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    DonjaFox's Avatar
    DonjaFox Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Sep 4, 2006, 04:21 AM
    Accessing adoption records
    Hello! I'm wondering if anyone can help me! * I'm adopted and have recently decided to search for my biological family. Thing is there is a lot of stuff about the adoption I don't know. I've heard I am entitled to view my records, but I have no idea how to go about it. If anyone can offer me any information, I would be very grateful. Thank you!
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #2

    Sep 4, 2006, 04:42 AM
    The first step is to contact the agency that handled the adoption. They will explain to you what info they can and can't provide.

    I'm not sure who told you that you are "entitled" to view the records, but it wasn't accurate. The only thing you may be entitled to is medical information. Its really up to the terms of the adoption as to whether you can get the identity and location info. In most cases adoption records are sealed.

    I would also suggest doing a web search for sites that will help adoptive children and birth parents get toegther. The Internet has made it easier when both parties are agreeable to reuniting.

    But, you really need to tread carefully here. An adopted child's search for biological parents can be emotionally perilous. Its very possible that that your biological parents are not interested in being found. You should not take this as a personal rejection. It is their issue based on what may have been painful memories for them. Also, you need to make sure you don't alienate your adoptive parents. They are your real parents.

    Good Luck
    DonjaFox's Avatar
    DonjaFox Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Sep 4, 2006, 05:05 AM
    Thank you for your prompt reply! I have already found one family member and I know it is not going to be that difficult to find the rest. I already know a bit about the circumstances surrounding my adoption but not everything, that is why I wish to view my file, not for contact details. I really need to know this information until I can make any further dicissions as to what to do next. I do believe it is my right to know, I don't think rushing into any form of contact would be a good idea until I know. Do you know if they can give information in special cases? I wasn't put up for adoption, I was taken away by social services. Thanks again.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,305, Reputation: 7692
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    #4

    Sep 4, 2006, 05:37 AM
    In general of course you can ask your adopted parents, they may know.

    And I am glad you found one family member, yours is not the common case for adopted people. Normally you will never find them ( that is the common case for most adopted people) They find their court records sealed and no access to them. Back in the 70's when I wanted to find my birth parents I found it almost impossible.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #5

    Sep 4, 2006, 02:42 PM
    The ONLY people who can answer your questions is the Social Services agency that was involved. It is their rules that apply and those rules will vary from agency to agency. As Chuck notes, in the majority of cases, the records are sealed. In fact its only fairly recently (in the last 20 or so years) that adoption agencies have realized they need to provide at least medical histories.

    While you may think its your right to know, the agency may feel they biological parents have a greater right to privacy.
    shygrneyzs's Avatar
    shygrneyzs Posts: 5,017, Reputation: 936
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    #6

    Oct 10, 2006, 05:49 AM
    Speaking from the viewpoint of one who placed a child into adoptive services in 1973... I knew the court records and all records were sealed. No one was to be able to access information. This measure was to protect the child, the biological and the adoptive parents. It was just the common practice. In June of 1998 I wanted to search for "my" child and contacted the family services agency I used in 1973. I was told not much, that they could not tell me anything unless they had the written permission from my child. I asked if she had ever contacted them in regards to finding me and they said they could not even tell me that. But if I wanted to, I could write a letter to the agency, granting my permission to be called - by the agency - in case my daughter would inquire.

    So even after all those years, there was still protection in place. As it so happened, my daughter was searching at the same time. Her adopted parents knew very little, other than the name of the agency. But she had gotten ahold of a copy of the original birth certificate - via a chat room on Yahoo of all things. She was talking in an adoption room and in that room was someone who worked for the state, in the vital statistics dept. My daughter gave this person the date and place she was born and in a day she had the birth certificate faxed to her. With the birth certificate she knew whose records to ask for with the family services agency.

    This all turned out for good. It could have easily turned the other way. She met both myself and her father, our families, and some of the extended family. But she never did receive permission from the agency to view the contents of any files. I do not know how that would have helped her, unless she would have used that information to compare to what both her biological father and I told her happened in our relationship.
    Rachel16's Avatar
    Rachel16 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Oct 27, 2006, 01:13 PM
    I am in a similar situation. My father was adopted, and he just recently died. I am looking for my biological grandparents. A lot of sites want money for the searches you do, and I'm not going to do that. But mabey you could find a site where all the info you have to know is about yourself or your adoptive parents. That might help. Try adoption records search, or find my biological parents.
    Rachel

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