How to Find Your Birth Records

This can be an important step in your search.

Denalee Chapman June 04, 2015
article image

Adoptees and adoptive parents who are searching for birth records have a few options. Although some non-identifying information may sometimes be obtained from the agency through which the adoption took place, in most cases adoption and birth records are sealed once the adoption is finalized. State-by-state laws regarding access to vital records vary.

Those searching for birth records within the United States and territories may search for specific state and territory requirements to order desired records here. Basic guidelines that are required, regardless of the state or territory one is searching, in may be read here. This information is helpful in states where records are accessible. Some states do not yet allow open access for all adults. In those states there are other ways to gain information. Joining a search and reunion registry could result in desired information.

You can read more about searching here. To search for a variety of information within the United States and its territories, including foster care and adoption agencies, contact numbers, support groups and search registries, go to the Child Welfare Information Gateway National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search.

Before starting the process of requesting adoption or birth records, gather all the information you have access to, search for missing information, then move forward according to the requirements of your specific state or territory.


author image

Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

Need help from a search & reunion professional?

Love this? Want more?

Claim Your FREE Adoption Summit Ticket!

The #1 adoption website is hosting the largest, FREE virtual adoption summit. Come listen to 50+ adoption experts share their knowledge and insights.

Members of the adoption community are invited to watch the virtual summit for FREE on September 23-27, 2019, or for a small fee, you can purchase an All-Access Pass to get access to the summit videos for 12 months along with a variety of other benefits.

Get Your Free Ticket