If you’d like to access the records that pertain to your adoption, this can serve as an example of the petition you’ll need to submit.
Jane French, In Pro Per
65 North Avenue of the Adopted Sea Island,
California Tel. No.: (888)-123-3456
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF _________
COUNTY OF _______________ CENTRAL DISTRICT
(Family Code §_____)
IT IS HEREBY REQUESTED THAT per Family Code Section ______
The Court allow access to the adoption records of Jane French:
I was born in Ventura County, California on September 30, 1960, and was named Amelia Lou English at birth.
Shortly after birth, I was adopted by Fred and Wilma Flintstone who resided in Santa Barbara County.
I would like to obtain any and all information in my adoption file concerning my birth parents and birth family. I need this information to assist me in finding out as much as possible about any genetic components involved in her death in order to protect myself and my five young children , ages 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 years old. I need all information possible to determine if any type of genetic screening would be wise for my children and me. As a mother, I feel that it is my responsibility to obtain any and all medical and genetic information about both of my birth parents and their families. Without the information in my adoption file, I will have great difficulty in locating my birth family to determine this much needed information.
Good cause exists for access to documents in the adoption file in that I have a natural curiosity about my roots and heritage. This natural curiosity is a normal and natural part of maturing and is an essential part of identify formation.
Good cause exists because I have a natural curiosity about my biological family. Application of Anonymous 399 N.Y. S2nd 857, 859 (1977), In Re C.A.B. 384 A.2d 679 (D.C. 1978).
Good cause exists for allowing access to my records in that courts in other jurisdictions have consistently held that biological parents do not have a constitutional right not to have identifying information disclosed. Does 1, 2, 3, etc. v. State, 164 Or. App. 543, Doe v. Sundquist 106 F.3d 702, 704 (6th Cir. 1997) cert. denied,, 522 U.S. 819, 118 S. Ct. 51 (1997). In February, 1997, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the plaintiff’s claim that Tennessee’s new law violates privacy against disclosure of confidential information. The court said:
“…birth is both an intimate occasion and a public event, and the long history of government-kept records of babies’ birth further the interest of children in knowing the circumstances of their birth.”
As an adult, I feel I have a right to any and all information about my relinquishment and adoption. To know one’s life story is a basic human right and should be denied to no one.
The Supreme Court has recognized the strong connection between identity and liberty, as well as the extent to which identity formation depends upon the development of close relationships with others. As the Court explained in Roberts v. United States Jaycees,10108 468 U.S. 609 (1984). The protection that the Constitution accords to highly personal relationships “reflects the realization that individuals draw much of their emotional enrichment from close ties with others. Protecting these relationships from unwarranted state interference therefore safeguards the ability independently to define one’s identity that is central to any concept of liberty.”My birth father would now be approximately ___ years old, so there is some urgency in my request. I have no way of knowing how much longer he may live.
I would also like any and all information concerning my birth father, including, but, not limited to medical information.
WHEREFORE, I, Jane French , respectfully request that the Court allow access to any and all records pertaining to my adoption, including, but not limited to, identifying information about my birth father.
Dated: October ____, 2006
aka Amelia Lou English
The Court having fully considered the verified petition of Jane French ORDERS the Clerk to furnish Petitioner with a copy of the following documents upon payment of any fees required by he law.
Judge of the Superior Court
© Excerpted from the Adoption.com Guide to Search and Reunion, published by Adoption Media, LLC
Credits: Jan Baker