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9 FAQs about Adoption Papers

Everything You Need to Know about Adoption Records

If you were adopted before open adoption became the norm, then you’re probably having trouble accessing your adoption paperwork. When a closed adoption is finalized, the adoption records are sealed, posing many problems for adoptees. Maybe they need access to medical information or simply want to learn more about their birth family.

That’s why we’ve compiled nine FAQs (and answers) about adoption paperwork to help you understand how to find your adoption records.

If you’re an adoptive parent wondering about adoption paperwork, or if you’re interested in learning more about the adoption process, then you can fill out this contact form to get more free information now.

9 FAQs about Adoption Papers

1. What Are Adoption Papers?

Every adoption in the U.S. includes adoption records. These records include identifying information about birth parents, such as:

  • Their names

  • Their address at the time of the adoption

  • Their phone number at the time of the adoption

  • The original birth certificate

  • And more

2. How Can I Help My Child Find Their Paperwork?

As an adoptive parent, you can help your child look for their by providing emotional support. You can go with them to the local county clerk’s office to help them begin their search for their birth parents. Being there with them every step of the way whenever they need you is one of the best ways you can help your child find their .

3. How Can I Get Adoption Papers?

If you’re an adoptee looking for your adoption papers, then one of the best places to start is by contacting the county clerk’s office from the county you were adopted from. From there, you can learn about the specific process and file for a petition to receive your sealed adoption records. Once there is a petition on file with the county court, you will schedule a meeting with the local judge.

The judge will then either grant or deny your request to unseal your adoption records. If the judge grants your request, then your adoption records will be opened up to you.

4. What Do Adoption Papers Look Like?

Adoption papers have identifying information about the birth parent, such as names and phone numbers. Most states allow the release of non-identifying information, including:

  • Birth date and location of adoptee’s birth

  • Birth parents’ age, race, ethnicity and medical history

  • The birth parents’ general reason for adoption

  • Ages of the birth parents’ other children, if any

  • And more

5. Can I File Adoption Papers without an Attorney?

It’s always recommended to file adoption papers with an attorney because the forms are complex. An attorney can walk you through the steps to make sure you’re filing them correctly. Adoption attorneys are a necessary part of every adoption process and often work alongside an adoption agency to provide the services you need.

6. How Much Do Adoption Papers Cost?

The cost of obtaining your adoption papers depends on the state you’re located in. Most states require that you pay a fee before obtaining a copy of your adoption records. Make sure to check with your local county clerk’s office to get the exact amount.

7. Are Adoption Papers Public?

Adoption papers are sealed from the public and are available to adoptees 18 and older in most states. If you’re looking for any information about your adoption, then you can reach out to your local county clerk’s office to begin the process of obtaining your adoption papers.

8. Can I Get Adoption Papers Online?

Most closed adoption records are sealed after finalization. The only way to obtain any sealed adoption records is by filing a petition with a judge at the county clerk’s office of the county you were adopted from. From there, a judge will either approve or deny your petition and, if successful, you’ll be sent a copy of your adoption records.

9. How Can I Get a Copy of My Adoption Papers?

To get a copy of your adoption papers, you’ll need to schedule a meeting with a judge to explain why you want your adoption records and why unsealing these records is necessary.

Accessing these records not only helps you search for your birth parents, but your adoption records can also provide some important information about health risks and your genealogy. When you meet with the judge, be as detailed as possible about why you want access to your adoption papers.

Final Thoughts

The search for your birth parents can seem daunting, but finding out about your past and medical history will help you understand your identity. Knowing who you are and where you came from will not only benefit you but also your adoptive family.

If you’re an adoptive parent and want to learn more about the legal side of adoption, then fill out our contact form to get more free information now.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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