Access to Adoption Records - Georgia

Date: December 2019

Who May Access Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-23

Information may be accessed by the following persons:

  • The adult adoptee
  • The birth parents
  • Adult birth siblings
  • The child of the adoptee, if the adoptee is deceased
  • The adoptive parents

The adoptive parents may access only nonidentifying information.

Access to Nonidentifying Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-23

When certain information would assist in the provision of medical care, a medical emergency, or medical diagnosis or treatment, a party to the adoption; child; legal guardian; health-care agent of an adoptee; or a provider of medical services to a party to the adoption, child, legal guardian, or health-care agent may request that the Department of Human Services or child-placing agency access its own records on finalized adoptions for the purpose of adding subsequently obtained medical information or releasing nonidentifying medical and health history information contained in its records pertaining to an adoptee, the biological parents, or relatives of the biological parents of the adoptee.

When the State Adoption Unit of the department or a child-placing agency receives documented medical information relevant to an adoptee, the department or child-placing agency shall use reasonable efforts to contact the adoptive parents of the adoptee if the adoptee is younger than age 18, or the adoptee if he or she is age 18 or older, and provide the documented medical information to the adoptive parents or the adoptee.

Upon the written request of an adoptee age 18 or older or an adoptive parent on behalf of an adoptee, nonidentifying information shall be released regarding the birth parents and the adoptee's birth, including the date and place of the adoptee's birth and the genetic, social, and health history of the birth parents.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 19-8-23

Upon written request of an adoptee age 21 or older, the department or child-placing agency shall release to the adoptee the name of the adoptee's birth parent, together with a detailed summary of all information the department or agency has concerning the adoptee's birth, foster care, placement for adoption, and finalization of the adoption, if the following apply:

  • The birth parent has submitted unrevoked written permission to release his or her name to the adoptee.
  • The identity of the birth parent submitting permission has been verified by the department or agency.
  • The department or agency has the records that have been requested.

If a birth parent has not filed an unrevoked written permission, the department or agency shall, within 6 months of receipt of the written request, make a diligent effort to notify each birth parent, by personal and confidential contact, that a request for information has been made. The birth parent may then file an affidavit consenting or objecting to disclosure.

The adoptee also may petition the court to seek the release of information. The court shall grant the petition if it finds that failure to release the identity of each parent would have an adverse impact upon the physical, mental, or emotional health of the adoptee.

Birth parents and adult birth siblings also may access information about an adoptee using the same procedure. If the adoptee is deceased and leaves a child, such child, upon reaching age 18, may seek the name and other identifying information concerning his or her grandparents in the same manner as the deceased adoptee and subject to the same procedures.

The State Adoption Unit within the department shall maintain a registry for the recording of requests by adoptees for the name of any birth parent, the written consent or the written objections of any birth parent to the release of that parent's identity to an adoptee, and for nonidentifying information regarding any birth parent.

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code § 31-10-14

The original birth certificate is accessible only by order of the court or as provided by statute.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry