In November of last year, Illinois became one of the few states that allows adoptees access to their original birth certificates. According to Adoption.com, there are only four states that allow the adoptee permission to obtain the original birth certificate without restriction: Oregon, Maine, Alabama, and Alaska. Several other states allow the adoptee to request and obtain records, “unless one of the birth parents has denied releasing the information through a formal affidavit.” Colorado, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin allow the adoptee to obtain the original birth certificate only if consent from the birth parents is on file.
While the recent Illinois law allows anyone 21 years old, or born after January 1, 1946 to find their birth parents via the original birth certificate, according to KFVS12 News, it “also allows for birth parents to remain anonymous. But they have to notify the State of Illinois to request to have their names redacted from the birth certificate. This makes the law in Illinois very different from those in other states, and while it may be a detriment to the adoptee, it allows for some privacy for the original birth parents that other states do not. Yet Carla Donoho, director of Angels’ Cove Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services in Mount Vernon told KFVS that “it’s not about the birth parent. It’s not about the adoptive parents, it’s about what’s best for their child.”
The American Adoption Congress reported in a study that “72 percent of adopted adolescents wanted to know why they were adopted, 65 percent wanted to meet their birth parents, and 94 percent wanted to know which birth parent they looked like,” according to Adoption.com. This goes to show that if you’re considering adoption, your child’s search for his birth parents will most likely be something you and he will deal with one day.
Adoption is a complicated, multi-faceted process. If you or someone you know is considering adoption, seek the counsel of an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today.
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