Press Release

November 6, 2008


State Public Health Director Encourages Those Wanting to Find Birth Parents or Children to Sign-up for the Illinois Adoption Registry during
Adoption Awareness Month

 Hundreds of families in Illinois reunited  

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – During November, National Adoption Awareness Month, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold is spreading the word about the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE) to help reunite families. The IARMIE is a way for individuals involved in an adoption in Illinois to locate other people involved in the adoption, without having to go to court.

“Searching for a person’s birth family can be time consuming and costly. The Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange is a secure and inexpensive way for families wishing to reunite - to find one another, or to exchange information regarding inherited medical conditions. I strongly urge anyone wanting to unite with their birth family to go to the Illinois Department of Public Health Web site and check out the registry,” said Dr. Arnold.

Currently there are approximately 11,000 people registered and 713 matches have been made between adopted persons or their family and birth parents or their families.

The following information can be exchanged via the registry:

  • the identity and last known address of other birth and adoptive family members who have registered with the IARMIE
  • medical background information filed with the registry; can be shared anonymously
  • pictures and written statements filed with the registry
  • the adoptee’s original birth certificate (providing he or she was born in Illinois)

Registration is open to the following persons:

  • adopted or surrendered persons 21 years of age or older who were born, adopted or surrendered in Illinois
  • birth parents of eligible adopted or surrendered persons
  • surviving birth relatives (adult non surrendered child, brother or sister) of a deceased birth parent
  • surviving adult child of a deceased adopted person or spouse if child is a minor
  • adoptive parents of eligible adopted persons under the age of 21 or a deceased adopted person
  • legal guardians of adopted or surrendered persons

For example, if a woman who placed a child for adoption 30 years ago wishes to reveal her identity or to exchange medical information with her surrendered son or daughter, she must file her consent agreement with the registry to release this information. The adoptee also must file a consent agreement with the registry to release the same information. If the birth mother and the adopted person have not both registered and signed a consented for the release of medical and/or identifying information, no data can be released.

Through the IARMIE, Dan Svezia was able to reunite with members of his birth family after 50 years.

“The challenges of searching for one’s birth family can be complex, mysterious and emotional. The Illinois Adoption Registry can offer a safe and professional resource for a possible reunion.   I was very lucky, after fifty years of separation; the registry successfully reunited me with members of my birth family.  Perhaps the registry can assist in your search.  You won’t know until you enroll,” said Svezia.

IARMIE registration forms are available from numerous sources.

  • Download the forms from the Department’s Web site,
  • E-mail a request for forms to
  • Fax a request for forms to 217-557-5279.
  • Call the registry at 217-557-5159, or toll-free, 877-323-5299, TTY (hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466.
  • Mail a request for forms to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange, Division of Vital Records, 605 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62702-5097.

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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