Most adoptions today are open adoptions, where information between birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees is readily accessible just by picking up the phone. But for many adult adoptees who were born during an era of closed adoptions, accessing any information about where they came from can be difficult.
If you’re an adoptee who grew up in the closed adoption era, or know an adoptee who wants to learn more about their closed adoption, share this to let others know!
In every adoption, there’s an original birth certificate and an amended birth certificate. The original birth certificate that includes the name(s) of your birth parent(s) is sealed along with your adoption records, and the amended birth certificate is handed to your adoptive parents with their names on it shortly after an adoption is finalized.
Sealing these records or omitting birth parent names on documents in closed adoptions was done in an attempt to protect their privacy. This was especially common in the old era of closed adoptions when adoption was something viewed as secretive and shameful.
Many adult adoptees in closed adoptions want to search for their birth family, or at least learn more about their adoption. This process usually begins by opening your adoption records and requesting your original birth certificate. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy.
Are you interested in accessing your original birth certificate? Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Understand Your State’s Adoption Laws
Each state will have different levels of adoption information accessibility to adult adoptees, and each county may have a slightly different process for obtaining adoption records.
States with open adoption records include:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Partial-access states include:
States with restricted open adoption records include:
- New Jersey
States with sealed adoption records or very limited access include:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
If you live in a state with open adoption record access, you’re in luck! Accessing your original birth certificate is typically as easy as calling the County Court Clerk where you were adopted and asking about the request process for your original birth certificate.
States with limited or sealed access to adoption records may not give you your full adoption record unless there’s some sort of medical emergency or your birth parents are deceased, and even then, the identifying information is usually redacted. If this is the case, you’ll need to proceed to Step 2.
2. Petition the Court
You’ll need to file a petition with the county clerk’s office where your adoption was finalized. The petition will explain your reasons for requesting your original birth certificate. Unfortunately, medical need is usually the only instance where strict adoption access states will approve your petition.
If your birth parents are no longer living, accessing your birth certificate will also be more likely. The state no longer puts birth parent privacy first after a birth parent is deceased.
Your case will be presented before a judge, who will decide whether or not you may have access to your original birth certificate and adoption records.
3. Order Your Original Birth Certificate with a Court Order or Through Your Attorney
You can take the signed court order from the judge approving your petition to disclose your original birth certificate, then work with your attorney to submit a written request to your birth state’s department of vital records. If you were adopted internationally, you’ll submit the request to the state where your adoption was finalized.
Best of luck with your search!
I am a birth mother and want to obtain the original birth certificate for my daughter. We have found each other. She was born in NY and lives there. I live in Ontario Canada now. THank you for any information you can provide.
Did you hear back in this? I am in same situation.
I’m in the same situation. What a blessing for us all. Did anyone hear back?
I am the adoptee. I have my adoption papers my mother gave me many years ago. My adoption took place in Oregon and I was born in California from which my amended BC is from. Where does my original BC? Do I need to petition CA court for it. I found my birth mother and sister. My mom is 83 has Alzheimer’s and won’t remember. My older sister would like more proof than my adoption papers just to solidify my presence. Who should I contact. The county where I was adopted or the county I was born.
Hi, Nancy – You’ll need to contact the county clerk in the county in which your adoption was finalized. Because the process of accessing your original birth certificate varies by state and sometimes even by county, the county clerk will need to walk you through how to petition for your original birth certificate there.
Adult adoptees in Oregon have a right to the OBC as well as to most of the court records upon request. You can request all of your court records, and Oregon law requires that they be given to you, with the exception of the home study. You should contact the court of adoption in Oregon to determine how to request those records, which may include a copy of the OBC. The actual original birth certificate, however, is in California and can only be accessed by court order through the county court where you were born. California is a pretty restrictive state and it’s tough to get court orders approved to release OBCs. Your best best is likely the court records in Oregon and hoping that a copy of the OBC is in those records.
You can also do an Ancestry DNA Test to prove you biological connection if you can’t get the birth record.
Hello, I am looking for to get a birth certificate for adoption from a different country. How can apply a birth certificate if was born outside American?
Hi, Nicholas — If you are referring to your birth certificate obtained in the U.S., you will need to contact the county clerk in the county in which you were adopted. If you are referring to your original birth certificate from the country in which you were adopted, you will need to contact Vital Records (or a similar federal agency) of that country. It may be more difficult to obtain an original birth certificate from your native country, but try contacting the agency through which you were adopted to get started.
If born in a different country but adopted in the United States, it will depend on whether you were issued a birth certificate in the other country. For some intercountry adoptees, it’s possible no original birth certificate exists. If one was issued and does exist, however, it will typically also be on file with the court or the agency in the U.S. that handled your adoption.
My mother was adopted at age 3. She was born in Minnesota in 1925. Her birth parents are deceased. Her adoptive parents are deceased. My mother is also deceased. I am doing my ancestry and need information from her birth certificate. Upon her death, we did not find one. How can I get a copy of that? The most we know is her birth mother’s name, her birth father’s name and the name of both adoptive parents, where she was born and in what year. We also know the year she was adopted.
How can I find the certificate of birth (with the names of the birth parents)? If possible I would also like the certificate that was given to her adoptive parents and what ever information about the adoption we can get.
Thank you, Linda McGrady
Hi, Linda — If you know the county in which her adoption was finalized, you can contact the county clerk there to start the search for her original birth certificate. They can guide you through the process of petitioning for the original and amended birth certificate.
I WAS BORN IN PEORIA IL. IN 1966 THROUGH CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES ADOPTION AGENCY AT ST. FRANCIS HOSPITAL IN PEORIA IS THERE SOME ADVISE AS TO KNOW IF OR HOW I CAN OBTAIN MY ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE MY ADOPTED PARENTS ARE BOTH GONE AND I COULD ONLY FIND A SOCIAL HISTORY PAPER I KNOW MY MOTHER WAS 19 AND HAD RED HAIR IN 1966 AND MY DAD WAS A TRUCK DRIVER AND A LITTLE OLDER THAN MY MOM IM NOT A WEALTHY PERSON WHAT IS MY CHEAPEST ROUTE IN THE STATE OF IL.
Hi, Karen — You’ll want to start by contacting the county clerk of the county where your adoption was finalized. The clerk there will walk you through the process of obtaining your original birth certificate. The adoption agency through which you were adopted may also be able to provide answers to some of your questions.
I know you post is a couple years old, Karen. You can, in fact, obtain a non-certified copy of your OBC, as long as your birth parents didn’t choose to redact their names.It’s not expensive.
Check with the Illinois Department of health Vital Records.
I’m the birth mother to my daughter and my husband adopted her. I have her OBC but somehow the ABC was not done and her records are sealed (from the State of VA). SC does not have any paperwork with her adopted name from the court. Nobody seems to know how I can get her adopted name on a BC and sent to me. State of VA says SC has to do it but SC says VA has to do it. What documentation do I need and what do I do?
Hi, Debbie — We’d recommend you try talking to the county clerk in the county where your daughter was adopted. Because the process of accessing your original birth certificate varies by state and sometimes even by county, we can’t specifically state what is necessary for your case. Consider speaking with a local attorney for more guidance on this matter.
I have a weird situation. I was born out of wedlock in North Carolina in 1972. My birth mother’s first husband legally adopted me in California. A few years later, my mother’s parents removed me from their custody and legally adopted me in Florida. So, I’ve been adopted twice, neither time in the same state in which I was born. I want to get my original birth certificate to try to discover the identity of my birth father. I have no interest in meeting him, but I want to fill in the blanks. I don’t know where to start to figure this out. North Carolina? California? I ordered a birth certificate from North Carolina when I got married and it had my grandparents’ names on it as my parents due to the adoption. I’ve been trying to get someone to tell me anything about my birth father for years and no one will tell me anything. I just want answers! Please help!
We recommend that you reach out to the county clerk where your first adoption was finalized in California. For your birth mother’s husband to adopt you, your birth father’s rights must have first been terminated. The county clerk may be able to access information about your birth father in your adoption records and potentially your original birth certificate, as well.
I have a copy of my bc and it has my mother’s name But not the father. Supposedly my dad adopted me when I was young and I do have his last name. How do I find out if I was actually adopted and what the real father’s last name is?
Hi, Tabatha — Do you know in which county your adoption may have been finalized? Start by contacting the county clerk there, who can provide you with an amended birth certificate with your adoptive father’s name. They may also have the original birth certificate from your birth, on which your biological father’s name may have been listed.
I am an adoptee looking to obtain my original birth certificate from Washington DC. I see you have all the other states listed, however, I don’t see DC. Can you help with how I can petition the courts in DC to receive my original BC.
My adoption was in Virginia and I’ve been able to get the closed records from the court opened. .
Hi, Janet — You’ll want to work with the county clerk in the county where you were adopted (in this case, Virginia). They can help you access your original birth certificate there. Keep in mind that the process of accessing your original birth certificate varies by state and sometimes even by county. If you cannot obtain your birth certificate in Virginia, you may need to petition the county in which you were born for the original birth certificate. Again, please contact the county clerk for more information on how you can open those records.
Hello my name is Pearline. I was adopted in Virginia but live in California. How do I petition the court in Virginia. Both my biblical parents and adopted parents have passed away. Can I do this on line.can not go all the way back to Virginia. Pearline is my birth name. I took back my birth name. But sometimes I have to use the name given at adoption.
Hi Janet, I am in a similar situation. I was born in Portsmouth Virginia. Both my biological and adoptive parents are deceased. I am having trouble getting my original BC. They aren’t very helpful in the clerks office. They even sent me a certificate with a mixture of the two(arg!) certificates! Any advice?
I am in California so going to the office isn’t an option.
Frustrated in California
aka Emma (adoptive name) Pearline (birth name)
My husband was adopted by his mothers parents in Michigan. He has always been in contact with his mother and has been in contact with his birth father for the past 23 years. He would like to obtain his original birth certificate. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, however, the adoption took place in Michigan. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Hi, Jean — You’ll want to contact the county clerk in the Michigan county where he was adopted. They can help him obtain his original birth certificate or help him determine his next steps.
I was born in Leominster ma August 10 1971… and had a single mother was adopted by her new husband …. I’m searching for my real father and his side of the family…have no information on him due to my mother not willing to tell me ….Do I need to know my adoption year ??..And what is the route I should take
Hi, Joe — If you can find out the year and the county in which your adoption was finalized, that will help your search for your biological father. That way, you can contact the county clerk, who will guide you through the process of opening your adoption records. You may wish to speak with a local adoption attorney for more information on this process for your situation.
I was adopted from Columbia sc . Searching for my birth mom. Wanting to get any records from the adoption. It was a open adoption. I have a pic of my birth mom.
Hi, Wendy — You’ll want to contact the county clerk in the county where your adoption was finalized. They can help you access any original documents from your adoption, including any available information about your birth mother.
Hello. My Mother was an adoptee, and while in the process of filing for her sealed records to be released she past away at the age of 49 of heart failure. Ironically, others within our adopted family have died from the same disease. And, as her daughter, I am unsure if this is runs through our family given that she was adopted, or what. Will it be possible for the daughter of an deceased adoptee to petition the court to unseal those documents for medical purposes?
Hi, Crystal — If you know where your mother’s adoption was finalized, you might start your search by contacting the county clerk there. They can often guide you through the process of obtaining original adoption records, including medical documents. Because the process of unsealing adoption records varies by state and sometimes even by county, you might also reach out to a local adoption attorney, who can better explain the regulations in your state.
I was adopted at birth on Feb 12, 1984 in Anderson South Carolina. I’ve always wondered who my birth parents are. I have my amended birth certificate and I really want to obtain my original birth certificate along with adoption records. How can I go about in accomplishing this? Thank you very much
Hi, Matt — If your adoption was finalized in Anderson, you would want to contact the county clerk in that South Carolina to get started. They can guide you through the process of obtaining an original birth certificate and opening adoption records, as it varies by state and even by county. Likewise, if your adoption was finalized in another county, you will want to contact the county clerk there, instead.
My mother was adopted in 1927. Her birth records were sealed and she was never able to unseal them. As her daughter is there way that I can I can get her birth records now. There is family hereaditary health issue’s with all me and my siblings and would like to her heritage and where we come from.
Hi, Kelly — Do you know the county in which your mother’s adoption was finalized? You would need to contact the county clerk there for information about obtaining and unsealing her adoption records. Because the adoption was completed that long ago, you may also consider reaching out to a local adoption attorney for more guidance.
I was born In Angela’s city Philippines on a us air Force base to my mother and her husband. She divorced my biological father left the Philippines
Moved back to
Minnesota and got remarried when I was like 4. The man she remarried then adopted me as my biological father gave up his birth rights. My name then changed as well. I’m trying to
Get a birth certificate as the only thing I have is a
Certificate of live birth
Hi, Tyler — You might start by contacting the county clerk in the county in which your adoption was finalized. They may have an original birth certificate in your adoption records. You might also reach out to the Air Force officials at the base on which you were born to obtain any additional birth records.
direction… recently my boyfriend tried to obtain a passport and was denied because of his birth certificate.. it is impressed with a stamp but was told it needed to have a gold seal…. But it’s a certificate of live birth after being adopted. He was born in the Philippians to both parents being american.. Father was stationed there and when he came back to america eventually his mom remarried and step father adopted him around the age of 3 ..The state of Minnesota basically told him they did not have records of him nor his biologically father records of him even being in the Air Force. He has gotten by over the years with no issue using the birth certificate given, he has a social security card and license. I am trying to figure out who we need to talk to…
You will likely need to reach out to a local adoption attorney in this situation. They can guide you through the necessary steps for your unique circumstances.
my son was born while I was in Spain and he has two birth certs – one issued by Spain and another by the US Department of State called a CONSULAR REPORT OF BIRTH ABROAD. That should be the same here. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/while-abroad/birth-abroad.html
My birth certificate states that its from the cabinet of kentucky man resources across the top it is also signed by barbara f. White my file number only has 10 digits is my birth certificate amended ive asked my parents but they have never answered…..
Hi, Crystal — You may want to reach out to the Kentucky county records office on your birth certificate for more information. You might also consider working with a Kentucky adoption attorney for more guidance on how to proceed.
I was born in overseas and adopted in New Jersey State, I am currently living in Louisiana and in the process of applying for the medical state board license which required the original birth certificate notarized. However, I only have the certified copy of my birth certificate which I cannot get it notarized. How do I obtain the original birth certificate with the raised seal? I thought my certified copy has the raised seal but the notary said it’s not.
Hi, Kelly — You’ll want to contact the county clerk in the New Jersey county where your adoption was finalized. They should be able to guide you through the process of obtaining your original birth certificate.
I am searching for my brother. He was taken by the state when my mother was deemed as a young run away with bipolar and deemed unfit. I want to search for my brother but I don’t know his name. I only know her info. She also didn’t raise me so I want to search for my brother but don’t know where to begin. I live in TN and my mother told me his records has been unsealed when he turned of age. How do I begin to find out about his adoption records and find him? I really hope we can reunite and him and I can be a family i’ve Always dreamt of.
Hi, Beth — If you know the state department which took custody of your brother, that may be a good place to start. Or, if you know the county in which your brother was adopted, you might contact the local county clerk there. You can also find some helpful ideas here: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/the-5-steps-of-how-to-find-an-adopted-child Best of luck in your search!
I’m on a hunt to find out more about my family. Both my mom AND dad were adopted. They were both born in Minnesota back in 1959 and 1966. Would I as their child be able to obtain their adoption records? Who would I even call to even ask about obtaining them?
Hi, Kaitlyn — If your mother and father were both adopted in Minnesota, you might start by reaching out to the county clerk in which their adoption was finalized. To help you out, here is some information about opening old adoption records: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records
I was adopted about 1954 after both my birth parents died. I was about 14 at the time and was adopted by my legal guardians who were cousins. The adopted parents are also long gone so I am the only person left alive that was involved. Do I really have to go to court 400 miles away just to get a copy of my original birth certificate? Seems absolutely insane. This was in California. I am 77 and would like to get this before I am dead.
Hi, Charles — You may not have to physically go to court in California, but the laws regarding opening adoption records do vary by state. We encourage you to start by contacting the county clerk in the county in which your adoption was finalized to learn more about what particular steps are required in your situation.
I was adopted in 1965, adopted in 1966. I recently received my original BC with the adoption cert. I didn’t receive any medical info and really could use some insight to my medical background due to health issues. So far my search has turned up nothing concrete. Things don’t add up and my birth father cannot be found. Any advice on where to go, what to do to find answers. No family to go to for answers as my adoption was kept a major secret on my adoptive family although I knew the truth as a child.
Hi, Delzina — This seems like a pretty complicated situation. You may start by contacting the hospital at which you were born, or the adoption agency you were adopted through, if applicable. You might also contact a local adoption attorney or private investigator to aid you in your search. You may be able to find more helpful information here: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion
I was born in NYC 1961 and adopted at 9 months through the Queens County Court, NYC. I would like to petition the court for my original birth certificate. Both my adoptive parents are deceased and so is my birth mother. My birth father who I am in contact with is not named on my birth certificate, but is supportive of me receiving it. Is it a difficult process to petition the court without a lawyer to unseal my records? I know medical reasons are usually the best choice when asking to unseal the records, but I was given all that information by my father. I really want my obc so I can prove my Irish lineage and receive an Irish passport so I and my children will have the opportunity to live and work in Ireland and the European Union without visa restrictions.
Hi, Rose — The process of unsealing original adoption records varies greatly by state and even by county, so we can’t say exactly what your upcoming legal process will look like. Therefore, we encourage you to start by reaching out to the Queens County Court Clerk for more information about unsealing these records and what is required in your situation.
I was born in 1948 and was also adopted in Queens County. I live in FL now. My adoptive parents are deceased as are my biological parents. I always knew my bio mother. My bio father died before I was born. I know his name, but I don’t know if he is named on my OBC. I’d like to try to get a copy since he was born in Italy and I would like to get dual citizenship. Sorry for the long story…just wondered if you’ve had any luck so far? I do intend to contact the county clerk. Best of luck to you!
I was adopted by my stepdad who married my bio mother. At the time of adoption back in the 1960s I had changed my first name along with the last name change at the time of the adoption. I would like to get my original birth certificate with my birth name. My sister has hers and I would like to have mine. What is the process of getting this done? Can anyone help?
Please email me at my sister’s email as she is helping me out.
Hi, Fran — You can obtain your original birth certificate by contacting the county clerk in the county in which you were adopted. You can find more information about this process here: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records
I was adopted in Sacramento,Ca when i was 12 years old. My adoptive mother had started pushing me and hurting me so when i was 17 i ran away. And stayed gone til i turned 18. I tried to get my birth certificate and ny records from being adopted and in foster care but she claimed that she threw them away but it is illegal to do so. How can i obtain the records and my birth certificate with no id or having no contact with my adoptive mom??? Im currently 18 i turn 19 on August 18th
Hi, Caitlin — This seems like a complicated situation. If you know where your adoption was finalized, you might start by contacting the county clerk to start the process of unsealing your adoption records. You can find more information on this process here: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records. Otherwise, you may need to work with a local attorney to complete this process.
I am a 35 year old adoptee in CA. I would like to see my original birth certificate, and understand the process of doing so. But my question is, I’ve found my birth parents, met them and remain in contact with them. Should that increase my chances? What else, other than protecting their identities, which is already revealed, is there to keep me from my own OBC?
Also, is there any specific wording to use in my petition to showing “good and compelling cause” that would convince a judge?
Hi, Courtnry — Because the process of obtaining your OBC will vary based on your state (and the judge overseeing the process), the best way to answer these questions is by speaking with a local adoption attorney.
I love to find my parents Alma Ruth is my mother. Father last name was Anderson.
Hi, Cicquita — You’ll want to start with the steps outlined in this article. You may also find helpful information here: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion. Good luck in your search!
I am single woman and in the process of adopting my deceased fiancé’s son. I would like to know if it’s possible to retain the biological father’s name on the amended birth certificate and me as the mom. I don’t want to change the child’s name and I don’t want to remove the father’s name. I just want to be his mom through adoption.
Hi, Judy — This should be a possibility. You will probably want to speak with your adoption attorney and your local county court clerk to determine what this process will look like where you live.
I am a birth mother and want to obtain the original birth certificate for my son. He is now 18 and living with my husband and myself for his senior year in school. We would like to obtain a original with his birth name, since his middle and last name were changed at adoption. We live in Texas and don’t know where to start. Can you please help?
Hi, Jennifer — You’ll likely want to start by contacting the county clerk in the county where your son’s adoption was finalized. They can guide you through the process ahead, as it can vary greatly from state to state and even county to county. Good luck!
My father was adopted and his OBC is in a state where records are sealed. He is deceased and I’d like a family history for medical purposes. Is there any way to obtain the original birth certificate since all parties are deceased (adoptee, adopted parents and I’m assuming birth parents).
Hi, Michelle — You may start by reaching out to the county clerk in the country where your father’s adoption was finalized. The process of unsealing original birth certificates varies by state (and sometimes even by county), so we cannot specifically state which steps will be necessary in your situation. You can find more information about this process here: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records
I was born in Canada. But I’m adopted here in The United States. Unfortunately my adoptive parents have been refusing to hand over my official documentation for ID purposes. Will getting an attorney in my area help me get my Amended birth certificate ?
Hi, Jessica — Yes, an adoption attorney can help you get started. Whether or not you can access your original birth certificate will depend upon the state laws where your adoption was finalized. An attorney can likely detail the options available to you and help you connect with the county clerk in that county.
I have been trying to contact the clerk in L.A county for weeks. I get a message, or it only rings and rings. Talking directly to anyone there is not possible. I am trying to unseal my birth certificate. I was not adopted. I was born out of wedlock and my mother had my birth certificate amended once she married. It has on it my abusive stepfather’s name and I want to use my original birth certificate instead of this one. I think I send a letter to the judge there? But I’m not sure. Is there any other way to find out how to do this other then the phone? I live to far away to go there in person.
Hi, TerriAnne — Unfortunately, we cannot advise you on your particular situation, as the laws and processes regarding unsealing birth certificates varies widely by state and even by county. You might reach out to a local attorney in Los Angeles County who can explain the options available to you.
Your situation is soooooo similar to my boyfriends. He was adopted at age 2 by a seriously abusive man his mother married. We recently found some info that leads us to believe that this man may have actually been his birth father and not the man that he was told was his father. We are curious to see the original birth certificate so we can see if the other man was ever listed on the birth certificate or if it was left blank. The abusive husband that adopted him was killed when he was age 4. His mother is also deceased now. The main question we have is why go to the trouble to adopt if he was actually already his father. We can only figure that since he was born in a time where you had to be married to have the fathers name on the certificate that his mother just lied about who his father was and then later had him added to the certificate after getting married.
Hello I’m new to this and I’m in search for my sealed birth certificate I am the adoptee and live in California and my adoption took place in Los Ángeles is there any advice or guidance you can give ? Thank you
Hi, Marissa — If your adoption was finalized in Los Angeles, you will want to contact the county clerk there to start the process of unsealing your original birth certificate. Here’s some information about this process: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records. Good luck!
Hi my name is Caitlin and I was born in Phoenix Arizona with the birth name Charli Christina Fish. It was a closed adoption and my adopted parents claim to have little information regarding any family history. I am looking to find information on my birth family (whether that be grandparents, siblings, or parents) for medical history. And to see who I look like, any advice you can send my way. I have been looking for about 4 years now. Thank you!
Hi, Caitlin — Your best bet would be to contact the county clerk in the county in which your adoption was finalized. The process of opening adoption records can vary by state (and even by county) so you’ll need to speak with someone experienced in your region. This article may help you get started: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck with your search!
You will need to reach out to Maricopa county first.
All birth records that happened in Pheonix are stored and managed by Maricopa county. Arizona state only provides access to certified copies.
Here their main phone number 602-506-3011 but you will be able to reach one of their five offices near Pheonix: https://www.maricopa.gov/2857/Locations-Hours-Fees
Ask them who to contact at the local Clerk of Court. Once you have the right personal information you will need to write him/her an explanation letter why you are requesting your original birth certificate along with a photocopy of a valid photo ID. In the best-case scenarios, you may get an exemption due to your age, otherwise, you may have to schedule a court date and present your documents to the judge in order to get the “court order” allowing you to get your original Birth Certificate from the Maricopa county.
Hope you will succeed! please keep us updated, it’s a very interesting subject for many people!
I was born in April,1965, in Henry county, Ohio. I was told l was never signed off by my birth mom & that l have an older brother & a younger brother. I was fostered through Lucas County, Ohio Chilrens services & adopted through Fulton County, Ohio courts in 1969. I’m more interested in finding family medical info. I have had 1 full term still birth & my youngest child was born with a congenital heart condition,my 2 oldest children have other health issues & all are of child bearing age. So far l have 1 healthy grandchild. I would really like to find out ANY health issues to be aware of as we age & may pass on genetically.
Both my adoptive parents have passed. I have no desire to open a can of worms with blood family.
I petitioned Fulton Co, Ohio court back in 1989 after my dtillbirth, but was denied.
How do l proceed from here?
Because the process of opening adoption records varies by state and sometimes even by county, your best course of action will probably be to contact a local adoption attorney, who can guide you through this process. This article may provide some helpful information: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck in your search!
What would the procedure be in texas? My boyfriend was adopted by his mothers husband after they got married. So he was adopted, but still lived with his birth mother. Recently we found some stuff that leads us to believe the man who “adopted” him might actually have been his birth father. We have the amended birth certificate, but are curious to see the original. We want to see if the name of the man he was told was his father is on the original or if it was left blank. Is the protocol different for adopted children who lived with one birth parent? Or would those records have still been sealed?
Hi, Amanda — Because the process of unsealing original birth certificates can vary by state (including by county) and individual situations, we’d encourage you to contact a local adoption attorney for more assistance with your boyfriend’s case. You might start with this article: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
My mom was born June 21 1966 by my grandmother who was 17 at the time. My mom never knew who her biological father was because she wasn’t allowed to know. We believe he is deceased, but severe mental illness has been running in our family (my mom, brother & I) and we would enjoy to figure out if it comes from my moms biological fathers side. We’re from Michigan, what should we do?
Hi, Kaley — If your mother knows where her adoption was finalized, the first step would be to contact the county clerk in that county. They can give you more information about the process of obtaining an original birth certificate with her birth father’s information. This article might offer some additional advice: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
Hello my name is linda my dad has been deceased for 55 years he was given up for adoption at between the age of 5and 7 in the state of NY I have requested the Queen’s county court to release his original birth certificate on numerous times and IAM still being denied isn’t after so many years considered historical and become public I feel lost my health is in poor condition I would like to find out before I die thank for your input no. No
Hi, Linda — Your best bet may be to contact a local adoption attorney for more guidance. This article might also have some helpful information: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
Hi my name is Samuel E. Cook my wife has been trying to find and original birth certificate for her so that she can get the new license and a pass port. She was born in Middletown Ohio and moved to Connecticut and also lived in New Jersey. She was adopted by MrJesse Hawkins and Norma Phillips Hawkins. The birth name she had of her biological parents was Nixon father William Bill Nixon and Winifred Roberts both in Middletown Ohio. This may have taken place when she was between three and five years old. Her date of birth is June 9, 1955 I pray that you can help we are unable at this time to travel out of the country because of the passport problem.
Hi, Samuel — We encourage you reach out to the county clerk in Middletown for more information about obtaining your wife’s original birth certificate. Because this process varies by state and even by county, the clerk can give you the best information for your situation. Good luck!
Greetings from Utah!
I am looking to find the adoption record of my 2nd Great-Grandmother. She was born in 1839. Why would this record be sealed if it was so long ago? I am trying to find out genetic information that would be helpful to me for health reasons. From handed down family information, she is apparently the biological daughter of Milly Francis, (c. 1803–1848), daughter of Creek leader Josiah Francis (Francis the Prophet), was born near what is today Montgomery, Alabama about 1803.Her name is sometimes thought to be Anglicization of the Creek name “Malee”, but the most recent thought is that “Milly” was her birth name. She was a member of the Red Stick faction of the Creek tribe. She was the first woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Can you please help? Thanks!
Hi, Kathi — Unfortunately, American Adoptions cannot assist in your search for her adoption records. We recommend you contact an ancestry or heritage service for help in this search. Good luck!
I was adopted my name was changed I have no knowledge to whom my father is my Biological mother and adoptive mother are deceased. I’m really trying to find out who is my father
Hi, Racquel — This article may provide some steps to help you get started: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-find-your-birth-parents-5-steps-you-can-take Good luck!
Hi. I am an adult adoptee, adopted from Maryland in the closed adoption era. My birthdate was changed when the state amended my birth certificate. Commercial DNA has supported that my birth father died before the window possible for my birth. As well, i have been able to obtain the birthdate from a newborn photo that has a clear view of the hospital band on my wrist. I am lucky to have recently found that photo.
Is it possible to petition the court only for the birthdate and argue that knowing an original date of birth is a basic human right? I don’t need to know the birth parents names. Commercial dna has made that part relatively easy. And I do not want contact. I just want my birthdate legally changed. Would such a case in Maryland have to be a precedent-setting case or have others attempted to do this as well?
Hi, Amy – We would recommend contacting a Maryland adoption attorney for help in your case. Here is an article you might find helpful: https://www.jenniferfairfax.com/breaking-seal-adoption You can also begin searching for a local attorney here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/attorney-directory/#!directory/map/ord=lnm/xmd=1 Good luck!
My husband was adopted.he is deceased & both the adopted & biological parents are deceased.can I get his birth records now? We have a son who would like the info on his biolgicial family
Hi, Deborah — We’d recommend you try talking to the county clerk in the county where your husband was adopted. Because the process of accessing the original birth certificate varies by state and sometimes even by county, we can’t specifically state what is necessary for your case. Consider speaking with a local attorney for more guidance on this matter.
I was born in Alabama, where my parents were divorced. When my mother married my “step-father” I was 4 1/2. They gave me his name without benefit of legal adoption. Fast forward…now I am 18 years and going for my drivers license. My mother carries my original birth certificate with her to NJDMV.Up to this point, I had never seen my birth certicate. Filling out application, I use my non-bioligical fathers name because it’s the only name I’ve ever known. Imagine my horror when the State Trooper sitting at the desk asks why I have two different last names. My mother told him I was in the process of being adopted…big fat lie.
The had a hushed conversation and he allowed my non-biological fathers last name to be used.
Upon arriving home, my mother told my “father” that we had a problem. Their lawyer was called the next day and shortly there after, I was sitting in judges chambers answering questions, I was a senior in high school. I was born in Alabama, but the adoption took place in New Jersey.
Both biological parents are deceased. The non-biological father is not. I want my original birth certifate from Alabama.
What do I do?
Hi, Barbara — This sounds like a complicated situation. We advise you to contact a local adoption attorney for more information on your next steps. You can start your search for a lawyer here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
Hello My name is Phillip, and I currently reside in NY. I was born in Puerto Rico in 1967. I was in Foster care with the family that eventually adopted me in 1983. I was in the Marine Corps after HS, and during that time was issued a birth certificate from PR. I got my drivers permit while in the Marines, and my NYS drivers license shortly after that. For all those things, I didn’t go by the name on my PR birth certificate, but by my adopted name which I currently use. While trying to obtain an original copy of my birth certificate recently to apply for a US Passport, PR says 2 things: 1) No, because the name I have now isn’t the name I was born with, and 2) even though they did it once in 1988 (my name wasn’t the same then either), they won’t now. The final kicker is this: Due to a law change in PR in 2009, all birth certificates prior to that date are considered invalid (I know WTF right!). I am at my wits end. A lawyer told me I might have to go to PR and petition the courts there, and it still might get me nothing. Here in NY based on the feedback I have gotten from Vital Check to my congressman’s office as well as the county clerk it’s like I don’t even exist. Do you have any advice?
Hi, Phillip — This sounds like a complicated situation. Because adoption laws can vary greatly from state to state and even county to county, we unfortunately cannot offer you any advice. You sound like you’re on the right track by speaking with a lawyer and the county clerk. Good luck!
My Dad had a son with a woman and they were not married. My Dad paid Child Support till the boy was 18. As an adult this Son was adopted by his Stepdad and the BC was changed to reflect the Stepfather as the father and the last name was changed to this mans name.
I am the half sibling and although I met my brother 1 yr later he died. Our bio dad is also deceased (as well as his birh mother) I would like the Original BC (or adoption records?) Since my 1/2 brother died young I need to know any health issues.
This son was born in Kern County, Calif. and I believe the adoption took place in Orange County, Calif. I need the documents for health reasons. Where do I begin. Vital records said thaey cant help and since they all passed away I cant get any information. I currently live in Santa Cruz County, Calif.
Hi, Cheryl — Because the process of obtaining original birth certificates varies by state and even by county, we cannot offer you any legal advice. A local adoption attorney may be able to assist you. You can start your search for one here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
I got adopted when I was not even a year old I know that it wasn’t my mom who wanted to do it. It was her dad because she was only 17 years old it wasn’t right back then it was 1965 in Missouri around the chesterfield McKnight road area all I really want is know her
Hi, Kathleen — We recommend you start by reaching out to the county clerk in the county where your adoption was finalized. Because state and even county laws on obtaining original birth certificates can vary, a local professional can give you the advice you’re looking for. Good luck!
I was adopted when I was about 3, picked up off of the street by my adopted moms brother. I was told my “so called” birthday and location, but don’t have anything to prove it. I did a DNA test and may have found my mother but she is deceased. Im in my 70s and want closure. How would I go about finding this information?
Hi, Lori — It sounds like you’re off to a good start with a DNA test. Have you considered hiring a private investigator? Here are some more tips for finding lost birth family: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-find-your-birth-parents-5-steps-you-can-take Good luck in your search!
Hi my boyfriend had a hard time getting his BC. He didnt know tht he was adopted child until he process his passport so he can travel outside the country.. he lives in michigan and according to tht BC atm card like he has, his Birthdate was april 28 1963.. we contact vital records but they cant find his BC they said he’s adopted.. my question is how he can obtaine one so he can proceed to get a passport his both parents(adopted parents) are deceased already.
Hi, Grace — This sounds like a complicated situation. We advise you to contact a local adoption attorney for more information on your next steps. You can start your search for a lawyer here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
My mother was adopted and is now deceased. How would I find out her last name at birth ? I know the last name given by the people who adopted her. Unfortunately, ANYONE I could ask questions to has also deceased. I believe she was adopted in California, she was born in 1952.
Hi, Heidi — Have you tried looking at the adoption records in California? If you know the county in which her adoption was finalized, that’s a good place to start. Here are some more tips to get you started: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck in your search!
I’ve been told off handedly that I was adopted as a child. I however have been able to obtain no information on this matter. My family is silent on the issue. How can I learn and where should I start to learn any information on my adoption if there was an adoption in San Diego California. To note: My mother works for the catholic diocese and there may be the chance I was adopted thru the catholic church. Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated.
Hi, Katrin — This article may help you open any potential adoption records that exist: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records However, you might also considering hiring a private investigator or another professional to guide you, because you have such limited information. Good luck!
Hello , A young lady contacted me through ancestry.com telling me that we are 1st cousins. She is looking for her birth mother and father. She has submitted paperwork to the courts in Vermont was was denied access to these records. Is there another way for her to get access or get this records unsealed.
Hi, Daniel — Because the process of opening adoption records varies so greatly by state and even by county, she should reach out to a local adoption attorney for more information. This article also might be able to help: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records
Hi, my husband was adopted by his step dad years ago, we sent out for his BC so we could apply for passports, But his birth certificate came back with his biological father’s name on it, all other documents, SScard, California ID is under his adoptive fathers name, he’s also gone to prison with his adoptive last name. County clerks office states his last name is still his biological fathers name, how is this possible? How do we obtain papers of his adoption? Or how do we file for a BC under his adoptive fathers last name?
Hi, Bobbie — Because the process of obtaining original birth certificates and filing for amended ones varies by state and even by county, we encourage you to reach out to your local county clerk or a local adoption attorney for guidance. Unfortunately, we cannot provide personalized guidance on this subject. Good luck!
Looking for my real birth parents and my half brothers real mom we live together im 37 and was born april 7 1982 in harris co texas as was my brother if you see this and know or have any info please contact me it was a closed adoption
Hi, Nick — Have you reached out to the county clerk in the county where your adoption was finalized? They may be able to help you to open your adoption records. Here’s a helpful article with some other tips: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-find-your-birth-parents-5-steps-you-can-take Good luck in your search!
I was born March 26, 1961. My birth mother last name Pinson. She was 19 years old unmarried. Tennessee , birth hospital I think was John Gaston Hospital or Jackson, TN. I am unable to find out any information about whether I was adopted by her husband W. L. Crawford Sr. From Memphis TN. My birth certificate name is Crawford but since my mom was unmarried there was no way I could have his last name. Also, all my siblings have a name connected with him in some way. My name has no connection. He also said once, “You are not my daughter. ” My mom quickly cleaned that up with a statement,he is your dad. I feel there is a deeply rooted lie. I need help.
Hi, Gaye — This sounds like a complicated situation. We encourage you to reach out to a private investigator or another professional for assistance. This article might also be of some help: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
I’m trying to get a direction where to get my original bc frm nj for medical purposes. I was born in Jersey city nj but adopted thru the Lutheran home where do I start?
Hi, Penny — Have you reached out to the county clerk in the county where your adoption was finalized? That may be a good first start. You might also contact the agency through which you were adopted for more help. This article may provide some more good tips: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck in your search!
My Father was put up for adoption the day he was born in Nevada, MO on May 30, 1956 and is now wanting me to help him find his original BC so that he can find out who his parents were, if even listed. Missouri is a closed state. Should I contact the dept of vital records? I dont even know where to begin.
Hi, Autumn — Missouri changed its laws in 2018 to allow adoptees to access their original birth certificates. You can learn more about the process here: https://health.mo.gov/data/vitalrecords/adopteerightsact.php If his birth parents’ names are not released on the birth certificate, you may want to try alternative search methods, such as DNA tests or a private investigator: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-find-your-birth-parents-5-steps-you-can-take Good luck!
My mother belongs to Canada and father from USA. I was adopted in 1988 because of mother’s health issues. But now I had lost my original birth certificate and looking for vital records office where we get a copy of birth certificate.
Hi, Daniel — American Adoptions is only familiar with adoptions completed within the United States. Were you born in the United States? If so, you should start by contacting the county clerk in the county where you were born. This article might provide some more information: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
I am trying to help my sister out. Our Mom, was married to her father, they divorced. Our Mom remarried my biological father, who adopted my sister when he and my Mom were married.
My sister has her original birth certificate, but is unable to find the adoption papers listing my father as her father. She has all the letters of the law firm, my parents hired to help with all the documentation, but there is no adoption papers. My sister has legally always used my father’s last name, school, property ownership social security, taxes, marriage, divorced. She changed her name back to my father’s last name after her divorce.
California has the real ID and they are insisting she prove her name is my father’s last name. Even though she has used his name for 60+ years. Our Mom and dad have both passed. Her biological father passed many years ago. We are certain my father adopted her, he always said he did and that she was his daughter.
We only think we know what county this was done in California. I live out of state, but want to help her get this process taken care of, as promptly as we are able. If not, she will not be able to get her real ID.
Do we petition the court we think, the documents are?
Hi, Rachael — Sounds like you guys are on the right track! If you’re unsure, we encourage you to reach out to a local adoption attorney near you for guidance specific to California’s laws and processes. You can search for attorneys here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
i am an adoptee and i was born in louisiana but adopted into california so how do i obtain it? go through california or louisiana?
Hi, Rhianna — A finalization location can vary based on state laws. Do you know where your adoption was legally finalized? That will be where you request your original birth certificate. Consider talking to your parents or the agency/attorney through which you were adopted to learn more. You can also find a few more tips for accessing your original birth certificate here: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
What happens when child is born after 9 months of marriage. Marriage lasts 5 years. 18 year old is made to use only her mother’s last name to let her step-father adopt her. Adoption papers are written without 18 year old’s real last name which was her father’s. Biological father does not find out about the adoption until several years later. Is the adoption valid if the biological father was never notified and if the adoption paperwork does not have 18 year olds correct name? Mother’s maiden name was used as 18 year old’s original name on adoption paperwork.
Hi, Nancy — We are not legal experts, so we cannot answer your question. We advise you to reach out to a local adoption attorney for more guidance in this situation. Here is a list to start your search: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
So I was adopted by my step dad at age 10 and I took his last name. Subsequently my mother and him were divorced and I have absolutely no ties or communication with him. I want to put my biological Dad back on my birth certificate and change my last name back. The problem is my bio dad is deceased. I have the original order to change my name in the State of Washington but now live in Arizona. What are my options?
Hi, Michael — This sounds like a complicated situation. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to reach out to a local adoption attorney for guidance on the process in your state. Here is a list to help you get started: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
I am in a similar situation–were you able to make any traction?
My mother had me out of wedlock then married man when I was two that adopted me. The “adoption” birth certificate is all I have, I would like to see the original. I have my birth father’s name, but I would like to see if he was listed and where he was from. Are these type of certificates easier to get? And my mother is still alive and is fine with it.
Hi, Tara — Have you asked your mother where your adoption was finalized? That is likely where you will start in your search to open your adoption records. Here’s another article that may help: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
Hi, My fiancée has been looking for his biological parents in the past few year. He was born in Italy in 1964, lived in an orphanage, then adopted when he was 2 years old to Ohio facilitated by Catholic Dioceses. He got his birth certificate from the local county vital record. The BC has his name before adoption and city/country he was born….rest of it has his adopted parents’ info. We also have a redacted (and short) version of his case from Catholic Social Service. In the case file, it indicated his biological mother gave him up at birth and his name was given by the Administrator at Italy, not his biological parents. Therefore, his name listed before adoption on BC does not help us at all to find his roots.
Is there a way to obtain a more detail BC which includes the birth parents’ name? Does the local county vital office have that document but can’t release without court order? At this point, we don’t know what the next should be.
Hi, Heather — As a domestic infant adoption agency, we do not have experience or knowledge in the process of international adoption. We encourage you to reach out a local adoption attorney for legal advice on this subject. Here’s a list to help you get started: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
I am the adoptee. I was born in Casper wyoming but now live in another state. It says that I need to obtain a court order as a step to unseal my adoption records. Can I get the court order/petition done in the state I live in or will I need to obtain it from Wyoming? It also says I will need to speak to a judge. Is that something I would need to be in wyoming for or is it possible to speak over the phone?
Hi, Lisa — Because state and even county laws on opening adoption records can vary greatly, we cannot advise you on which legal steps to take from here. Instead, we encourage you to reach out to a local adoption attorney for the best guidance. You can start your search for a lawyer here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
I was Adopted in 1968 i think, my parents both have passed. My Adopted mother changed my name. I was born in Burbank,CA. and lived in El Monte, CA. I went in the Service with my changed name and ss#. I have another name that i was born with and i need to get my Birth Certificate. Now with this thing about driver’s license with the Star you can now even fly with out it. I need to know what agency in Sacramento, Ca. to get a hold of to get my Amended Birth Certificate or What Ever it is called. Thank You for your help.
Hi, Randy — Do you know the county through which your adoption was finalized? If so, that’s a good place to start. Here are some more tips that may help you: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
I was born in 1972 in Manhattan, NY. My birth mother was in the midst of getting a divorce from her first husband when she met “my father”. When I was born they put the name of my mother last first husband on my birth certificate. Not sure exactly when she got divorced. What I do know is that my mother and “father” were married on Valentine’s Day, about a week before I turned 1 year old. Supposedly when I turned 13 my last name was finally changed to my “dad’s” last name. The only thing that I have always been puzzled about is why the man my mother said was my biological father had to adopt me in order to change my last name to his. Is that true? Is that how things worked back then? Is it possible that that man who I thought was my father all this time, really isn’t my dad.
Hi, there — Some states do make the legal presumption that a woman’s husband is the father of her child, whether or not there is an actual biological relationship. However, because adoption laws vary greatly by county and state, we cannot provide the answers you are looking for. Please reach out to a local adoption attorney for more guidance on this matter: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/
My husband was born in Texas in 1961 to a migrant teenager. He was given to a family to raise him, they were elderly and both passed away when he was a child. They did not officially adopt him. His adult “sister” took him into their family and moved to Minnesota. She passed away within a year of the move. His “brother-in-law” adopted him in Clay Cty MN. We are unsure of the date and his father now is demented and unable to help. My husband did obtain a birth certificate from the county where he was born in TX but the date was different from what my husband’s Birth registration card” stated. My husband is a retired army veteran and was able to use this birth registration card as valid ID for the military and 30 plus years of federal employment. Since the birthdates don’t align and we have been unable to unseal his adoption records he is unable to obtain an amended birth certificate Felton the state of Texas. It is such a mess and easy to see from looking at his birth registration card that it was a typographical error ( the birth registration card was filed prior to the birth date listed on the card). We spent time pleading in person at the Texas DHS in person to no avail. As of October 2020 he will no longer be able to fly in a commercial airplane because of this mix up in bookkeeping. Where do we go from here? We’ve reached out to our senator: Ms Klobuchar but we’re told this isn’t a federal issue, but it is since it involves more than one state and stringent federal laws about what is an acceptable birth certificate.
Hi, there — We’re not legal experts, so we unfortunately cannot advise you in this matter. We’d advise you reach out to an adoption attorney for guidance based on your local laws and processes. You can start looking for one here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
How to obtain original birth certificate I was born in New Hampshire but was adopted in Maine and I live in Maine
How to obtain it as both states have open records so do I go through Maine or New Hampshire to obtain the original birth certificate
It was finalized in Sagadahoc County, Maine court office in Bath, Maine and I live in York County, Maine
Hi, Jacob — You’ll want to request your original birth certificate at the county clerk where your adoption was finalized. In this case, that’s Sagadahoc County. Here’s the form you can use: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/public-health-systems/data-research/vital-records/documents/pdf-files/Appl%20Orig%20Birth%20Certificate%20for%20Adoption.pdf Good luck!
My daughter was born in Tennessee and adopted in arizona. Her birth middle and last name were changed. She is now 19 and living with me in Georgia. She has applied for state benefits(insurance). The problem is the state has her social security number linked with her birth name from when she was a baby and I had her on my state benefits case. All her identification documents she has now is with her adopted name and they won’t accept them without proof of the name change. How do I get records of this?
Hi, Rebecca — It sounds like you are just looking for the original birth certificate, right? Contact the county clerk where your daughter was adopted to learn how to obtain this. Here’s a guide: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records You might also reach out to an adoption attorney for this complicated situation. Good luck!
My situation is slightly different… I am trying to get my original birth certificate before my adoption (I chose to be adopted at 14). I am trying to petition for my father to become a citizen of the US and since he is not on my adoption certificate, I need my original one. Both were issued in Pennsylvania which I see is one of the more restrictive states… I am open to any advice as far as what step to take first.
Hi, Destiny — We’re not legal experts, so we can’t offer legal advice. However, it seems like this would be the same process as accessing any other original birth certificate. You’ll probably want to start by contacting the county clerk where your amended birth certificate was issued. They will guide you through the next steps.
This article may provide some more assistance: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-open-adoption-records Good luck!
My mother past when I was a child. As an adult I came to learn she had been adopted when she was about five. How do I get her original birth certificate prior to her adoption? Family rumors say the people who adopted her may have been distant relatives.. I’m in Texas and no one living left to answer my questions:(
Hi, Jennifer — Have you completed a DNA test? That may give you the information to start your search. You might also consider hiring a private investigator; they can help you get the information you need to access your mother’s birth certificate. Good luck!
Hello! I have an interesting situation and I would really like to have some advice. My significant other is an adoptee in the state of Florida, they unfortunately live in an abusive home. Our relationship is long distance so I can’t be there to take the pressure off of them, so I want to arrange a living situation for them that will get them out of their abusive home. I’m still gathering information on how to do this properly because this poses an issue. The birth mother is apparently still in contact with my significant other and according to her, the original certificate is dated differently than the revised certificate that was given during the adoption process. I want to know if that is possible and what can be done to fix it. The reason being that the difference in the dates decides whether she is considered a minor or not.
Hi, there — We are not legal experts, so we cannot provide advice for your situation. It sounds like the adoptee or birth mother should reach out to their county clerk of courts or their adoption professional for guidance on revising the certificate. Good luck!
Hello, I am trying to find my sibling, a girl, whose name , and birthdate I don’t know. My mother is deceased and also my sister’s father. I know this because it was confirmed by my mother before passing, however she passed the next day before giving any details. My father who is alive confirms this as well as my grand mother who took part, although she is now deceased. I have another sister, who is also deceased who has the same father and my adoptee sister. I know where she was born, Booth memorial in Los Angeles, California. I know her fathers name as well. Where could I start? Really want to find her.
Hi, Yolanda — While this article is intended for birth parents, it may have some helpful information for your search: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/the-5-steps-of-how-to-find-an-adopted-child Good luck!
My husband was adopted by his stepfather in the late 70’s. He has always known who his father is. They are very close to this day. Since he was adopted by the stepfather and he had and still does have a relationship with his biological father, can he request a copy of his original birth certificate? He needs to apply for dual citizenship with Portugal, where his dad is lives and is from. He needs the original biological info for them to provide dual citizenship. He was born in Rosedale, NY and was in Florida when he was adopted by his mother’s 2nd husband.This isn’t to learn anything new, this isn’t bad blood or anything like that, this is simply needed.
Hi, Marisa — We’re not legal experts, but it sounds like your first step will be to contact the county clerk in the county where your husband was adopted. Because laws on opening adoption records vary by state and even by country, the clerk will be able to tell you the best information for your situation. Good luck!
I am trying to find Adoption papers for myself to prove my citizenship I was adopted by my father who was in the military
Hi, Diana — This article may help you get started: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/adoptee-rights/adoption-birth-certificate You might also speak with your parents and/or the county clerk where your adoption was finalized for more information moving forward. Because adoption laws vary by state, we cannot provide you legal advice. Good luck!
Hello. I was born in Flint Michigan to a single mom, no father listed on birth certificate. Years later I am assuming my stepfather whom my mom married adopted me and was added to my birth certificate. I think at this time we lived in jackson mississippi at the time of his becoming my father. I have no contact with my mom and step father deceased. I have contacted Michigan but they have no bith certificate for me with a updated name. What do I do? Been trying for years to find a way to get my birth certificate and have no clue where to start
Hi, Tabitha — This sounds like a complicated situation. It may be time to reach out to a Michigan adoption attorney or private investigator to get the personalized guidance you need. Here is a list of Michigan attorneys you might consider: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/attorney-directory/#!directory/map/ord=lnm/xmc=1 Good luck!
Hello, my name is Rachel McManus and I am writing to I was adopted (in Los Angeles, CA) at about the age of five years old. As an adoptee I would like very much to have a copy of my original birth certificate. While I have a copy of my adoption file, it does not mention any birth family information nor was my birth name recorded. I believe I was born at the Los Angeles County General Hospital, now operating as University of California (USC), in October of 1948. I do not know the exact date other than I may have been born between the 18th and 21st of October.
There was a brief article in the Los Angeles Times dated October 25th, 1948 regarding my abandonment at the age of about five or six days old. After being found I was returned to the hospital mentioned above. The adoption file mentions a search made by the hospital for my birth records. According to this search three women were found to have given birth around the time I was born. The hospital sent letters to them requesting they bring their babies in for a well baby check. Two of the mothers replied but the third one did not. It was this woman, Alice Lopez, nee Lara, the hospital thought was my birth mother. The baby girl she gave birth to on October 18th, 1948, was named Mary Anne Lopez, father Frank Lopez. I do have a copy of Mary Anne’s birth certificate. I have been unsuccessful in locating this family. I have taken a DNA test on both Ancestry.com and 23and Me. Ancestry located a brother, a full sibling. I have tried to contact him but he won’t reply.
My question is where/to whom (in California) would I write to try and obtain a copy of my original birth certificate and is it even possible when all I have is the name of the hospital where I was born.
Hi, Rachel — This sounds like a complicated situation. We cannot give you legal advice, because state and county processes for obtaining birth certificates vary greatly, but have you reached out to a local adoption attorney? They may be able to provide some guidance. Here’s a list you might start with: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/attorney-directory/#!directory/map/ord=lnm We wish you the best of luck in your search!
Hi, I was adopted at 2 by my grandmother after my mom passed. My dad wasn’t able to be there to sign my birth certificate, but I would like to add him now. We are both residents in different states. How do I go about adding him?
Hi, Brittany — You’ll probably want to speak with a local adoption attorney for more information on this subject. Because state laws on birth certificates and adoption vary, a local professional can give you the best guidance. Start searching for one here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/attorney-directory/#!directory/map/ord=lnm Good luck!
I was born in California and adopted when I turned 18 I tried to go to the adoption agency to recieve paper work on my family even though my biological mother and father had both recently passed I wanted to know more still do but they told me I needed my parents signature but as I stated I was told they were deceased so what would be my next step into getting more info on my parents and my biological family
Hi, Sara — We can’t give personal legal advice, but have you contacted the county clerk in the county where you were adopted? They should be able to help you obtain your original birth certificate. You might also consider DNA testing or a private investigator to learn more about your biological family. Here are a few more tips that might help: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-find-your-birth-parents-5-steps-you-can-take Good luck!
I am in need of my original birth certificate to obtain a drivers
license all of my important papers were stolen, I knew my birth
mother, but she is now deceased I have no Id in my birth name
Hi, Dee — This sounds like a complicated situation. Because adoption laws vary by state and even by county, please reach out to an adoption attorney who can guide you through this process. You can start your search for a lawyer here: https://adoptionart.org/find-an-attorney/ Good luck!
To whom it may concern:
My birth name is Pearline Hustus. I have waited for years to obtain my original birth cert. Both my Birth parents and my adopted parents have passed away. I never wanted the amended birth cert. Finally I found out I can finally obtain it. I am with Ancestry. I knew my mama. I lived with her until I was about 7 or 8. My dad did not provide for us. So he left our family and started a new one.My mama had to hold down two jobs.I was borned and raised in Portmouth, Va. She worked in two taverns as a waitness. He was a sailer in Norfolk, Va,I never met him. The social services took my brother and me away from mama and the rest of the children went to live with my dads family. I have found so many relatives since I joined ancestry.I had to sisters that was living with me. one was 3 years younger and one a teenager. My youngest and I lost contact when I was put in a home.The third foster home was the third foster home Found out recently we both were in the same high school but never knew it. My brother and I were put in a home two streets over from my mama and never knew it. So many secrets. This is the short version.I am sure everyone has their own stories. Thanks, Pearline
So i was born and adopted in 1990. After 20 years im in full contact with my birth parents and we talk and see eachother frequently. Im in md where everything is sealed. Would having my birth parents agreeing to the release help my case?
Hi, Allie — Because laws on birth certificate access vary by state and even by county, we can’t provide personalized advice for your situation. We encourage you to reach out to the county clerk where your adoption was finalized for more information. You might also reach out to an adoption attorney for more assistance. You can read more about the process here: https://www.jenniferfairfax.com/breaking-seal-adoption Good luck!
Hello. I am trying to determine who was my mother’s birth mother. She was adopted in 1930 in a private adoption, possibly arranged by a doctor friend of my adoptive grandparents (my grandmother was a RN). My mother didn’t know that she was adopted until about 1980 , when she was 50 years old and was trying to get a passport. She was broken-hearted and never disclosed to my sister, brother, or I that she was adopted. She knew the name of the birth mother, but took that information to her grave in 2010. My dad knew but also didn’t disclose anything. He also died in 2010. I am not sure where she was born, but more likely than not, she was born in San Francisco. I have contacted San Francisco and was told that a judicial approval of my request for an original birth certificate was unlikely, even though all the people directly involved are long gone. Any ideas?
Hi, Kris — Have you considered hiring a private investigator? They may be able to help you track down your mother’s biological relatives, because the adoption occurred so long ago. You could also try a DNA registry and work backward with your results to identify your mother’s biological family. You can find a few more tips here: https://consideringadoption.com/adopted/search-and-reunion/how-to-find-your-birth-parents-5-steps-you-can-take/ Good luck in your search!
My birth father signed off of my and my stepdad adopted me in 1977. The court missed up my name on the paperwork, put part of my first name as my middle name, how can I have that fixed and get an original birth certificate? I am still in contact with my birth father but my stepdad has passed on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, SandyPat — We are not legal experts, so we cannot provide personal advice for your situation. We advise you contact the county clerk in the county where your adoption was finalized for more information. You might also reach out to a local adoption attorney for more guidance. Good luck!
Absolutely! Original birth certificates can be key documents in an adult adoptees’ search for birth families because they contain facts such as a birth parent’s name and address and the name of the hospital where the child was born.
this is feather i have my orginal birth certificate but do not have my adopted one and i am only 17 and getting a job but i can not have contact with my adopted parents could i use my orginal birth certificate
I am a birth father in the state of Idaho. My birth daughter is of legal age and we have reunited! Does anyone know if I, or the two of us, can petition the state court to see the original BC? The Birth Mother has a new life and a family and does not want to be involved. We respect and honor her privacy. Some parts of the state law led me to believe the adoptee can petition, along with one of the birth parents to have the record un-sealed? Other things I’ve read sounds like all three of us need to consent. Any help, experience and or insight will be appreciated. Thank you!
Congrats on your reunion! You’ll need to contact the county clerk in the county in which the adoption was finalized. Because the process of accessing your original birth certificate varies by state and sometimes even by county, the county clerk will need to walk you through how to petition for your original birth certificate there. Best of luck!
My mother was adopted in 1954 in California. She passed away in 2016. Is there any hope that I may be able to gain access to her original birth certificate? Or is my best bet trying to find relatives via ancestry.com or 23andme?
This is a question that I haven’t seen anyone ask. Strict Real ID compliance goes into effect on October 1st, 2021. States will be requiring Certified copies of Original Birth Certificates, in addition to Certified copies of Final Adoption Decrees, and copies of Adoption Name Changes to apply for or renew a Driver’s License or State ID Card. Many states are already requiring this.States will be demanding the same documents they are denying us. Anyone without a Real ID Card will not be allowed past airport security.
What are your thoughts?
My name is Andrew Robitaille and I am looking for my siblings. I was adopted the day I was born which was 7/11/1984 in Miami, Florida. I mainly want to find my siblings. All I know is that my mother had possibly two children before she was pregnant with me. She just didn’t have enough money in order to keep me. I have amazing parents. But I would really love to meet my siblings. If anyone sees this and think they might know something about it please let me know.
I was adopted by my stepfather in California when I was 5. I’d like to return to my original birth certificate with my biological father’s name. Is this possible? Both my biological parents are deceased and I am estranged from my stepfather.
Good morning I’m writing to you because I need to find my real parentsDue to medical problems it is imperative that I need to find them far I’m needing a heart transplant. I need to know about the history the medical history and I would like to meet them if they’re still alive also but the most important is I need to know the medical medical
In 1932 my birth mother gave birth to a child in either Indiana or Illinois. She was then adopted (and raised) by my mother’s older sister and her husband. I have a copy of the adoption record but I’m looking to find her original birth certificate. Everyone involved (adoptive parents, my parents, and the adoptee) have all passed. How can I find the record of birth for my half-sister? Thank you.
I gave my son up for adoption and in 2017 he found me. His adopted parents are both deceased and I would love to get his orginal bc for him. He was adopted from Uniontown PA. His real parents are still alive. They have reunited and would love to know how to go about getting his bc for him please help.
I am an adoptee from Marion County (Hannibal, MO.) My birth mother’s name was Karen Johnson. Missouri only was able to send me non-identifying information about her. I am desperately trying to find her before she passes away (which I might be too late). She had polio as a youth. The father’s name was Howard Jackson and he passed in 2005. I am desperate.
My wife is adopted, her father was also adopted but he is deceased now. He was full blooded Native American, but my wife does not know how to prove that she is ½ native American because her father is deceased. How can she/we get access to the records that prove her lineage?
My mom adopted my son who is native and she is currently trying to enroll him into my tribe but in order to do so she needs his original birth certificate she went to the court and was able to have it court ordered but she is still having trouble getting the original how can she go about doing this
Hi. This list seems outdated. My friend was adopted in Missouri and in 2018 was able to obtain her original birth certificate as well as non identifying information from her adoption file . No court order required.
Hi, I am the adult offspring (daughter) of my father, who was born in New York, and I think he was born in Michigan. He has passed away, would it be possible for me as his daughter to gain access to his original birth certificate? And if it is possible, how would I go about that?
Hi, I am the adult offspring (daughter) of my father, who was born in New York, and I think he was born in Michigan. He has passed away, would it be possible for me as his daughter to gain access to his original birth certificate? And if it is possible, how would I go about that? .
I was born in Salt Lake City Utah and taken in Florida Bay County in 2003. I was adopted in Okaloosa county in 2011 and would like to know how to access my original birth certificate with my deceased father’s name on it
My daughter was born august 261983 I was eleven yrs old when my mother gave her away how do I find her birth papers
Hello I am the mother of a adopted adult who was adopted in the family while I was incarcerated which has been in my custody since I was released she’s now 24 but this happened when she was 12. She has recently been diagnosed with a life threatening illness and made me her power of attorney. Hiw do I get her original birth certificate with my name o. It and not my aunts ? We live in st.louis mo.
Hi my name is Ashley, I have a question? so here’s our little situation, my wife was born In Tennessee but adopted in the state of Florida, but she can’t get in touch with her adoptive parents due to they have lost contact, which they are the ones that have her (BLUEBOOK) WHICH CONTAINS ALL THE INFORMATION ON HER ADOPTION HERE IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. So we have absolutely no paperwork to legally change her name from her birth name to her adoptive name. We have been trying to figure this out for about 4years now. She was adopted in 2008, she Is now about to be 26 years old, so as of right now we are trying to figure everything out as soon as possible. We need to figure out How the legal process works on how we go about getting all the adoption documentations? We are trying to get all the adoption paperwork together so that she can legally go and change her name on legal documentations. And update all of her information. It is very important to us if someone can please help us figure out what to do. I am new to doing this and so is my wife.
I am wondering if it is possible to find records on my mother’s adoption. I would like to know who my biological grandparents are to see what health conditions they have and what my past nationalities are. She however does not want to know anything of her adoption. Being her offspring is there any way or any chance that I can get info or maybe a copy or view at her original birth certificate?
I just found out my father is not my biological father I was adopted but I don’t know when I don’t know my biological father’s name my mother has died and she never told me this how can I get these adoption papers to know so I can find out who my biological father was or is
Hello I just recently found out that since my birth certificate is showing my name as not all capital letters that my birth certificate is actually amended. Also meaning I was adopted. I am led to believe that my adoption was performed in Texas but I was issued a amended BC from Tennessee. Even though I was born in Kentucky on a military base. I’m not sure what to do I’m trying to get a lawyer from legal aid in texas but I’m not having any luck. Any advice or ideas on what I should do to gain access to my original birth records?
I’ve suspected for a long time that my parents weren’t my blood parents but had nothing to go on. They both passed away now and it’s still eating away at me so I started checking to see how I can find out once and for all, one thing that’s really standing out is health conditions not matching up with me being 65 now. Nothing matches, and never did my entire life. I need to know now more than ever.
Can I get a court order to make my adoptive father take a DNA test due to most of my family telling me he had an affair with my mothers cousin & he & my mother adopted me & refuse to admit it. Can I take him to court & make him test since I feel like I should get to know if I’m biological my brothers half sister or not?
Can I get a court order demanding my adoptive father to take a DNA test since I found out he’s most likely my bio father. My goal is to see if my siblings are truly my blood kin half siblings.
Thanks for your time….
I was wondering if I could find out who my grandpa’s original parent(s) are out of curiosity. I will not indulge in any information unless they would like to know. His name is David Christian Meyer formally known as David Guy Meyer. I believe both sets of parents have passed. Please let me know, this would be awesome to find out.
Hi! I would like to know how to get a birth certificate of my mom, she was born and adopted in Michigan, she is decreased and her adopted parents are deceased. Don’t know anything about birth parents. Would like to know for medical reasons
I accidentally found my mom at work one day. I was in a closed adoption in 1981 out of Pennsylvania. We both went to the adoption agency and they confirmed she was truly my mother. Here where my problem lays she told me my dad was from Jamaica and living in Florida. I found him and we both went to Jamaica to meet the rest of my family. There we took a DNA test that proved he was my dad. My birth mother never names him on my birth certificate and I want to apply for citizenship in Jamaica but they need a birth certificate with his name. Can I get his name put on a birth certificate as I have a official DNA test done? My dad has duel citizenship in Jamaica and U.S. And I still have family in Jamaica
My mother was an unwed mother when I was born 1953 in Iowa.She put her husband on mine birth certificate in 1956 as a amend
Ed birth certificate naming him as my father. She and he are deceased. How do I find out who was listed as my father? She listed her mother’s maiden name and my great-grandfather as my younger sister’s father before changing her birth certificate also. I found her records in birth reorders office at the hospital where she was born. I can not find mine as the hospital where I was born has changed from a Catholic hospital to a community hospital. Any help would be appreciated