New Laws Allow Adopted People 21+ to Obtain Their Original Birth Certificates

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

Adoption Stories from You

Our Facebook Fan Michelle shared this story with us:

I gave my daughter up for adoption when she was born 12 yrs ago. For them (her parents), I did a closed adoption (I was able to pick them but never knew names, location and they didn't know the same about me). The adoption agency got sloppy during the final court hearing and left my name showing on some documents. When she was 6, their/my daughter wanted to meet me. They did a search, went through a lawyer specializing in adoptions and sent me a letter with an open-ended invite. A few months of quiet meetings and I got to meet my miracle. Best thing that ever happened. She's an amazing young lady, raised by 2 wonderful parents and she knows I'm there for her whenever she needs me/has questions.

Barb shared this story with us:

This is a giant step. Being an adopted child and knowing my biological family has been wonderful. Never to replace my "real" family that brought me up and also put up with me. I am blest.

You can share your story on our Facebook page.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Starting today anyone over the age of 21 can get a copy of their original birth certificate. This change in state law will help about 250-thousand Illinois adoptees like Margaret Anderson. She actually found her siblings through ancestry.com, but it took 92 years.

Helen Finegan said, "I wish we could have found her sooner, but things work out of the best, we're just glad we found her."

Even if it was a closed adoption, the birth parents names will be included on birth certificates.

There is a form you can fill out requesting that info be kept confidential, but some worry there will be many surprises.

Peggy Franklin from Children’s Home and Aid said, "The shock of having to deal with it, maybe having to tell the rest of their family that they placed their child for adoption 60 on years ago. That might be a family secret that hasn't been talked about in a long time.”

The state includes information on the change in state law in license plate renewal notices. We’ll more closely examine the law and share how a Rockford family reunited after 92 years tonight on the 23 News update at 10.


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  • by Rhonda Location: Illinois on Dec 1, 2011 at 01:40 PM
    I am in the need to know so so bad. My mother was born from what she ws told 3-37. she is blackfoot indian. was born in quincy. her mother supposedly died when she was 3yrs years old. and then asoped. can someone help. it was said that the blackfoot papers was burned back in the day.
  • by Ann Courtney Location: Michigan on Nov 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM
    I was adopted back in the 60's and I was able to get into my records when one of my daughters had a skin condition that the doctors did know what it was. They wanted a family medical history but I couldn't give it to them since I was adopted. My adopted parents didn't have that info. I had to get a court order to get the info. I didn't receive the family history but I did get my medical history from the time I was born until 1960. At one time, I also was able to get a copy of my birth certificate but someone threw it away. I was adopted through Wisconsin. I was wondering if anyone knows if Wisconsin has that new law now? I located my birthmother's side of the family in 1981 and located my birthfather's side of the family in 2006. I find out that through my birthmother, I'm the baby of 6 children and through my birthfather, I'm the oldest of 8 children. My birthparents were never married to each other. I'm the result of an affair that my birthmother had with a single Military man. My birthmother died in 1960 and my birthfather died in 1997, so I never met my birthparents but I have met all of my siblings and other family members. Both of my adopted parents have passed away. I had alot of questions for my birthfamilies but most of my questions were unanswered since both of my birthparents are gone. I feel alot more whole since I have found my birth family and I don't regret locating them.
  • by Michael Location: New Mexico on Nov 18, 2011 at 01:21 PM
    My mother was born in Chicago in 1913 and adopted as an infant by Robert and Lucy Hoxie. Mother died in 2007 at the age of 93. With my help we tried to locate her biological parents during her last years, but could not gain access to her records. It is my hope that the new adoption law grants grandchildren access to the original adoption record of their parent.
  • by Karen Gillespie Location: Rockford, Illinois on Nov 17, 2011 at 09:19 AM
    I was adopted from Augustana Nursery in Chicago, in 1946. My name at birth was Sylvia Jean Sylvester, and my birth mother's name was Gloria Jean Sylvester. I am happy that this law has come into being. I have always wondered if I have siblings, as I was raised an only child. Although my birth mother may not still be alive, i'm still curious to know "where i came from", and if my birth mother ever thinks of me on Groundhog's Day.
  • by Linda on Nov 16, 2011 at 07:03 AM
    My MIL is 80 years old has beginning alzheimers.She is a birth mother who is not aware of this law change and would not be able to sign any waiver. She confided in me years ago when my sister chose adoption over abortion. Not only will this older woman have to deal with something from her past that she wanted to keep private the whole thing will be dumped in her families laugh. The very reason why she kept it a secret her whole life was because she didn't want family to know. A better law mutual consent. Siimple with an intermediary.
    • reply
      by rhonda on Dec 1, 2011 at 01:34 PM in reply to Linda
      MayI ask. was she Indian. I am in the need to know so so bad. please get back wirh me. Thak you for your time/
  • by Ann Location: Rockford on Nov 15, 2011 at 06:40 PM
    I'm Ann and I was adopted with my twin sister at the age of 5 months into the same family. We were born in Chicago (Cook County). I am going to try to see if I can get my original birth certificate because I am very curious about my birth parents. If they wanted to know me, I would welcome it.
  • by Pam Skipper Location: McLean, TX on Nov 15, 2011 at 06:28 PM
    I understand that there is a form, but is there a number for the form? Thank you to Dana Terry-Kruse for the address for the Division of Vital Records I just need to know what I need to get the form. I was adopted at the age of 3 months in 1964 and know nothing of any medical history. Thank you for any info you can give me
    • reply
      by Dana Terry-Kruse on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:27 AM in reply to Pam Skipper
      Hello again, I didn't see the form number on it. Thought that was strange. Maybe I'm just not recognizing it. Anyway, I did include the title of the form for ya hoping that would help. Maybe you could go online to Illinois Department of health. Bet they have something there.
      • reply
        by Pam Skipper on Nov 17, 2011 at 07:44 PM in reply to Dana Terry-Kruse
        Thank you so much for all the info you have given me. I wrote down everything and will get on it hopefully next week.
  • by Angela Location: Illinois on Nov 15, 2011 at 06:23 PM
    My husband has no interest in finding out who his biological parents are. I feel it is important to know his medical history for the sake of our children. I hope this will be an easy process~I am excited to learn a little more about him & his background!
  • by Karen on Nov 15, 2011 at 05:48 PM
    This is great news, but I believe anyone adopted should be able to know who their parents are when they turn 18, regardless of whether the biological parents want it or not.
  • by Barb Horowitz Location: Machesney Park, Il on Nov 15, 2011 at 01:29 PM
    Hi! I'm Barb and I am an adopted child/woman. I was given up for adoption at the age of 13 months and was formally adopted when I was 6. My parents got me from the Rockford Children"s Home. My biolgical parents were still able to see me during that time as I was a foster child. I have since reunited with my biological family and am grateful to know them. However, they do not replace my mom and dad who brought me up and showered me with love. My parents are gone now but I do have my other family and see them regularly. I do believe that there be an open adoption policy but only if it is agreed upon be the two sets of parents. Many people are amazed that I have a relationship with my biological family. Since I did not know the circumstances of the adoption I really don't feel strange about this. But I do know that I was fortunate enough to be loved by two families.
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