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States with Open Records

Please check with your State's registrar of vital records for up to date information regarding access in that particular state.


List of States with Partial, Full Open Records or Original Birth Certificates Available to Adoptees
 
 
 

Also see: http://www.childwelfare.gov/nfcad/index.cfm

To find an adoption registry for a particular state, go to the link above.  Select a state from the drop down menu and also check the box “State Reunion Registries/Confidential Intermediary Services”.

 

When an adoption is finalized, a new birth certificate for the child is customarily issued to the adoptive parents. The original birth certificate is then sealed and kept confidential by the State registrar of vital records. In the past, nearly all States required a court order for adopted people to gain access to their original birth certificates. In approximately 26 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico, a court order is still required. However, in many States, the laws are changing to allow easier access to these records. Some of those laws allow information access:
1. Through a court order when all parties have consented
2. At the request of the adult adopted person
3. At the request of the adopted person unless the birth parent has filed an affidavit denying release of confidential records
4. When eligibility to receive identifying information has been established with a State adoption registry
5. When consents from the birth parents to release identifying information are on file.

For those states with no-contact vetoes, please check with that particular state's regulations.  Some states consider it a criminal offense if you make contact when a veto is in place.

 

The latest news:

Missouri:

July 1, 2016 - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has Signed HB1599! Missouri born adoptees will now be able to get a copy of their original birth certificate for the first time since 1941, without a court order. Everyone born before 1941 will be able to get their birth certificate on 8-29-2016!!!!! Everyone born after 1940 will be able to request their birth certificate as of 1-1-2018!!!! More information soon can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/MissouriAdopteeRightsMovement/

New Jersey: 

Original Birth Certificate Availability to Adoptees 
On May 27, 2014, Governor Christie amended the vital records law to allow an adult adoptee, whose Original Birth Certificate was placed in a "sealed file," to obtain a non-certified copy of that Original Birth Certificate. P.L. 2014, c. 9.  

You can send your request in now. The fee is $25 and they say it may take 4-6 weeks for a search. They will cash the check and perform the search now, however they will not be mailing out until 1 Jan 2017 in accordance with the new law.

Instructions

Application

Hawaii:

Hawaii's 2016 Adoption Record Law
 
From June 23, 2016, all members of the triad (adoptee, birth parents & adoptive parents) may request access to sealed adoption records held by Family Court, once the adopted person is 18 years old. These records contain information about the parties to the adoption and include court documents, the home study, and the adoptee's original birth certificate.
 
The request for access is made directly to Family Court, on forms provided by the Court. http://www.courts.state.hi.us/docs/1FP/1FP770.pdf or at their office. This request must be to the Family Court in the district that the adoption took place.
 
This form must be signed and notarized if you are mailing it in. When delivering this request in person, you must have a picture ID to verify your identity. Those requesting must pay for a copy of the records.
 
The following are all the Family Courts and their contact information:
 
Adoption Records First Circuit Court (Oahu), Family Court
Kapolei Judiciary Complex
4675 Kapolei Parkway
Kapolei Hi 96707-3272
Phone; (808) 954-8145
 
Adoption Records Family Court, 2nd District
2145 Main Street, Suite 206
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793-1679
 
Adoption Records Family Court, 3rd District
345 Kekuanaoa Street, Room 40
Hilo, Hawaii 96720-4388
 
Adoption Records Family Court, 5th District
3970 Kaana Street, Suite 305
Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii 96766-1283