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Adopting Family Resources

Adopting Birth RecordsAdopting Birth Records

Birth Records

Information on obtaining birth records and adoption records is provided on the links below.

Where to Write for Vital Records

The site of the National Center for Health Statistics may help you get information on birth records.

Adoption Help

Offers more information about domestic adoption and about international adoption, with special emphasis on China adoption, Russia adoption, and Guatemala adoption.

International Documents

The adopted family and/or adoptee looking for documents (such as a birth certificate or adoption decree) may find that the U.S. or foreign child-placing agency is not able to provide the desired records. The adopting family or adoptee may want to apply to government agencies in the birth country. Mailing addresses of offices of vital records in foreign countries can be found on this U.S. State Department website.

Obtaining Birth and/or Adoption Records

Adoption records are sealed in many states and withheld from public inspection after the adoption is finalized.  However, the states, have procedures by which parties to an adoption may obtain non-identifying as well as some identifying information about an adopted child and the child's birth mother and birth father.  You may also want to check the laws of the state in which the birth father and birth mother reside and the state in which the adoption was, or will be, finalized. 

You may find it helpful to read the Child Welfare Information Gateway article "Access to Family Information by Adopted Persons".

Help for Adopting Families by State

 Alabama  Montana
 Alaska  Nebraska
 Arizona  Nevada
 Arkansas  New Hampshire
 California  New Jersey
 Colorado  New Mexico
 Connecticut  New York
 Delaware  North Carolina
 Florida  North Dakota
 Georgia  Ohio
 Hawaii  Oklahoma
 Idaho  Oregon
 Illinois  Pennsylvania
 Indiana  Rhode Island
 Iowa  South Carolina
 Kansas  South Dakota
 Kentucky  Tennessee
 Louisiana  Texas
 Maine  Utah
 Maryland  Vermont
 Massachusetts  Virginia
 Michigan  Washington
 Minnesota  West Virginia
 Mississippi  Wisconsin
 Missouri  Wyoming
 More Adoption Help
 Pregnancy  Placing a child for adoption
 Parenting  Adopting a child

Adopting Birth RecordsAdopting Birth Records