A change in Illinois law allows adult adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate

Legislation has been passed in Illinois to allow most adult adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificates (OBC). Birth parents can indicate whether their own identifying information should be removed from the OBC before the adult adoptee receives a copy and can register their preference regarding contact with their adult birth son or daughter.

This important legislation, championed by Representative Sara Feigenholtz, is the result of collaboration by agencies and individuals within the Illinois adoption community including Midwest Adoption Center (MAC), the agency that delivers Confidential Intermediary Service of Illinois (CISI).

An adopted person may request a copy of the OBC, providing he or she is over the age of 21 and one or both birth parents listed on the original birth certificate has not requested anonymity through the state Registry. A request for anonymity by one birth parent does not prohibit the release of identifying information pertaining to the other birth parent.

What information is on the original birth certificate?

The copy of the OBC will probably include the name given to the adopted person at birth and the name of the birth mother as it was at that time. It is not uncommon that the birth father is not named on this document. The OBC may also include some other information about the birth parents such as place of birth and address at the time of the birth. The document will NOT include the birth parent’s current name or location. The document will NOT contain medical information.

Adopted adults who want to locate birth relatives

If you decide to search for birth relatives after receiving this important document, you have a variety of options:

  • In some cases, your birth parent will have filed a contact preference form with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange  (IARMIE) indicating his or her desire for contact with you. If so, that form will be sent to you along with the copy of the OBC and will include contact information for the birth parent who filed the preference form.
  • You can submit a form to the IARMIE indicating that you want a connection with a birth relative. It is possible that a birth parent or other relative have already registered and a connection can be made without a search.
  • You can request a search by a Confidential Intermediary through CISI.  Click here for information about how a Confidential Intermediary could help after you have received a copy of your original birth certificate.
  • You can attempt to locate a birth parent or other relative on your own, by using various public information sources.
  • If there was an adoption agency involved in your placement into your adoptive home, that agency might offer search service.
  • You can seek the help of a support group or private adoption searcher.

Birth parents and other birth relatives who want to locate an adult adoptee

The new Illinois law does not change your access to the adult adoptee's current name or contact information. Birth parents and other birth relatives who want to locate an adopted person have several options:
  • If you are eligible, you can register with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE). It is possible that the adopted person has already registered and a connection can be made without a search.
  • You can attempt to locate the adopted person on your own, by using various public information sources.
  • If there was an adoption agency involved in the adoptive placement, that agency might offer search service.
  • As a birth parent (and other birth relatives in some situations), you can request a search by a Confidential Intermediary through CISI. Click here for information about how a CI can help locate the adopted person.
  • You can seek the help of a support group or private adoption searcher.



 
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