Access to Adoption Records - Illinois

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Who May Access Information

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, §§ 50/18.1; 50/18.4

The following persons may apply to the Illinois Adoption Registry:

  • Either birth parent
  • If the birth parent is deceased, the adoptee's adult birth sibling, birth aunt, or birth uncle
  • Any adult adoptee or any adoptive parent or legal guardian of an adoptee who is younger than age 21
  • If the adoptee is deceased, any surviving spouse, adult child, or adult grandchild
  • Any adoptive parent, legal guardian, or birth grandparent of a deceased adult adoptee

The services of a confidential intermediary may be utilized by the following persons:

  • Any adoptee who is age 21 or older
  • Any adoptive parent or legal guardian of an adoptee who is under age 21
  • Any birth parent of an adoptee who is age 21 or older
  • Any adult child or adult grandchild of a deceased adoptee
  • Any adoptive parent or surviving spouse of a deceased adoptee
  • Any adult birth sibling of the adult adoptee, unless the birth parent has checked Option E on the Birth Parent Preference Form or has filed a Denial of Information Exchange with the Adoption Registry and is not deceased
  • Any adult adopted birth sibling of an adult adoptee
  • Any adult birth sibling of the birth parent if the birth parent is deceased

Nonidentifying information may be provided to the adoptive parents, the adoptee, or legal guardian who is a registrant of the Adoption Registry.

Access to Nonidentifying Information

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/18.4

The adoptive parents shall receive in writing the following nonidentifying information, if known, no later than the date of placement of the child:

  • The birth parents' age
  • The birth parents' race, religion, and ethnic background
  • The general physical appearance of the birth parents
  • The birth parents' education, occupation, hobbies, interests, and talents
  • The existence of any other children born to the birth parents
  • Information about birth grandparents; their reason for emigrating into the United States, if applicable; and country of origin
  • The relationship between the birth parents
  • Detailed medical and mental health histories of the child, the birth parents, and their immediate relatives
  • The actual date and place of birth of the adoptee
  • The reasons the birth parents stated for placing the child for adoption; how and why the adoptive parents were selected and who selected the adoptive parents; and whether the birth parent requested or agreed to postadoption contact with the child at the time of placement and, if so, the frequency and type of contact

No information provided under this subsection shall disclose the name or last known address of the birth parents, grandparents, the siblings of the birth parents, the adoptee, or any other relative of the adoptee.

Any adoptee age 18 or older shall be given the information listed above upon request.

The Adoption Registry shall release any of the nonidentifying information above that appears on the certified copy of the original birth certificate or the Certificate of Adoption to an adopted person, adoptive parent, or legal guardian who is a registrant of the Adoption Registry.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, §§ 50/18.1; 50/18.3a; 50/18.3a

The Department of Public Health shall establish and maintain a registry for the purpose of allowing mutually consenting members of birth and adoptive families to exchange identifying and medical information. Identifying information includes any one or more of the following:

  • The name and last known address of the consenting person or persons
  • A copy of the Adoption Registry application of the consenting person or persons
  • A noncertified copy of the original birth certificate of an adult adoptee

Written authorization from all parties identified must be received prior to disclosure of any identifying information, with the exception of noncertified copies of original birth certificates released to adult adoptees or to surviving adult children and spouses of deceased adoptees.

At any time after a child is surrendered for adoption, any time during the adoption proceedings, or at any time thereafter, either birth parent, or both of them, may file with the registry a birth parent registration identification form. The department shall supply identifying information to the adoptee or his or her adoptive parents, legal guardians, adult children, adult grandchildren, or surviving spouse and to a birth grandparent, aunt, or uncle, only if both the adoptee and one of his or her eligible relatives have filed with the registry an information exchange authorization.

The department shall supply identifying information to the adoptee or his or her adoptive parents, legal guardians, adult children, adult grandchildren, or surviving spouse, and to a birth grandparent, aunt, or uncle only if both the adoptee and one of his or her eligible relatives have filed with the registry an information exchange authorization.

Any person listed above may petition the court for the appointment of a confidential intermediary for the purpose of exchanging medical information, obtaining identifying information, or arranging contact with one or more mutually consenting birth relatives. The petitioner shall be required to accompany his or her petition with proof of registration with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange.

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750, § 50/18.1b

Any adopted person who was born in Illinois prior to January 1, 1946, may file with the Adoption Registry a request for a noncertified copy of an original birth certificate. The registry shall provide the adoptee with an unaltered, noncertified copy of his or her original birth certificate upon receipt of the request. In cases in which an adoptee born prior to January 1, 1946, is deceased, and one of his or her surviving adult children, adult grandchildren, or spouse has registered with the registry, he or she may complete and file with the registry a request for a copy of the birth certificate. The registry shall provide such surviving adult child, adult grandchild, or spouse with an unaltered, noncertified copy of the adoptee's original birth certificate upon receipt of the request.

Beginning November 15, 2011, any adult adoptee who was born in Illinois on or after January 1, 1946, may file with the registry a request for a noncertified copy of an original birth certificate. In cases in which the adoptee is deceased, his or her surviving adult child, adult grandchild, or spouse who has registered with the registry may request a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate.

If the registry confirms that a requesting adult adoptee, the parent of a requesting adult child of a deceased adoptee, or the husband or wife of a requesting surviving spouse was not the object of a Denial of Information Exchange filed by a birth parent on or before January 1, 2011, and that no birth parent named on the original birth certificate has filed a Birth Parent Preference Form where Option E (prohibiting the release of identifying information) was selected prior to the receipt of a request for an original birth certificate, the registry shall provide the adult adoptee or his or her surviving adult child or spouse with an unaltered noncertified copy of the adoptee's original birth certificate.

Where the Information Can Be Located

  • Illinois Adoption Registry, Illinois Department of Public Health
  • Confidential Intermediary Service of Illinois, Midwest Adoption Center (MAC)