Sealed Adoption Records
What does Sealed Adoption Records mean?
Children adopted through a closed adoption will have their adoption records sealed by the court to ensure the adoption remains private. Adoption records are sealed for a variety of reasons, but it is generally agreed that each party's information should remain anonymous or the birth parents have decided they do not want to be contacted by the biological child.
Information contained within the sealed adoption record can include the adopted child's original birth certificate, the records of the court proceedings, the agency reports, and all other documents about the adoption. State laws for opening sealed adoption records vary. Adoptees may be able to open sealed records, but it may depend what year the adoption occurred and whether the adoptee has reached a certain age. If the adoptee is too young, the adoptee or their adoptive parents will not have the right to request the records unless the birth parents have signed a release of their contact information. Requests are generally granted through a court order, and the state may require a valid reason which is more important than mere curiosity.
In some states there may be an adoption registry and if both the adoptive child and the birth parents or siblings submit their information than the state may contact each party. If the information is submitted to a public registry it may be possible for one party to contact the other on their own. Another option if the birth parents do not want to be contacted is for them to agree to have only their medical information released.