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Adoption Records

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Frequently Asked Questions

Birth Records Birth Records
   
FORMS


IARMIE Forms

Birth Parent Registration
(For Child born before 1946)

Birth Parent Preference Packet
(For Child Born on/after 1/1/1946)

Adopted Person Registration

Surrendered Person Registration

Request for a
Non-Certified Copy of an
Original Birth Certificate

Surviving Relatives of Deceased Adopted or Surrendered Person Registration

Surviving Relatives of Deceased Birth Parent Registration

Adoptive Parent Registration

Legal Guardian Registration

Adoption Forms

Certificate of Adoption
with Instructions


Illinois Adoption Registry and
Medical Information Exchange Brochure
- PDF

     
 
Adoption Records

  How can I update a birth record for a person born in Illinois after being adopted? Top of Page

Once the adoption of a child born in Illinois is completed, submit a certified copy of either the certificate of adoption or the adoption decree. If the adoption is occurring in another state, you may submit a certified copy of the adoption decree or certificate of adoption from that state. The certificate of adoption or adoption decree must include the following:

  • the complete name(s), including maiden name(s) of the adoptive parent(s)
  • the date(s) of birth for the adoptive parent(s)
  • the place(s) of birth (state or country if other than the United States) of the adoptive parent(s)
  • the Social Security number(s) of the adoptive parent(s)
  • the complete address (street, city, county, state and ZIP code) of the adoptive mother at the time of birth

If the certificate of adoption or adoption decree does not include all of these items you will need to submit a separate document and provide any item not found on the certificate of adoption or in the adoption decree before the amended record can be made.

If the biological mother is also the mother after adoption, her information from the original birth record will transfer to the new birth record. This includes her name, date of birth, place of birth and address.

The fee is $15 and includes one certified copy of the birth record. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time are $2 each.

Illinois is a closed state regarding adoptions. Therefore, once an adoption is completed, the original birth record with the biological parents listed and the certificate of adoption or adoption decree will become part of a sealed file. A certified copy of a court order from the same court that originally granted the adoption is required to open the sealed file. This court order has to direct the Illinois Department of Public Health to open the sealed adoption file. The court order must state what is to be copied, how many copies are to be made and to whom the copies are to be sent. There is no fee for this service. To locate a birth record, staff need to know the following:

  • complete name after adoption
  • complete name before adoption
  • date of birth
  • place of birth

To have an original birth record placed back on file as your legal birth certificate requires a certified copy of a court order to vacate the adoption. The court order must come from the same court that originally granted the adoption. The court order must direct Illinois Department of Public Health to vacate the adoption and reinstate the original birth record. To locate the birth record, staff need to know the following:

  • complete name after adoption
  • complete name before adoption
  • date of birth
  • place of birth

Please note: Processing time for records amended by adoption, that contain the appropriate fee and all necessary information, is between 6 and 12 weeks from the date the request is received.

The adoptions' unit is available to answer telephone inquiries Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling 217-782-6554. Tuesday and Thursday are devoted to processing requests. The adoptions' unit is available for walk-in customers Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 925 East Ridgely Ave.in Springfield.

  What information can you tell me about an adoption? Top of Page

Vital Records can only check to see if the fee has been received and a new birth record has been issued. The Illinois Adoption Registry and a Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE) may be of some assistance in getting other information.

  I've adopted a child and haven't received the child's birth certificate? Top of Page

Sometimes the court batches the certificates of adoption and sends them all to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records at the end of a month. Therefore, it may take an additional two to three weeks to process a request for a child's birth certificate.

  I want to adopt a foreign child and I'm told that I need a birth certificate with an apostille. Can I get this from you? (See note below) Top of Page

You can get the birth certificate from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records or from the county clerk in the county where the birth occurred (list of county vital records Web sites or county clerk addresses); however, the Illinois Secretary of State, Index Department issues the apostille. An apostille is a specific authenticating certificate required by certain countries to verify the legitimacy of a document. The birth certificate needs to be sent to the Index Department for this authentication. Information on the cost and procedure for obtaining an apostille is available on the Illinois Secretary of State's Web site or by calling 800-252-8980.

As a service to customers, Vital Records staff will forward birth certificates ordered from the Illinois Department of Public Health, to the Illinois Secretary of State office to affix the apostille IF you provide the information needed to process the request (Illinois Secretary of State's Web site) AND include a SEPARATE CHECK MADE PAYABLE TO THE "SECRETARY OF STATE" for the required apostille fee. If you do not send a separate check, only your order for a birth certificate will be processed. You will then have to send the certificate directly to the Illinois Secretary of State office to obtain the apostille.

NOTE - This authentication procedure is necessary for the adopting parent's birth record. This does NOT apply to the foreign-born child's birth record.

  Are there other requirements for international adoptions? Why do I have to
re-adopt a foreign-born child in Illinois if I want an Illinois birth certificate?
Top of Page

If you are an Illinois resident and have adopted a foreign born child, submit the following:

  • a certified copy of the certificate of adoption
  • an additional document verifying the child's date and place of birth, such as
    • a copy of the child's birth record from the foreign country
    • a certified copy of the adoption decree if the decree specifically mentions these items
    • a copy of the child's passport

Records of foreign birth are $5 each.

Please note: Processing time for records amended by adoption, that contain the appropriate fee and all necessary information, is between 6 and 12 weeks from the date the request is received.

The adoptions' unit is available to answer telephone inquiries Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling 217-782-6554. Tuesday and Thursday are devoted to processing requests. The adoptions' unit is available for walk-in customers Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 925 East Ridgely Ave.in Springfield.

Illinois law allows for the re-adoption of a foreign born child in Illinois, but does not require it. If a foreign born child is re-adopted in Illinois, you will need to submit a certified copy of the Certificate of Adoption from Illinois. As evidence to the child's date and place of birth, the child's original birth certificate, or a certified copy, extract or translation or by other document essentially equivalent thereto (the records of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or the U.S. Department of State), must also be submitted.

If you should decide not to re-adopt through the Illinois court system, our office may make and file an Administrative Record of Foreign Birth as long as all required documentation is received. The required documentation consists of four specific items which are "(1) evidence as to the child's birth date and birthplace including the country of birth and if available, the city and province of birth, provided by the original birth certificate, or by a certified copy, extract, or translation thereof or by other document essentially equivalent thereto (the records of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or of the U.S. Department of State to be considered essentially equivalent thereto); (2) a certified copy, extract, or translation of the adoption decree or by other document essentially equivalent thereto (the records of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or of the U.S. Department of State to be considered essentially equivalent thereto); (3) a copy of the IR-3 visa; and (4) the name and address of the adoption agency that handled the adoption."

Please be aware that an Administrative Record of Foreign Birth will list the four required items on the face of the record and will be part of the certifiable record. If you do not want this information to show on a certified copy of the record, you will need to re-adopt through the Illinois court system.

If the applicant is unable to provide all the information listed above as prescribed by law, then re-adoption in Illinois is required before we could issue a Record of Foreign Birth.

For additional information on international adoptions, you may want to visit the International Adoption page in the U.S. State Department's Web site.

  Will my foreign-born child be a United States citizen when the adoption is completed? Top of Page

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which became effective on February 27, 2001, streamlines the process by which foreign-born children of U.S. citizen parents can become U.S. citizens when they did not acquire citizenship at birth. The Child Citizenship Act, which applies to both adopted and biological children of U.S. citizens, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for the automatic acquisition of U.S. citizenship when certain conditions have been met. Click here for more information on the Child Citizenship Act.


Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE)

  What is the purpose of the IARMIE? Top of Page

The IARMIE, which was established by the Adoption Act (750 ILCS 50), provides a means for certain individuals involved in an adoption in Illinois to locate other people involved in the adoption. Persons who were adopted or surrendered for adoption, their birth parents, non-surrendered birth siblings, adoptive parents, legal guardians, sisters or brothers of deceased birth parents, adult children of deceased adopted or surrendered persons and spouses of adopted persons with a minor child may file their consent to exchange information with others involved in the adoption. If done in compliance with the law, information may be exchanged without the need for a court order.

  What information may be exchanged? Top of Page

Information that may be exchanged includes the name and last known address, a copy of the IARMIE application form, a copy of the original birth certificate, medical information, and any written statements and photographs that have been filed.

  What should I do if I want my or my child's identity protected? Top of Page

The IARMIE cannot release any identifying information about a person without consent. You may choose not to register or to file a Denial of Information Exchange Form. Either choice prohibits the release of your identity but can still allow the filing and exchange of potentially vital medical information in certain instances. In the case of a birth parent wanting to not have their information released – Prior to January 1, 2011 you may register with IARMIE and file a Denial of Information Exchange. This will ensure no identifying information about you will be released to the adopted person. Any birth parent filing on or after January 1, 2011 will complete a Birth Parent Preference form and indicate their contact preference.

  Who may register with the IARMIE? Top of Page

Registration is available to the following individuals:

  • birth parents;
  • non-surrendered brothers and sisters over age 21 of those who were adopted or surrendered for adoption and a common parent is deceased;
  • adopted or surrendered persons age 21 or older;
  • adoptive parents of adopted individuals under age 21; or
  • legal guardians of adopted or surrendered persons.
  • surviving sister or brother of a deceased birth parent
  • surviving adult child of a deceased adopted person
  • surviving spouse of a deceased adopted person with a minor child

  What is required for the release of information? Top of Page

Both parties to the exchange of information must consent to the release and must provide enough information about their identities and known circumstances to the adoption or surrender so that the registry can determine that a "match" exists. For example, a woman who gave up her baby for adoption 30 years ago and who wants to locate her child must file her consent with the registry, and the child also must file consent with the registry. If only the mother or only the child files with the IARMIE, no information can be exchanged through the IARMIE.

  Is there a fee for the IARMIE? Top of Page

Yes. The fee to file with the IARMIE is $15. However, the fee will be waived if the person filing also completes and files a Medical Information Exchange Questionnaire and consents to its release to other people involved in the adoption. There is no fee to update the registration of any person who filed with the registry that existed before January 1, 2000.

  I filed with the registry before January 1, 2000. Do I need to do anything now? Top of Page

No, your information is still in the database. However, you have only agreed to exchange just your name and address. If you haven't already updated, you may want to consider reviewing what is available under these additions to the law. If you wish to exchange more than just name and address then you need to complete new forms. ( Click here for information on obtaining IARMIE forms.) Please complete the Medical Information Exchange Questionnaire to add health-related information to your file. There is no fee to update your file.

  What is the Medical Information Exchange Questionnaire? Top of Page

The Medical Information Exchange Questionnaire is a form that asks questions about diseases or conditions that medical professionals believe may be inherited or has a genetic link, that is, illnesses that "run in families." These diseases and conditions are of interest to other biological family members and their physicians because knowing about them may alert the family members and physicians to watch more carefully for certain signs and symptoms and to take preventive action.

  Where do I get the forms to register? Top of Page

Forms may be obtained in several ways:

  • You may download the forms from this Web site by clicking the appropriate category below:

Birth Parent Registration Forms
Adopted Person Registration Forms
Surrendered Person Registration Forms
Adoptive Parent Registration Forms
Legal Guardian Registration Forms
Surviving Relatives of Deceased Adopted or Surrendered Person Registration Forms
Surviving Relatives of Deceased Birth Parent Registration Forms

  • E-mail your request to dph.vitalrec@illinois.gov.
  • Fax your request to 217-557-5279.
  • Mail your request to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, 925 E. Ridgely Ave., Springfield, IL 62702-2737, Attn: IARMIE.
  • Call the IARMIE at 217-557-5159, or toll-free at 877-323-5299.
When requesting forms, be sure to include your full name and mailing address, and please indicate whether you are an adopted or surrendered person, birth parent, adoptive parent, surviving relative of deceased adopted or surrendered person, surviving relative of a deceased birth parent, or legal guardian of an adopted or surrendered person.

  What should I do if I can't download a form? Top of Page

The forms in this Web site are in PDF format. To view PDF documents, you need a copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader Software. If after downloading the Adobe Acrobat Reader Software you continue to have problems downloading the form, you can request the form(s) by e-mail, fax or mail.

  Where can I get help to complete the registration forms? Top of Page

You may call the registry and the staff will gladly help you understand and fill in the forms at 217-557-5159, or toll-free at 877-323-5299. You may contact the licensed placement agency that assisted in the adoption or the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services if that agency assisted in the adoption. You also may contact Court Supportive Services in the county in which the adoption occurred or the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court in which the adoption occurred, the addresses and telephone numbers of which can be found in many telephone directories and public libraries. Employees of these agencies regularly work with adoptions and are able to offer information and assistance to those individuals whose adoptions were assisted by those agencies.

  How do I register with the Illinois Adoption Registry? Top of Page

Complete the appropriate registration identification form, the application form and either the Information Exchange Authorization form or the Denial of Information Exchange Authorization form. Appropriate identification also must be provided.

The registration identification form asks for specific information needed for registry personnel to locate records, to verify relationships and to match registrations. Versions of this form are available for adopted persons, surrendered persons, birth parents, adoptive parents, legal guardians,.

The Information Exchange Authorization form allows the release of information specified by the registrant to those people authorized by the registrant.

The Denial of Information Exchange Authorization form prohibits the release of information to all persons or to specific persons as determined by the registrant.

Appropriate identification must be provided. Identification must include a photograph and must be issued by a unit of government. Acceptable forms of identification include driver's license, state or federal identification card, passport or military identification card. Firearm owner's identification (FOID) cards are not acceptable. Clearly readable photocopies should be submitted, not originals.

  What kinds of written statements and photographs may I file? Top of Page

The IARMIE Application provides space for optional written statements for release to designated people. Statements may not identify any person other than the registrant; statements will be edited or returned to the registrant if other people are identified.

Photographs also may be submitted for release to designated people. Photographs may not be larger than 8 1/2" by 11" and may not identify any person other than the registrant.

  How do I file the registration? Top of Page

You may file the registration by mail, by overnight express service or in person. Registrations must be delivered to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, 925 E. Ridgely Ave., Springfield, IL 62702-2737, Attn: IARMIE.

  What happens after I file the registration? Top of Page

Each person filing with the IARMIE must provide sufficient information to enable registry personnel to locate records that verify the registrant's status and to determine whether a registration related to the same adoption has been filed. If there is a problem in verifying the facts, it will take longer to complete the registration and additional information may be required.

All information sent to the registry is confidential according to law. Registry personnel and senior Vital Records managers are the only people allowed to see registry files, and only for official purposes. Files are secured and locked 24 hours a day.

  Does the IARMIE staff conduct a search for other people to enable release of information? Top of Page

No. The registry's function is to process voluntarily filed information and to perform matches.

  What options do I have if the parties I am seeking information about or contact with have not registered? Top of Page

If the IARMIE is unable to make a match, the registrant has a number of options. Since each situation is unique, then IARMIE cannot recommend a specific course of action for the registrant to take, however, there are the following options;

  • Some adoption agencies may provide post adoption search services if the adoption was facilitated through their agency. Therefore, if the name of the agency is known, the registrant may want to contact the agency to see if a search service is available.
  • Individuals who do not know if or what adoption agency was involved or their agency does not provide post adoption search services and want to move forward with an active search, may under Illinois law petition an Illinois circuit court for the appointment of a confidential intermediary. Confidential intermediaries' training and certification is overseen by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
  • Other Adoption/Search/Reunion/Information Resources may be found on the IARMIE Web site.

  What happens if one of the matching registrations is a Denial of Information Exchange form? Top of Page

If a Denial of Information Exchange form is filed, no identifying information may be released. The person filing an Information Exchange Authorization will be notified by the registry that a match has been made but that identifying information cannot be released.

  How long will it take to receive information when a match is made? Top of Page

Once a match has been verified and reviewed by registry personnel, information will be mailed at the same time to each registrant at the latest address on file. This process requires an average of two to three weeks. Please be aware that at times this estimate may be longer depending on staffing.

  May I update my registration in the future? Top of Page

Yes. There is no fee to file an update, but appropriate identification will be required as it was when you filed your first registration with the IARMIE.

  When I move, should I notify the IARMIE? Top of Page

Yes! Releases of information and other important communication about your registration will be sent to the latest address you have filed. The U.S. Postal Service will forward mail only for a limited time. When you move, you should write to the IARMIE. Include your old address, new address, effective date of the change and identification as was required when you filed your first registration.

  What is the fee to obtain a copy of my original birth certificate? Top of Page

The fee is $15 and payable by a check or money order made out to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

  Where do I send the form and fee to? Top of Page

The form and fee should be mailed to: Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, Attention: IARMIE, 925 E. Ridgely Ave., Springfield, IL 62702-2737

  May I come into your office and get my original birth certificate? Top of Page

You may drop off a request and payment. The original birth certificate, however, will be mailed to you once the necessary research is completed.

  I am a birth parent and I do not want any information about me released, what can I do now? Top of Page

You may register a Denial of Information Exchange with the IARMIE program. Those wishing to register a denial should call 877-323-5299 so staff can explain what forms need to be completed and other possibilities.

  Will this birth certificate look like my current birth certificate? Top of Page

Yes, it will have the same basic form as your current birth certificate.

  What is a non-certified copy mean? Top of Page

You will receive a copy of the original birth certificate on paper that does not contain any state seal or crimping of a state seal. A non-certified record may not be used for identification purposes and is not intended to be admissible before any court, tribunal or official government agency.

  Why can’t I go to the county clerk and get my original birth certificate? Top of Page

At the time the adoption was finalized, your original birth certificate was amended to reflect the adoption and the state and county copies of the original birth certificates were sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Vital Records.

  Who are considered to be the surviving relatives of a deceased adopted/surrendered person? Top of Page

A child over the age of 21 or a spouse who is a parent of a child under the age of 21.

 

 
925 East Ridgely Ave., Springfield, IL 62702