adoption & birth

Adoption & Birth Certificates/Records

Obtaining regular adoption & birth certificates or records is normally a simple process. However, it can become a bit more confusing when you are looking to obtain adoption records or birth certificates after an adoption. Whether you are looking for adoption records or a birth certificate after an adoption there are ways to find the information you need. Not every state and or adoption agency has the same standards. When it comes to releasing adoption information, it is important to check with your state or agency to find out their policies.

Adoption & Birth Certificates and Records – How to Obtain Sealed Documents

Adoption records are typically sealed after the adoption is finalized, but can be accessed if the proper steps are taken. Obtaining a birth certificate after an adoption isn’t hard unless you are looking for the original copy, or when you’ve adopted internationally. Usually, upon a final adoption, a birth certificate is changed or amended to change the name of the biological parents to the names of the adoptive parents. This is not always the case, as sometimes the original birth parents are left on the document. An amended birth certificate is given to the family after the adoption is final. The original copy of the birth certificate is normally placed in the adoption records and is sealed permanently. It is very common for the adoption records to be closed after the adoption is final. Some states and agencies may leave this information open at the request of the biological parents. Typically only the adopted person, birth parents, or adoptive parents can file to access adoption records that are sealed. If you are looking to access sealed adoption records you will have to follow these steps:

  • Go to the county of the adoption and contact the county clerk to learn the rules about obtaining information for a closed adoption. You may need to be the adopted person or be of a certain age to access records. Get a petition form.
  • Fill out the petition form and give it to the county court to review.
  • Once a court date is set, meet with the judge to explain why you need access to sealed adoption record information. Normally the reasons must be related to an emergency and not a personal reason. Medical reasons will often result in being granted access to adoption records. The judge will either grant or deny you access based on your reason.
  • If granted access you can either view information or request a confidential intermediary. If granted the confidential intermediary you will normally have to work with lawyer to gain the adoption information you are seeking from the biological parents. If the biological parents are deceased, access to un-sealed adoption records is normally granted.

The good news for individuals who have been adopted is that there is current legislation being pushed forward to help get those sealed adoption records. As of January 15, 2020,  New York adoptees will now be able to obtain these pre-adoption birth certificates! It’s common for other states to follow suit when legislation like this is approved. This could mean other states will soon grant access to adoptee’s original birth records.

If you are looking to obtain a birth certificate, you can trust VitalChek to help you. We are a leading government certified vital records provider. Visit us online to learn more about how easy it is to order your birth certificate!


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