State Laws on Access to Adoption Records

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What You Need to Know

  • Where was the adoption finalized? Identifying and non-identifying information about your adoption should first be requested from the state or jurisdiction where the adoption was finalized, and not from the adopted person’s birth location if different.

  • Adoption law is state law and this includes laws covering the release of identifying and non-identifying information to adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents.

  • Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, New Hampshire, and Oregon are "open records states," meaning that adult adoptees can receive copies of original documentation about their adoptions just by completing an application process. Other states also provide for the release of original information with some restrictions.

  • An adoptee’s age matters. The age at which adoptees can receive identifying or non-identifying information ranges from 18 to 25. Be sure to check this age requirement.

Check individual state laws.

Visitor Comments (150)
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maureen - 3 years ago
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hey everyone my name is Maureen Smith. I was born in 1983 in Huntington Beach CA as well as my older sister. I have spent my entire life in Buffalo NY and i know my mom gave a child up for adoption when she was 18 or 19. my mom's last name at the time was Springstead. She had a baby girl in Buffalo NY my mom is now 65 and her last name changed to smith. please i really really want to find this sister i have spent my whole life feeling like there was some kind of unfilled void in my life and she might be it. i am hoping. #1
Angela - 4 years ago
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I was born June 5, 1993 in the Los Angeles, CA area (Burbank, Glendale) I have 3 half sibling sisters and I am the youngest. My birth dad's name is David Maynard and he had 1 sister that I know of. My birth mother's name is Sharon Orsan. My siblings and I also lived with their birth dad whose name is Franz Orsan. If you know them, please let them know that I am trying to find them to get my medical history. I am not angry at them and do not want to interfere with their lives, just would like to find out any family medical issues I need to be aware of. Thank you for helping me in this search! #2
Sheila - 4 years ago
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IN the late 1990's I meet a woman named Donna in the Detroit Metro area looking for her birth parents. She claimed she had the same last name as I did and the moment has forever been on my mind. She had similar features and I did and her mannerisms were freakishly similar so much so that her friend that accompanied her started to cry. I know she somehow is related to me with every bone in my body and would love any information regarding her whereabouts and informations. Donna (Carrithers) birth name. Detroit Michigan. #3
Zack - 4 years ago
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In search of my birth parents. I was born December 13,1984. Im of mixed race. Was told my birth parents were from Franklin, VA, but believe I was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, VA. I was adopted through United Methodist Family Services. Thank you #4
Tamara - 3 years ago
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Hey everyone, I have been Looking for my sister who was adopted out in March of 1990... Here are the things I know 1.) Her name is Brittany ( SO I have been told) 2.) Our Moms last name at the time of birth was Buttman 3.) She was born in Bartlesville, OK 4.) The last time she contacted me she lived somewhere in Colorado 5.) She was born in 1990 6.) her Last name is Cox ( As I was told) Please share and get this around I would love to find my sister I have been Looking for years and I would love to get to know her.... And so she can see my son Logan..... or if you have anymore INFO #5
Sandra Kay Stiles adopted Iowa 1944 - 2 weeks ago
Looking for family possibly siblings Sandra Kay Stiles born Feb 19 1944 mother passing through Iowa had her in Des moines Iowa Polk County she was later adopted at 7 months of age from Des Moines Childrens Society Adoption Can not open sealed court records as she is deceased this is her family looking for any siblings she might have please email me at xxxx make sure to send me alot of emails so they wont go to spam or junk mail ANYONE PLEASE Help me find any siblings she may have had said her mother was going to college so not really sure where she went #6
Linda - 2 weeks ago
Hi: My name is Linda and I am trying to find the daughter I gave up for adoption in Michigan 1969. I am very frustrated in the search process because I have been searching for a very long time and most of the sites on the internet all charge a fee. I am older now and would do anything to find my adopted daughter, who at the time, I named Christina Bransky. Believe me, like so many others like me out there, there hasn't been a day in my life that I don't cry and long to see her and meet her. If anyone could help me in my search I would appreciate it. I was at Maralac Hall in Farmington, Mi in 1969 and Christina was at Sarah Fisher Home and to my knowledge was adoped May 22, 1969 through Catholic Social Services and they will not release any records. I need to find her - I am getting older and everyday it grieves my heart so so deeply that I still haven't found her. I have been praying and praying for God to send her to me. #7
Kim - 2 months ago
I was born in Detroit , Michigan on August 14,1957 to Dorthy Mabel Miller. She was one of 9 children who lived in Eastern Detroit. I was put up for adoption through Lutheran Social Services of Detroit. I have been looking for my biological family for many years. My birth name was Sandra Leah Miller. I would love to meet any of my biological family. I have so many questions I would love to know; do. you love animals, who do I look like, any medical issues I should know about, and the list goes on. I have no regrets of being given up for adoption. I've had a wonderful life. I would love to thank my biological mother/family for giving me life. I am praying some day we will reunite. My love. #8
Melissa - 3 years ago
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I am looking for my biological mom. She was 23 years old w two other children (boys). She was born in Arkansas and lived in the Detroit area. My birth name was Lisa. I was born in 1979. I am actively looking for her. I am praying she's still a live. #9
Chad - 3 years ago
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Hi, I was born in Evansville in June of 1985, and adopted immediately. I'm looking for my birth parents, of whom I know nothing about. I have very few details about my adoption, just that I was born in Evansville. I'm of mixed race. I've always been told that my birth mother was a college student at the time of my birth. That's pretty much all I know. Thanks. #10
leslie - 3 years ago
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i place my daughter for adoption Victoria was born 04/16/1989 Brandywine Hospital Near Lancaster PA parents that adopter her are Tim and LInda Victoria if you see this please "house of his creations" it is an unwed mothers home they have all my info #11
Karen - 3 years ago
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I was Born Sept 9th, 1981 At Geneva General Hospital in Geneva NY, I'm trying to find out any medical history on my birth parents all I know is that my birth mother was in school and age 16 at the time of my birth. If anyone has info please contact me, Ive ben searching for years just to get some info #12
John (adopted last name- Wyma) - 1 year ago
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Born January 8, 1956. Bio mom parents came from England. Was living in Tenn. then moved to Delton, Mich. John was bio mom's name for child and parents adopted John kept his name. Bio mom was college student going to be a teacher. John lived with Bio mom's, sister/bro. in law until @ 18 months old. Sister/bro. in law were expecting their own child (think it was child #3) and could not take care of John any longer so then Bio mom wanted John to be adopted by a Christian family and went to Bethany Services for the adoption. It's believed the Bio mom may have been born in 1932. It's believed the Bio dad was an Electrical Engineer and moved to Toledo, OH. This was a sealed adoption. At one time John went to court and asked for the release of any non-identifying info that could help him find his Bio court released info was limited. John had a good life with his adopted parents/family but would like to find Bio-mom. Searching for John's BioMom. Sandy #13
Guest - 2 years ago
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On July 23 1985 baby Justin was born in Janesville WI at Janesville Hospital and was given away to catholic charities and he was apoted by the Kile and Rasmussen couple! They also told you that they would love and provide for me Justin as long as they can take me as there own and cristen me in the Catholic Church by the name Michael James Kile-Rasmussen setting up the the abuse and divorce that would come later in my life only to further alter my identity and keep secret that i am Justin and i have a real family mother father and even possibly siblings that are mixed like me my mother was white my father was black! Mom if your alive i hope your looking for me at this time im now 30 and live in Madison Wi i hope to contact you somehow! Justin Michael Rasmussen #14
Susan - 5 months ago
Looking for Stiles Family Des Moines Iowa for deaceased mother in law Born Polk County Des Moines Iowa Birthdate 02/19/1944 Tried to get sealed adoption records open they would not open her children. Sandra Kay Stiles Iowa Anyone have any clues please let me know I opened ancestry tree but so far nothing any medical or sibling information! #15
Leah - 11 months ago
Hello I'm in search for my little brother. He was named Justice Jones. He was born June/July between 1992-95 to a woman name Lisa in DC or MD. I dont remember much because I was very young when I first met you. I hope to find you one day and when I do I just pray you'd want to get to know me. #16
darren - 3 years ago
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i'm trying to find my bilogilogal parents see if they still alive #17
Kimberly - 1 year ago
I am in search of my birth parents. I was born on September 13,1961 in Richmond Virginia. I have been told that my birth mother was 16 years old at the time of my birth. My adoption was handled by Children's Home Society in Greensboro North Carolina. Any information would be greatly appreciated. #18
Cindy - 1 year ago
My sister gave birth to a baby girl, August 10, 1968 with Strawberry blond hair. This took place in Strong Memorial Hospital, in Rochester, N.Y. My sister's name is Dawn Jasniewski Korst. She doesn't have internet connection so I'm helping to find her daughter. We so much want to find her. She was in high school when she had the baby so desperately would love to reunite! #19
Jackson - 1 year ago
Some one should begin a class action suit against the state of New York for its refusal to give adoptees the right to their genetic birth information. The state should be held responsible for ALL medical bills of adoptees on the grounds that they are knowingly refusing to pass on, perhaps, vital life information that would determine the quality of life for those adoptees, their children and grandchildren. Lets get the ball rolling! #20

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