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Adoption Records

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Frequently Asked Questions - Original Birth Certificates

Effective November 15, 2011, Public Act 96-0895 makes it possible for an adult adoptee or surrendered person to obtain a non-certified copy of his or her original birth certificate under certain circumstances. This act allows some birth parents to specify their wishes with regard to contact and the release of their identifying information.

   
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

     
 

  Why do I have to pay a fee for a non-certified copy of my original birth certificate? Top of Page

The fee of $15.00 pays for the non-certified copy of the original birth certificate. We accept either a check or money order made payable to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

  Why isnít the fee waived for a non-certified copy of my original birth certificate if Iíve submitted a medical questionnaire? Top of Page

The medical questionnaire is exclusively related to individuals registering with the IARMIE program or birth parents filing a Birth Parent Preference form. To obtain a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate, the interested individual must submit the required $15 fee.

  What does redact mean? Top of Page

Redact means to omit or edit. Certain identifying information will be covered or blacked out on the original birth certificate if one or both parents request that their identifying information be redacted.

  What name should I use to complete my request for an original birth certificate? Top of Page

In order to search for your original birth certificate, we need your adopted name, the name you were given when you were adopted.

  If I forget to send something in the mail with my request, should I send it as soon as I discover my error? Top of Page

No. We ask that you wait for a written response from this office. Whenever we receive an incomplete request, we send everything back to the requestor to ensure that it is processed only when all the requirements have been met.

  With this public act, will all adoptions be open unless there is a Birth Parent Preference Form? Top of Page

Before the passage of this act, all court documents relating to an adoption were sealed at the circuit court level. Under this act, the original birth record filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health at the time of the birth will be releasable to the adopted person once they reach the age of 21. Information to be released is dependent on whether a birth parent has filed a request to remain anonymous and to have their identifying information removed from the record.

  What information is considered identifying on the birth record? On the Birth Parent Preference Form? Top of Page

Birth Record: name of parent, last name of child, address of parent, and city of parents’ birth.

Birth Parent Preference Form: if Option E is selected, name(s) and signature(s), as well as the notary county, notary name and seal.

  Does this public act make it easier for adoptees to find their birth parents? Top of Page

Adoptees can submit a request for a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate, which may include the birth parent name(s) and last known address. Birth parents may file a Birth Parent Preference Form indicating what information they would like, or would not like, to be released, and if they welcome contact with their child.

  I do not know where my adoption took place. How can I find out? Top of Page

The adoption has to be finalized either in the county where the birth took place or the county where the adopted parents lived at the time of the filing of the adoption. It is recommended that you look at your birth certificate to determine those counties. You may need to ask family members.

  I do not know if there was an adoption agency involved. How can I find out? Top of Page

You will need to ask family members.

  On my birth record where parents’ names are located, it states “legal withheld.” What does this mean? Top of Page

The parentsí names were not given at the hospital to be placed on record when filed.

  On my birth record where parents’ names are located, it states “illegitimate.” What does this mean? Top of Page

The birth parents were not married.

  I called the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE) and was told that they are waiting on court files. How long will that take? Top of Page

The local court is not required to respond within a certain time frame; however, it typically takes four to six weeks.

  Why must I wait to receive my original birth record? Top of Page

A number of variables determine the length of time to respond to your request. These include the completeness of the application, the need for the Illinois Department of Public Health to write to the circuit court for a copy of the adoption decree or the need for the Department to contact the adoption agency. Also, due to the volume of requests, it may take longer to respond.

  How do I get just medical information? Top of Page

Register with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE) and agree to exchange medical information. You will receive a medical questionnaire only if a biological family member has provided one.

 

 
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