000:

Alabama is again an OPEN state, adoptees may obtain a copy of their original birth certificate.
House Bill 690, entitles adopted adults age 19 or older to a copy of their original birth certificate and also other documents from the original record.

Alabama has a state reunion registry and a Confidential Intermediary ( CI ) System.





    ALASKA LAW

    Alaska is an "open state." That means, when a person turns 18 they can write to the Dept of Vital Statistics for their original birth certificate that should have their birth name, birthmother's name, and maybe even the birthfather's name on it.

    The law permits adoptees who are age 18 or older access to their original birth certificates upon request. They can also receive any change of address or name that is in the file. Birth parents may receive the identifying information on their child when an adoptee is age 18 or older, if there is a request on file for such disclosure by an adoptee.

    Adoptive parents and adult adoptees may receive non-identifying information including the following: heritage- ethnic background- tribal membership, medical information, age of the parent at the time of relinquishment, educational background, religion, a physical description, existence of siblings, whether birth parent was alive at the time of adoption, and any information that may have been provided by the birth parent for the adoptee, such as letters, photographs, and a statement concerning the reasons for the adoption.

    State reunion registry
    Department Health, Social Services Post Adoption Unit, Pouch H-05, Juneau, AK, 99811, 907-465-3631



    Alaska Legal Resource Center

    SLED Alaska's Library Doorway

    Alaska's Official Home Page

    Alaska State Library





    Arkansas Law


    In Arkansas The agencies are required to put together non-identifying information including: genetic, health and social history of the birth family. Upon request they must make it available to the adoptee. They must also give you information that has been added to the file by a birth family member since the time of the adoption. This information is available to adoptive parents and adoptees after the adoptee has turned 18.

    Arkansas has a Confidential Intermediary (CI) Program. When contacting the state be certain you ask about the program. Arkansas also has a Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry. Birth family members who are related within the second degree, defined as biological siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents of the adoptee, can register for a possible reunion. A one-hour counseling requirement is in place. Information about the registry may be obtained through the Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services, Permanency Planning Unit, P.O. Box 1437, Slot 808 Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-1437.

    Mutual Consent Voluntary Registry, 626 Donaghey Plaza South, P.O. Box 1437, Little Rock, AR 72203-1437




California Law


California Law varies from county to county. Some counties in CA are considered to be OPEN COUNTIES ie. These counties consider "the adoptive parents parties to the adoption, and therefore entitled to the court records." Please refer to the websites linked below for better information.






Connecticut Law


The non-identifying social, genetic, and the health history concerning birth parents is available to adult adoptees, adult adoptable persons and adoptive parents. Non-identifying information is defined to include the following: the age of birth parent at the time of surrender, education heritage, general physical description, hobbies, talents, special interests, reason for placement, existence of siblings, occupation, religion, health history, information on how the adoption plans were handled, relationship between birth parents, and "other." Sometimes similar information about other blood relatives will also be revealed if available. The Confidential Intermediary Program of Connecticut. Adoptees who are 18 and older and adult adoptable persons should request identifying information, in writing to the agency or department that has it. The agency will then conduct a search. If consents from BOTH parents are obtained, the information will be released. If the agency believes the information "would be seriously disruptive or danger the physical or emotional health" of the adoptee, counseling is required before the information is released.

When the agency or Department can't locate the person sought, the adult adoptee or the adoptable person should then petition the court for the release of identifying information. They must go for an interview to explain their reasons for requesting identifying information. The agency may speak to the merits of the adoptee's request. The Court will then decide whether or not to grant the petition. If the Court denies the request for information, the Court will sometimes request the agency to contact the birth parent to give notice of the adoptee's request to the birth parent, without revealing the identity of the adoptee. The adoptee is then notified of the results.

For information about the reunion registry, contact: Department of Children and Youth Services, 170 Sigourney Street, Hartford, Connecticut 06105. Telephone: (203) 566-8742. Each agency is required to maintain a registry in addition to the state registry






DELAWARE LAW


Changes in the law of Delaware:

As of January 18, 1999 adoptees age 21 and older can apply for a copy of their original birth certificate.

Office of Vital Statistics, PO Box 637, Dover, DE 19903, 302-739-4721

When requesting by mail include a check for $6.00 payable to the Office of Vital Statistics.

Disclosure veto:

Birth parents may block release of identifying information by filing a written notarized statement with the Office of Vital Statistics, this must be renewed every three years.

Vital Statistics should make a reasonable effort to notify a birth parent when an adoptee applies for birth records. A birth parent will have a specific amount of time in which to file the written disclosure veto statement. If said statement is not sent the original birth certificate will be released to the adoptee.

Additional information:

Judy email Annie2dogs@aol.com or Carolyn email choard@herc.com






FLORIDA LAW


Florida Adoption records are closed and may be opened only with an order of the court. For filing a waiver you must go through the Florida Office of Vital Statistics. Those who can file are: adult adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, biological siblings, and biological grandparents. Counseling is available to any registrant. For registry information contact: Florida Adoption Registry, Vital Statistics Registry, P. O. Box. 2197, Jacksonville, Florida 32232. Telephone: 904-488-8000.

To receive a form for the reunion registry, for non-id info IF your adoption was processed by the state agency or a private attorney write to: HRS Children Youth & Family Services, Bldg 7 Room 102, Att: Josette Marquess Tallahassee, Fla 32399-0700

Florida Adoption Reunion Registry FARR

1317 Winewood Blvd, Bldg 8, Room 100, Tallahassee, Fl 32399, Phone # (904)488-8000, Fee charged: $35.00 Copy of Driver's license or notarized proof of ID required. Florida has a Confidential Intermediary (CI) Program.






GEORGIA LAW


Under the current Georgia law it is necessary for an adoptee under 21 to obtain a court order to gain access to identifying information in a sealed adoption record. The law allows a "party at interest in the adoption" to file a petition in the Court of Jurisdiction asking that the sealed record be opened.
A party at interest has been identified as an adult adoptee (age 18 or over), the adoptive parents (of a child under 18), the agency involved in the adoption, or the biological parent.
The Court of Jurisdiction is the Superior Court of the County where the adoption was finalized and the record was sealed. It is entirely up to the discretion of the judge as to whether the petition will be granted. There are some judges who do not feel that a sealed record should be opened under any circumstances. The majority of the judges are concerned about the biological parents' right to confidentiality when an adult adoptee wants to open the record.
They are also concerned about the feelings of the adoptive parents and it is rare for a sealed record to be opened on the petition of a biological parent.
The judges are most likely to grant the petition of the adult adoptee if it is requested that the State Adoption Unit act as intermediary to search out the biological family member to gain their consent to release identifying information to the adoptee and to determine their wishes regarding having contact with the adoptee.

There is a Reunion Registry that will also provide services for obtaining your non-id information and pursuing a search. For information contact:

      Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry
      Families First Office of Adoptions
      2 Peachtree St NW Suite 323
      Atlanta GA 30303
      404-657-3555
      1-888-328-0055







HAWAII LAW


Non-identifying information is available to both adoptees and birth mothers. An adopted adult who is at least 18 may send to the family court a written request for inspection of their adoption records. The Family Court will then forward to the last known addresses of each birth parent a notice of the request for inspection and the accompanying papers. There is a Confidential Intermediary System.

A birth parent can file a request for confidentiality for ten years, that can then be renewed to cover the birth parent's lifetime. Affidavits of confidentiality expire at the death of the birth parent.



Hawaii State Government






Idaho Law


There is a mutual consent registry operated by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. Identifying information will not be released about birth parents to an adult adoptee, without the consent of the OTHER birth parent UNLESS there is only one birth parent listed on the original birth certificate. If the other birth parent is deceased, or the other birth parent cannot be located the information will be released. Government employees may not solicit a consent for release of information or registration with the registry. So YOU must request the information.

There is no provision for the release of non-identifying information. For registry information, contact:
Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Family and Children's Services, Statehouse Mail, Boise, Idaho 83720. 208-338-7000.






Illinois Law


Confidential Intermediary Service of Illinois
3158 South River Road – 120
Des Plaines, Il 60018
847-298-9096
www.ci-illinois.org

Service fee is $495. However, they have received a grant to reduce the cost for all petitioners to $295. There is no longer a Court filing fee in most counties. Service is available to adult adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents and some other relatives.

IDCFS Closed File Information and Search Service
(same address and contact info)
This program provides “non-identifying information” from closed files to adult adopted persons and people who were wards of DCFS but never adopted.
Program also provides search service to adopted persons, adoptive parents, siblings, other birth relatives, birth parents. This service is FREE – no service fee at all.

State Reunion Registry:
Adoption Registry Public Health Dept Vital Records
605 W Jefferson St
Springfield IL 62702-5097
217-782-6553

If you were adopted in Cook County, (the Chicago area) write or call for non id information: Adoption Information Center of IL Supportive Serv. 188 W Randolph St Suite 600, Chicago IL 60601, 312-346-1516

Other areas of IL call IL State Adoption Dept 217-785-2519

Obtain Certificate of Adoption, also called the "gold certificate" due to the color. It verifies relationship between adoptee and adoptive parents. Lists the docket (case) number which is the same number that will be found in the newspaper publication of the adoption petition to the court. Enclose $6.oo money order for "Certificate of Adoption" Give adopted name, county of birth, and adoptive parents names. Send
Clerk of the Circuit Court, 50 W. Washington, Chicago, IL 60602, Attn: Theresa Room 1202

Check the Chicago Daily Bulletin for publication of the adoption petition to the court. This has docket number attorney's name, adopting parents names and childs birth name in adoptions from the 1930's to 1964. There are exceptions in the 1930's where the birth name is omitted. After 1964, the birth name and attorney's name are usually omitted. Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 415 N. State Street, Chicago IL 312-644-7800

Old Chicago Phone books, can be found at the chicago historical society. Chicago Historical Society


(The) Cradle

Evanston IL

Illinois Adoption Department

Dept. of Child and Family Services

Illinois Coalition for Truth in Adoption

also has a mailing list

Illinois Genealogy resources

Mail list Specific to Chicago area

Search Connection, LTD

Professional searcher

State of Illinois Home Page

White Oak Foundation

helps IL searches

Illinois Vital Records

Illinois Vital Records

Adoption Records




Indiana Law


Indiana has a Confidential Intermediary (CI) System. When contacting the state remember to ask about the program. The state registrar is required to present a copy of all medical history information on file to an adoptee, birth parent, adoptive parent, relative of birth parent, relative of adoptive parent, state or county department of public welfare, adoption agency, and court. The state registrar may release a copy of the medical history to any person who satisfies the registrar that the person has a legitimate need.

Indiana operates a mutual consent registry for adult adoptees (age 21), birth parents, adoptive parents, relatives of deceased adoptees and relatives of deceased birth parents. For registry information, contact: Indiana State Board of Health, 330 W. Michigan Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202. Telephone: (317) 633-0274.





Iowa Law


Non-identifying medical history information is available to adoptees and adoptive parents. Iowa law provides access to confidential adoption records only by court order.

There are efforts underway for the legislature to consider the search and consent procedures for the state. For now birth parents may file affidavits of consent or non-consent through an application on good cause made to the court. The court may deny the application if there is a younger sibling adopted by the same parents.

Regarding adoptions prior to July 4, 1941: adoptees may have records opened by petition. Adoptees, siblings, and half-siblings may also file consents and updated medical info in an adoptee's file.





Kansas Law


Kansas is an "open state." Kansas Law provides for the reunion of Birth Families upon the adoptee reaching the age of 21, to either the relinquishing birth parent or adoptee upon request. For more information Contact Janet Kuntzsch at Department of Social Services, Children & Family Services, West Hall, 300 SW Oakley, Topeka, KS 66606.

You must send a copy of a photo ID and request a copy of your adoption folder or you may ask to be put in contact with your child/birth parent. Under the law of Kansas, they are ordered to make the search and make the initial contact, or you may request the records and do your own search.

You are entitled to a copy of your Original birth certificate. These may be ordered from State of Kansas, Division of Vital Statistics, 900 SW Jackson St., Topeka, KS 66612-1230. The cost is $10.00. Specify that you want your ORIGINAL birth certificate. You must submit the written request along with a copy of your driver's license or birth certificate.

Adoptees may also request a copy of your adoption record from KS Social and Rehabilitation Services, Children and Family Services. 915 SW Harrison St, 5TH Floor South, Topeka, KS 66612-1570. As with requsting your original birth certificate you must submit the written request along with a copy of your driver's license or birth certificate. The state will do searches on behalf of an adoptee or birth parent.






Kentucky Law


At the time of the adoption, birth parents are asked whether they consent to the release of identifying information to their sons and daughters when they are adults. If that written consent is in the file, identifying information will be released to the adult adoptee at age 21.

The birth parent may change this at any time by revoking or filing a consent. If there is no consent on file, an adoptee may ask the Court to search for his or her birth parents. The Court MUST do so. If that contact results in consent the adoptee may see the records. Otherwise, adoption records may only be opened by court order.

Adoptees 18 years of age or older have the option of registering with the Cabinet for Human Resources their desire to have contact with pre-adoptive siblings. If the siblings register, and are eighteen years of age or older, identifying information will be released. For sibling registry information, contact, Cabinet for Human Resources, Department for Social Services, 275 East Main Street, 6th Floor West, Frankfort, Kentucky 40621, 502-564-2136. Kentucky does have a state run Confidential Intermediary (CI) Service. For information on Kentucky's program contact, Kentucky Adoption Search Services 502-564-2147





Louisiana Law


The State Reunion Registry requires that the adoptee be over 25. DSS/OCS, Adoption Unit, P.O. Box 3318, Baton Rouge, LA 70821

State Adoption Department is a part of the Department of Children, Youth & Family Services, Adoption Program, P.O. Box 3318 1967 North Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, 504 342-4040

Written authorization of the court is required for opening court records and proceedings filed in Juvenile Court. Those filed in District Court are open to the public. Agencies release non-identifying information to an adult involved party, but may charge a fee for this service.

State Archives Records Department Louisiana State Library, Secretary of State Archives & Records Division, P.O. Box 131, 70804, 760 Riverside Mall, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, 504-922-1206





Maine Law


Maine has a mutual consent registry operated by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. This allows adoptees (age 18), adoptive parents of adoptees under age 18, and birth parents to register. For registry information, contact:
Maine State Adoption Reunion Registry, Division of Vital Records, 221 State Street, Augusta, Maine 04333. 207- 287-3181.

Original Birth Certificates for Maine (OBC for ME), is a grassroots group of Maine adoptees, parents of origin and adoptive parents. OBC for ME succeeded in its initial mission to pass legislation (LD 1084 /PL 409) granting adult adoptees access to their OBC upon request, while empowering parents of origin the choice to indicate whether or not they wish to be contacted. LD 1084 was signed into law by Maine’s Governor Baldacci on June 25, 2007, and goes into effect on January 1, 2009

ADOPTION RECORDS PRIOR TO 1953 ARE PUBLIC RECORD!





Maryland Law


Maryland has a CI program. Some agencies will send out non-id info and sometimes the adoption decree.

Maryland Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry, 311 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-3521, 410-767-7423 or 1-800-39 ADOPT

State Archives, MD stateLibrary, Court Appeals Bdg., 361 Rowe Blvd.,Annapolis, MD 21401






Massachusetts Law


The Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point, 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125 (617) 727-2816

If a waiver is in place giving permission from both the adoptee and the birth parent, Identifying information can be released to an adult adoptee at age 21 and to birth parents. If the adoptee is under the age of 18 they may receive identifying information if he or she has the written permission of the adoptive parents.





Michigan Law


Michigan has a Confidential Intermediary (CI) Program. For information contact, Central Adoption Agency: Capitol Building Lansing, MI 48933 517-373-1837 STATE ADOPTION DEPARTMENT: Department of Social Services P. O. Box 30037 235 South Grand Avenue Lansing, MI 48909 (517) 373-3513. Adoption Records were closed in 1925. All Court records are locked and require a Court Order showing good cause for the release of any information from them. Almost all agencies will release non-identifying information to an adult involved party, although some may charge a fee for this service. Birthparents and/or adoptees may file a Consent to Release of Information Form with the placing agency at any time.

For additional information regarding access to closed adoption records, request DSS Publication 439, "Release of Information from Michigan Adoption Records," from child placing agencies, attorneys or contact:
The Central Adoption Registry, Michigan Department of Social Services, P.O. Box 30037, Suite 413, Lansing, Michigan 48909






Minnesota Law


There currently is something in place to notify the other party that the identifying information has been asked for and asking them if they will consent to have it released. Be sure to ask about this when contacting the state






Mississippi Law


Sorry I don't have much for Mississippi. In Mississippi, access to confidential adoption records is available by court order, only. There is an intermediary system. It is reported that Mississippi has something in place to notify the other party that the identifying information has been asked for and asking them if they will consent to have it released. Be sure to ask about this when contacting the State.






Missouri Law


According to law, all citizens have the right to obtain names of persons who were either born or died in Missouri on a particular date. No other information, except the date can be given, according to paragraph one of statute 193.245. If you are interested, send a check for $27.50 made out to the Missouri Department of Health to Wayne Schramm, Bureau of Health Data Analysis, Missouri Department of Health, PO Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

The Adoption Information Registry provides a way for adult adoptees age 21 and over and biological parents to indicate their desire to be contacted by each other through the voluntary registration of the adult adoptee and the biological parents. Before this contact can be made, adoptive parents must consent to it if the adoptee is not of age.

    Missouri Division of Family Services
    Adoption Registry
    PO Box 88 615 Howerton Court
    Jefferson City MO 65103
    573-751-4329 800-554-2222






Montana Law


State adoption agency, Department of Health and human Services, Children and Family Assistance Division, Adoption Specialist: Linda Hart, P O Box 4210, Helena, MT 59604, 406-444-5919

State Adoption registry, Montana Adoption Resource Center, 30 S. Rodney, Helena, MT. 59601, 406-449-3266

There is a fee of $35.00 for registering

Information on adoption records is available only by court order. Montana has a Confidential Intermediary (CI) Program. Ask at the State Adoption Registry how to petition the court to open the file to an intermediary.





Nebraska Law


Adoptees who are at least 25 years old may request information regarding the names of relatives or the original birth certificate. The bureau will look in the files for consent/non-consent forms. If a birth-parent has filed a consent, and there is no non-consent filed by the adoptive parents, the bureau then releases identifying information to the adoptee.

If there is no consent in place from the birth parent, and the adoptive parent has not filed a non-consent (veto) the adoptee is then given the name and address for the court that issued the adoption decree, the name of the agency involved, and information regarding what the agency can do in assisting in searching. If the birth parent is deceased, and there is no veto on file from either the Birthmother or the adoptive parents, identifying information is released.

If a consent is in the file from the birth parent and there is not a veto from the adoptive parent on file, the original birth certificate is then given to the adoptee. If the birth parent has not filed a consent and the adoptive parent has not filed a veto, the adoptee may ask the agency to undertake a search to seek such consent. The Cost for the search is the responsibility of the adoptee, whether the birth parent is found or not. The medical history information that is in the file will be given to the adoptee when they ask for it. Names and places of birth will be taken out.

It is reported that Nebraska has something in place to notify the other party that the identifying information has been asked for and asking them if they will consent to have it released. Be sure to ask about this in contacting the state. Anyone born before the law was enacted CANNOT just receive their Birth Certificate





Nevada Law


Nevada has a mutual consent registry operated by the state welfare division of the Department of Human Services for adoptees who are at least 18 yrs. of age, and for birth parents. Contact the Department of Human Resources, Welfare Division, 2527 North Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada 89710. Telephone: (702) 687-3023. You have to fill out their special form which has to be notarized.






New Hampshire Law


Law allows anyone over the age of 21 to contact the agency that handled the adoption to act as an intermediary in finding birthparents. Birthparents may also do this looking for Adoptees as long as the adoptee is over 21. Be sure to ask about this when you contact the state.

The law says that identifying information must be shared with an adult adoptee (age 21) if the birth parent has signed a waiver release form. Information will not be released unless such a form is in the file with the agency and then the agency must attempt to contact the birth parent to see what their current wishes are regarding contact. Non-id information is available to adult adoptees and adoptive parents.







New Jersey Law


Adoption records are available by court order only. The Division of Youth and Family Services operates a registry for its placements only. Those individuals may contact:
Department of Human Services, Division of Youth and Family Services, 1 South Montgomery Street, CN 717, Trenton, New Jersey 08625. 609-633-3991.

Search services are available for adult adoptees who were adopted through the NJ State agency (the DYFS or its predecessor agencies: BCS, SBCW, SBCG). Adoption Registry Phone Number 609-292-8816. You can order a brochure through email: 74140.1420@compuserve.com

Chapter 367, Section 9: 3-52 "All records of proceedings relating to adoption...shall be filed under seal by the Clerk of the Court and shall at no time be open to inspection...unless the Court is shown "good cause" and then at that time the records will be made available to the petitioner."






New Mexico Law


Since 1950 all adoption records have been sealed upon becoming final. A Court Order is required to release any information from them. The state adoption department will release non-identifying information to an adult (age 18) involved party.

New Mexico is not an open state, meaning that all records are sealed. They are not available to the adult adoptee, birth parents, or the adoptive parents. Because so many would like to know more about their heritage and birth parents would like to know how a child has gotten along in life, a system has been worked out with the District Court to allow this to be accomplished.

An INTERMEDIARY system has been put into place so that an adult adoptee, a birth parent of a child 18 years of age or older, or a sibling of an adopted person who is 18 years can petition the First Judicial District Court of New Mexico in Santa Fe to have the adoption file opened. In order to do this you need to have a lawyer. You may either hire your own lawyer or use the lawyer who is working with the program. The Attorney at Law who works with Operation Identity does this for a reasonable fee. Because she does so much of this work she knows the system.

All of the Intermediaries in New Mexico are volunteers. They receive no salary for the work they do. There is no office that they work from, they work out of their homes. It is more difficult to run the program this way but it also means a lower cost to those who are searching because they are not paying the overhead to run an office.

An adoptee or birth mother can send a waiver letter explaining that they wish information about themselves to be made known to the other if the other party requests it.

An adoptee of Indian descent has the right, for the purpose of enrolling in the adoptee's tribe of origin, to access information kept by the department. If you are unsure of your origin go ahead and petition for this information. The state then must examine your file to see if it does say anything regarding indian Heritage for you.

For additional information you can write to:
Adoption Consultant, Children, Youth and Families Department, P.E.R.A. Building, Room 252, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502-5160, 505-827-8410.

    Twenty-five year old offline registry:
    Contact Sally File, email She can also explain the CI program to you.






New York Law


New law allows birthparents to update medical information...send to the adoption information registry at the NY Department of Health. An adoptee searching can get this updated information and will know that it has been updated. The Department is prohibited from the solicitation of non-registered person. This means YOU must ask about it.

Adopted persons and birth parents who want to join the Adoption Information Registry must each complete and file separate registration forms. It must be clear whether the individual filing is the adopted person or a birth parent. (No registration may be accepted from anyone unless the adopted person is at least 18 years old.) The form must be signed in the presence of a notary public.

Services available through the Adoption Information Registry may also be obtained through the agency that handled the adoption, if the agency is authorized to do so. To find out if an agency can accept registrations, call the agency directly or contact the New York State Adoption Information Registry. For more information or for registration forms, call 518-474-9600 or write Vital Records Section, Adoption Information Registry, New York State Department of Health, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12237-0023

Adoptees who were born in one of the five boroughs of NY can use their amended birth certificate to try to get their birth name.

At the New York Public Library main branch at 42nd St. and Fifth Avenue, you can look through the Birth Index for the City of New York. This is found in the genealogy area of the library.

The amended birth certificate has a number in the upper right hand corner. This number is about eleven numbers long with some hyphens in it. Using the last group of numbers {about six numbers long} that come after the last hyphen, eliminate the first of those numbers in that group. You now have the number that will correspond with the number on your original birth certificate. Since you don't know what your birth name was you will need to look through all of the books they have that make up the full alphabet of your year of birth. It will be a lot of work to go through those books because they are arranged alphabetically and not by date of birth. You will need to have patience and look for the one with your birth certificate number.






North Carolina


Confidential adoption records are available only by court order. "Any necessary information of an adoption proceeding may be disclosed upon written motion in cause before the clerk of original jurisdiction - when good cause is shown" Section 48-25: "Non-identifying information about birth family may be released to an adoptee over the age of 21."

North Carolina now has a Confidential Intermediary program. House Bill

Court of Jurisdiction: Superior Court State Archives: Department of Cultural Resources, State Library: Division of Archives and History, 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601-2807, 919-733-5722

North Carolina registries that are not on the internet. One is run by Lynn Giddens 919-967-5010. Another by Adoption Information Exchange (AIE) in Matthews, NC 704-537-5919 or Charlotte, NC 704-532-6827.

State Adoption Department: 919-733-0598





North Dakota


Adult adoptees (age 18) may request the Department of Human Services to disclose identifying information about the birth parent. The Department will notify the child placing agency maintaining the adoption records and the agency then attempts to locate the birth parents. If the agency can not locate the birth parent, information may not be released. If either of the birth parents has filed an affidavit denying consent to release of identifying information, information may not be released. Information may only be released if BOTH birth parents have filed a consent. This would make it very difficult to get any information.

Adult adoptees can request identifying information about adult biological siblings. Information will only be released with the written consent of the sibling and of any biological parents of the sibling if he or she knows their identity. Be sure to specifically ask about this when contacting the state.







Ohio Law


Anyone who was adopted before 1964 has the right to see their original birth certificates. If sometime after 1964 a request was made for the reissuance of a birth certificate in an adopted name, the original birth certificate was sealed. For all adoptions occurring after 1964, the access to the original birth certificate is available by court order only.

Birth parents and biological siblings can file a waiver authorizing the release of identifying information with the Department of Health. If an authorization has been filed, an adult adoptee (age 21) who petitions the probate court will receive the information. If no releases are on file, the adoptee's request is marked as pending and will be kept on file until releases are received, or the biological parent(s) are deceased, 30 days after that the petition for information should be granted.

Ohio recently enacted a revised adoption statute creating a complicated system that works differently for pre-1964, 1964-1996, and post-June 1996 adoptions. As of June, 1996, the right to non-identifying information is clear. For adoptions that took place before June, 1996, the availability of information varies from county to county and agency to agency.

For information about City Directories you can contact Capital University Library, Documents Department, 2199 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43209". This is a US Depository Library.

Cleveland City Hall, 601 Lakeside Rm # 122, 216-664-5635
A reservation is needed to do genealogy research. Don't mention adoption. A recording will tell you about their hours and copy prices.






Oklahoma Law


For getting non-id info through Oklahoma:
Dept. of Human Resources/Post Adoption Unit, P.O. Box #25352, Oklahoma City, OK 73125, 405-521-2475

To inspect and copy hospital records:
OK State Archives, OK historical Society, Historical Building, 2100 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105




OK Voluntary Adoption Registry:
Voluntary Adopton Registry, P.O. Box # 25352, Oklahoma City, OK 73125, 405-521-4373

    The registry allows adoptees and their birth family relatives to indicate their willingness to have their identity and whereabouts disclosed to one another. If an adoptee and one of his birth family members both register, a "match" between the adoptee and a birth family member can result in a reunion. The same applies to individuals and their relatives separated by a Termination of Parental Rights proceeding.

    DHS can act as a third party intermediary if you are not comfortable with arranging the reunion yourself. You also need to specify in your notarized registry affidavit whether or not they can release your name, address or phone number, and to which relatives.




    CONFIDENTIAL INTERMEDIARY SERVICES

    DHS has a Confidential Intermediary Search program that provides search services for eligible persons to locate their birth relatives. There is a $400 fee for the first search and a $200 fee for each additional search. You must be registered on the Mutual Consent Voluntary Registry for six months before requesting a search. The person who is the subject of the search must sign an agreement that they wish to be found. If they do not wish to be found, their identity will not be disclosed. There is no refund for the search fee, regardless of the outcome of the search.

    Complete the Oklahoma Mutual Consent Voluntary Registry form. It must be notarized before you mail it. You must submit one of the following as proof of your identity:
    a photo copy of your current driver's license
    a photo copy of your social security card, or
    a photo copy of your birth certificate.







Oregon Law


All of the old Oregon sites have disappeared. The state approved a bill to open records. An adoptee can now apply for and get their original Birth Certificate!





Pennsylvania Law


An adult adoptee (age 18), or the adoptive parents of adoptees under 18 can petition the court for release of identifying information about the birth parent. The court shall appoint either a county agency or a private adoption agency to try to locate and contact the birth parent. The court will deny the request to search for the birth parent if it believes that there is a substantial risk that persons other than the birth parent would learn of the adoptee's existence and relationship to the birth parent.

Confidential Intermediary (CI) Program
The adoptee or his or her adoptive parent may also make a request to an adoption agency to search for the birth parent. Identifying information concerning the birth parent may only be released if both birth parents consent. If only one birth parent consents to the release of the information, only information about that birth parent may be disclosed.

Birth parents can file with the court or the Department of Health a waiver form granting permission to disclose to the adoptee the information in the adoptee's original birth certificate. Such information may not be released without such a consent and only to an adoptee 18 years of age or older (with adoptive parent permission, if under 18).

Pennsylvania's new Medical Registry 800-227-0225
Is a means for bparents to share family medical history with the child they have placed for adoption. This is available for NEW adoptions as well as past.

The Birth parents may file this medical information. PA born adult adoptees or adoptive parents of adoptive minors or their legal guardians can request to get this information. Only the medical information will be released.

This information can be updated in later years. If the adoptee requests this information and there is none, that request will be kept on file. If the Birth Mother files the information at a later date the adoptee will be notified. It is the adoptee's responsibility to make sure this registry is updated with changes of address and phone number. None of this would be forwarded to a new address, not supplied by the adoptee.

Forms can be obtained from any adoption agency, Court of Common Pleas in PA or you can call 800-227-0225. You can also write to: Adoption Medical History Registry, Hillcrest, Second Floor, PO Box 2675, Harrisburg,PA 17105-2675. There is no fee for this service.







Rhode Island Law


RHODE ISLAND In Rhode Island, access to confidential adoption records is available by court order only.

NEW LAW in Rhode Island allows release of non-id information from both juvenile court and the adoption agency. There is a Reunion Registry: State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Family Court, Juvenile Division, One Dorrance Plaza, Providence, R.I. 02903, 401-222-3352, Attn:Rhonda M. Salome






South Carolina Laws


There is a mutual consent registry for adult adoptees who were adopted through DSS and Public Welfare. Adoptees 21 years of age, birth parents, and biological siblings of adoptees who are now 21 or older can register. Counseling must be provided by an adoption agency prior to the release of identifying information. For registry information, contact: Adoption Reunion Register, Department of Social Services, P. O. Box 1520, Columbia, South Carolina 29202-1520. 803-734-6095.


    SC locator

    note: this is not an endorsement. Buyer BEWARE.






South Dakota Laws


South Dakota Court may order disclosure of records of adoption proceedings to adult adoptees and adoptive parents. The Department of Social Services maintains a voluntary adoption registry for adult adoptees and birth parent.






Tennessee Law


    Tennessee records are now open to some degree. For more information please refer to the link below that takes you to the state law.

    It is reported that there is something in place to notify the other party that the identifying information has been asked for and asking them if they will consent to have it released. Be sure to ask about it when contacting the state.

    For information on post-adoption services you can write to:

    Department of Children's Services
    Post Adoption Services
    436 Sixth Av. North
    Nashville TN 37243-1290
    615-532-5637






Texas Law


Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, Central Adoption Registry, Patricia Molina Administrator, New Address as of January 1, 1998 is: Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin Texas 78756-3191.
e-mail: molinapp@austy944a.aust.tdprs.state.tx.us

Texas has a Confidential Intermediary (CI) Program, be sure to ask about it when you call them. Court records are closed upon adoption being final and a court order is required to release information from them. Many agencies will release non-identifying information to an adult involved party. AGE OF MAJORITY: 18 years old. Provides for a voluntary registry of adoptees, birth siblings and birth parents over age 21.






Utah Law

Utah State Reunion Registry, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Voluntary Adoption Registry, P.O. Box 16700, SLC UT 84116-0700

The state agency that you should contact to try to get non-id information is:
Division of Family Services, Dept. of Human Services, 120 N. 200 West, SLC, UT 84103






Vermont Law


Records are not open. Adoptees, Birthparents and some extended birth family members can request non-identifying information and also register on one main registry. If there is a match, parties will be put in touch with each other. Non-identifying information is a bit more informative than before. First names are given.

Parties can petition the courts to open records. It is then up to the Judge to determine just cause and locate the other party. This is a very grey area and it is not known at this time how it will work. Anyone affected by adoption in Vermont should contact:
Cheryl Edwards, SRS Adoption Unit, 103 South Main St., Waterbury, Vt. 05676 802-241-2131







Virginia Law


Access to confidential adoption records is available by court order only. Adoptees 18 and older have the right to non-id from their final adoption record & the right to apply to the VA Dept of Social Services for identifying information for "good cause". Agreement from the birth family member to the sharing of information is considered "good cause". The right to request an attempt be made to convey critical medical, psychological, and genetic information to their birth parents or adult birth siblings. ID information will not be passed on under this section.

In order to initiate a search for birth family, you must fill out an Adoptee Application For Disclosure. Forms can be obtained from and returned to, Adoption Reports Unit, 730 East Broad Street, Richmond VA 23219-1849. The agency that did the adoption will be designated to search. The agency is allowed to charge a fee for the search to be paid in advance. The agency has 8 months to conduct the search, but an extension can be granted on good cause with your permission.

When the search is completed the agency will send a report to the Adoptions Report Unit recommending whether to grant or deny the disclosure of id information. Applications are usually denied if the birth family is not located or is deceased.

For answers to questions you have regarding the application or search process contact, Jackie Gill, 804-692-1286 or Paul Reaves 804-692-1285 at the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Social Services 730 East Broad Street, Richmond VA 23219-1849, 804-692-1944







Washington Law


    Washington State Law requires the release of non identifying information. This includes first names, age at time of adoption, brief biographical information that includes education level, religion, occupation, and immediate family description.

    Non identifying information is available from the Family Court a division of the Superior Court System at the county level in the county where the adoption took place. This is not always the same as the county of birth. In King County call Adoption Services and request a Non Identifying Information Request Form. 206-296-9350 voice mail is available 24 hours a day. The turn around on these forms is very quick.

    There is no place on the form to request first names... write PROVIDE FIRST NAMES - in the white space. The cost as of 5/97 is $8.00 in the form of money order or cashiers check.

    Pierce County:
    The number in Pierce County is 253-597-7900. When they answer they will say something like "Raymond Hall". About 10 years ago they moved the adoption offices to the Juvenile courts system. The address is 5501 6th Ave Tacoma, WA. 98406.

    Some smaller counties will give you a hard time and some will even refuse to give you information. They will try to refer you to WARM (Washington Adoption Rights Movement) a private non profit organization. WARM will do searches for you for a fee. They have mixed reviews.

    If you have trouble with a small county contact the State Agency in charge; State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services Patrick A Weber Adoptions Program Manager Adoptions DCFS OB-41 Olympia, WA 98504.

    There is a Confidential Intermediary Program that allows the adoption file to be opened by a state sanctioned CI. The CI is able to use the information from the entire file to locate the "missing" person and determine if that person will allow direct contact. Upon release by both parties direct contact is allowed. There are fees associated with this.







Washington DC Law


      Nothing available on the law at this time.






West Virginia Law


      In West Virginia, access to confidential adoption records is available by court order only.

      WV Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry Children's Home Society of WV, PO Box 2942, Charleston, WV 25330






Wisconsin Law


    For your Non-Identifying Information: Adoption Search Coordinator, Bureau for Children Youth and Families, PO Box 7851, Madison, WI 53707, 608-266-7163

    Wisconsin has a Confidential Intermediary (CI) Program, so when calling to get your non-id information ask them to tell you about it. Ask How to go about using the service.







Wyoming Law


    Access to confidential adoption records is available by court order only. On February 23, 1991, the governor signed a bill permitting adult adoptees age 19, adoptive parents, biological parents, biological grandparents, or biological siblings to petition the Court to appoint a confidential intermediary for the purpose of determining the whereabouts of unknown biological relatives (except minors). Where both parties file consents with the Court, the intermediary may arrange for contact between them.

    Confidential Intermediary (CI) Program

    In 1991 a CI Program was established for information contact: Confidential Intermediary/Registry, and Wyoming state laws Wyoming or for more information call Maureen Clifton at 307-777-3570 who can also tell you how to go about getting your non-identifying information. There is a $70.00 filing fee and an approx fee of 150.00 for the CI services. This does not include reimbursment of copying fees or telephone charges that they may incur to locate your relative.

    The addresses for filing the petitions may be found at Court addresses

    Wyoming Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources
    Wyoming State Achives
    Ann Nelson, Reference Historian
    Barrett Building
    2301 Central Avenue
    Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002
    ph: (307) 777-7826
    fax: (307) 777-7044







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