Adoptive families have to go through a lot before they manage to finalize the adoption process. And although they have plenty of other important things on their mind, some of them still feel the need to find out more about their child’s background. Fortunately, some adoption records are open to the public, which means they can be obtained and reviewed by both the adoptive family and the adoptee. In this post we’re going to tell you where to find and how to obtain them. But before we turn to that, here’s what you need to know about the processing of such information!
What happens with the records once the adoption’s finalized?
Although this varies depending on the State you live in, adoption records get sealed once the process is finalized. This means there are two main types of adoption records: open and closed. Open records can be accessed without having to follow procedures for obtaining consent, but that’s not the case with closed records. So before you even start gathering information about your case, you’ll need to determine whether it is open or closed.
What types of records are there?
The information you’re looking for can be found in a wide range of documents, including but not limited to, only birth certificates and medical records. Sometimes court decrees and petitions are held as well. When you file a petition to adopt, the document in question needs to contain, the birth mother’s name.
There is one other way to categorize the information you’re looking for: identifying and nonidentifying. The latter is descriptive and disclosed to adoptive parents during the process of finalizing the adoption. It usually includes age, physical characteristics, medical history and educational background of the birth parents. Identifying information, on the other hand, is every piece of information that can lead to the birth parents’ identification. You won’t be able to get it without successfully completing certain procedures.
How to obtain nonidentifying information?
If you haven’t been provided with the descriptive information about your child’s biological parents, you won’t have to go to much trouble to get it. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s something that’s usually not kept secret from the adoptive parents. To obtain it, simply visit the official website of Child Welfare and go to Accessing Adoption Records. There you’ll be able to find contact information relevant to your case.
How to obtain identifying information?
Unfortunately, you’ll need to do a lot more than that if you want to find out the identity of your child’s birth parents. Basically, what you’ll need is written consent from the person or persons whose information you’re looking to find. There are two different ways this could go – either you already have it or you’ll need to hire an agency to help you obtain it. In the former case, the information is filed in your State’s mutual consent registry, meaning the birth parents have already given their consent. In the latter case, the information is confidential, but you can contact either a public or a private agency that will direct a request for disclosure to the parties in question. If they consent, you’ll be given the information even if your case was a closed one.