4 Ways to Search for Adoption Records
At some point, most adopted children want to locate their birth parents. For many, this means searching adoption records. However, with privacy laws the way they are, many adoptees have no idea where to start. Below are some tips to get you looking in the right direction.
Requesting Nonidentifying Information
Almost every state has procedures for accessing nonidentifying information. In many cases, the information is given to the adoptive parents at the time of adoption. The information is generally accessible to the adopted child once they become an adult.
You will need to contact your state agency that holds the adoption records. You can find out who this is in your state by searching the Child Welfare Information Gateway’s National Foster Care and Adoption Directory.
Requesting Identifying Information
Most states have procedures set up to release indentifying information. However, every state varies on how they release the information. You need to contact the state agency dealing with adoption records to locate the information. However, once you have the information you can quickly contact the other members of the adoption.
Generally, the laws require one of the following:
- Consent on file from all parties involved in the adoption.
- An intermediary to gain consent from all parties
Search for the Original Birth Certificate
Once the adoption is finalized, a new birth certificate is issued and given to the adoptive parents. At this point, the original birth certificate is held by the state agency under privacy laws.
While you used to need a court order to get the original birth certificate, 24 states no longer require this information. In these states, you will need one of the following:
- State adoption registry to get access
- Consent on file from all parties
- The adoptee must be a minimum age (18 or 21)
Search Online for Adoption Records
This is the simplest way to find birth parents. Anyone can go online and search through adoption records from the privacy of their own home. The database allows you to search thousands of records from across the country without a court order or an intermediary.
Once you find the information you are looking for, you can do a people search on the same database to locate a telephone number, address or place of employment for the person. Searching adoption records online is by far the easiest method. Start your adoption records search today and see what you can find.