An adoption record is a sealed file containing all of the legal paperwork involved in an adoption and the finalization process. Because the finalization process involves the issuance of a new birth certificate for the adoptee that has his or her adoptive parents on it, his or her original birth certificate is placed in the record. These records are sealed, meaning a majority, if not all, of the information within them is to remain confidential unless proper requests to view the information is met.
Records are an important tool for adoptees who want to know more about their past as well as birth parents or siblings who want to find a child placed in adoption. The main reason an adoptee would want to access his or her records is to contact his or her birth relatives with questions about medical history. The rights an adoptee has to accessing this information has been long-fought for.
The release of adoption records varies by state. There are two kinds of information that can come from an adoption record release: non-identifying and identifying information. Identifying information includes basic information, such as the age an adoptee was at the time of the finalization, the date and place of the adoption, the occupations of the birth parents and their educational, medical, ethnic, racial and religious background, the reason for placing a child in adoption and whether or not the adoptee had siblings at the time of the adoption.
For some, that is enough information to answer health-related questions and basic reasons for their adoption. Birth parents are also able to access these records, and 28 states currently allow birth parents to access non-identifying information.
Identifying information includes birth parents' names, the names of any birth siblings, the permanent addresses or residence of employment. The release of this information requires the consent of the person whose information it is. The information can also be released with a court order and good cause. At least five states require counseling prior to the release of identifying information. About 30 states require mutual consent.
If registering with one's state is not met with mutual consent from the another triad member, adoptees can have a court-assigned confidential intermediary gain access to the adoption file and facilitate communication between the two parties.
Category: Search And Reunion
See Also: sealed adoption record
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