Q:

How do you find adoption records?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, laws for finding adoption records vary widely by state, as does the type of information that can be accessed. For example, a New Jersey law scheduled to take effect in 2017 will allow adoptees to request their original birth certificates, yet in Texas, adoption records are sealed and redacted, so requesters need a court order to access them. Additionally, some states, including Alaska and Kansas, don't restrict access to adoption records at all.

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How do you find adoption records?
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Full Answer

Adoptees are subject to adoptive record laws according to birthplace, not current residence. For example, an adoptee who was born in Texas but currently resides in New Jersey is subject to Texas' restrictive adoption record laws.

If state child protection agencies were involved in the adoption, adoptees can contact the particular agency to receive information tailored to their situation and possibly speed up the process of locating desired adoption details. If a private organization processed the adoption, adoptees can contact that organization. In cases where the adoption agency shut down or went out of business, the agency's records usually become the property of the state.

In many states, adoption record requests are limited to adult adoptees, adoptive parents, spouses or children of adoptees, although requests can also be made by legal guardians or representatives of adoptees. People with no connection to the adoptee can't request adoption records, however, except in states where access isn't restricted.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the laws regarding adoption in the state of New York?

    A:

    New York state laws do not place limitations on who is eligible for adoption. Adults are permitted to adopt other adults. Anyone over the age of 14 must consent to the adoption. Unmarried adults are permitted to adopt. In some circumstances, minors are allowed to adopt other minors, states FindLaw.

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  • Q:

    What are some laws regarding the adoption of children in Michigan?

    A:

    Under Michigan adoption laws, anyone can be adopted, but children who are 14 years of age or older cannot be adopted unless they are able to give their own consent, according to Find Law. State law also provides that prospective adoptive parents have 21 days to challenge a denial.

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  • Q:

    Do you have to hire an adoption agency in Cleveland in order to adopt?

    A:

    The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and Cuyahoga County Division of Children & Family Services don't explicitly state that an adoption agency is mandatory for adoption. However, they imply on their websites that using their services or hiring a private agency is a route most prospective parents take.

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  • Q:

    How do you file a petition for adoption?

    A:

    File a petition for adoption by supplying personal information about the adoptive parents and the child, specifying the legal reason for termination of the birth parents' rights, and identifying any relationship between the adoptive parents and the child, explains Nolo. Include statements that the adoption is in the child's best interest, and that the adoptive parents are an appropriate placement. State adoption laws and procedures vary.

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