Adoptees Be Aware: Indiana Changes Adoption Laws

Indiana's new law allows the release of "identifying information," but birth parents are given the power to prohibit the release of that information.

Ashley Foster August 01, 2018
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Some adoptees are outraged by the fine print on the so-called “opening” of Indiana’s adoption records. As of July 1st, adoptees 21 and older became eligible to request “identifying information” through the indiana adoption Matching Registry. The requested information would include a copy of the original birth certificate. The law provides birth parents the opportunity to submit a contact preference form that prohibits the release of information to the adoptee for a selected period of time or forever. That’s right, a birth parent can deny identifying information to an adoptee even after the birth parent is dead.

If a birth parent denies the adoptee their identifying information for a certain period of time, he or she will be contacted 90 days prior to the expiration of the time frame to allow another contact preference form to be submitted. A contact preference form that allows communication can specify the use of an intermediary. Any “non-release form” that was filed before the new law went into effect will continue to be honored.

“Identifying information” refers to any name that a party to an adoption has used or is using, any address that a party to an adoption has used or is using, the original certificates of birth stored at the state department of health with evidence of adoption, and any other info, except the medical history that may identify a person as a party to an adoption as a birth parent, an adoptee, or an adoptive parent.

Persons eligible to request “identifying information” are adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, a spouse or relative of a deceased adoptee, or spouse of a relative of a deceased birth parent. The person making the request should submit both Form 47897 for non-identifying information and Form 47896 for identifying information. There is no fee, but a government ID is required. Due to high volume, a request may take 12-16 weeks to receive.

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Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees' rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at

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