Recent contact with a reader, who just decided to search, reminded me of the overwhelming confusion that even the terminology of adoption searches can bring. Who else in the world, but an adoptee, would ever use the term ‘non-identifying information’?
For adoptees, it is the only information that most states allow us to obtain from our sealed records. Once you know the agency/lawyer that placed you, you should e-mail and snail mail, the letter below as soon as possible.
Be sure to include your mailing address and full contact information in the letter and email.
Warning: there may be a charge for this service.
As I posted recently, your non-identifying information will be more identifying than you think. Feel free to copy and paste this example.
My name is (NAME). I was born on ( DOB) in (CITY), (STATE). I was adopted at birth by (adopted parent’s names). My adoption was was handled by your agency/organization. I would like to request all non-identifying information related to my adoption, as mandated by state law.
In addition to the non-identifying information, please send me copies of all original documents with identifying info whited out, plus any photos of me from before my adoption.
Please include the following in the non-identifying information:
- The age of my parents at the time of my birth
- My given name at time of birth
- My mothers weight, height, hair color, eye color, general appearance
- Any educational information, certificates, degrees held
- Any religious background or affiliations
- My birthparents ethnic origins (Irish/Italian etc.)
- The number of sisters/brothers my birthmother had at the time of my birth, plus their ages/occupations.
- Any information on my birthparents upbringing, including places of birth, and where they resided at the time of my birth.
- Information on chosen occupations, certifications, honors, military service
- Any information on my birth grandparents ages/ethnic backgrounds/religion/occupations/education
- All other non-identifying information including hobbies, talents, and interests
In addition, please examine my file to see if my biological mother and/or father placed there, a consent form granting permission to disclose identifying information. Also please check for contact permission/consent forms. After, you reply, please place this request in my file to indicate my full permission for contact.
If the records of my adoption are no longer held by your organization, please inform me of where they are now stored.