Adoption: Rights to Your Birth Certificate

If you were adopted or one of your parents was adopted, you might be interested in your biological relatives. Though you may love your adoptive parents or grandparents, there may be a question in the back of your mind regarding those to whom you are related. Or, you may wonder about your genes, family illness or history. You can find this out by requesting a copy of your original birth certificate, which may even put you in direct contact with biological parents, depending on their wishes.

Illinois Law on Adoptees’ Rights

At the time of an adoption, the adoption records and original birth certificates are considered closed and the child or adoptive parents cannot access these records. However, now in Illinois, once the adopted child reaches the age of 18, the child can now request access to the original birth certificate to ascertain the name of their biological parents.

Under Illinois law, an adult adoptee can request a copy of his/her original birth certificate by submitting a form and payment of $15.00 to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Additionally, an individual can request a copy of his or her spouse’s or parent’s original birth certificate as well.

Birth Parents’ Rights Regarding Children Given Up for Adoption

Parents that put up children for adoption cannot block the child from access to his or her original birth certificate, even if this is requested by the biological parents. However, the parents can put a note in the file regarding contact. If the parents would prefer that their child not make contact, the parents can file with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange and pay a $15.00 fee. However, if both parents complete a two-page medical information form, the fee may be waived. This will then give the child medical information necessary for him or her to lead a healthy life, or for his or her children to take precautions, but will keep the child from contacting the parents directly.

Status Update

Since the act enabling children the opportunity to access their original birth certificates became law, over 10,500 people have requested access to their original birth certificates. Additionally, fewer than 500 parents have taken advantage of the ability to deny contact from their children. The adoptees of Illinois have considered this a great success and are encouraging other states to follow suit.

Contact Us For Help with Your Adoption

The ability to access original birth certificates may be simple in Illinois; however, the decision to put your child up for adoption or to adopt a child is never easy. The experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at the Abear Law Offices can walk you through the steps necessary for adoption. Please contact us today for a consultation.