Where was the adoption finalized? Identifying and non-identifying information about your adoption should first be requested from the state or jurisdiction where the adoption was finalized, and not from the adopted person’s birth location if different.

Adoption law is state law and this includes laws covering the release of identifying and non-identifying information to adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents.

Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, New Hampshire, and Oregon are “open records states,” meaning that adult adoptees can receive copies of original documentation about their adoptions just by completing an application process. Other states also provide for the release of original information with some restrictions.

An adoptee’s age matters. The age at which adoptees can receive identifying or non-identifying information ranges from 18 to 25. Be sure to check this age requirement.

Check individual state laws.

Need some help with your adoption search? Adoption Detectives may be able to help! Learn more.

You may also want to read:

Search and Reunion Guide

A Guide For Adoptees On Answering Ignorant Questions