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Help is Available for Conducting Adoption Record Searches in Alabama
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Adoption Records Search in Alabama
Adopted individuals often search for information on their birth families. This may include more than the names of their birth parents. They may also be looking for necessary medical information, social or background information regarding their ancestry, or important medical information. State laws specify the conditions for all searches for adoption records in each state.
Alabama law dictates that the state registrar establish a new birth certificate for an individual once he or she is adopted. The original birth certificate is then placed in a sealed file along with any other papers pertaining to the adoption. In 2000, state law pertaining to adoption records was amended to allow adopted individuals to obtain their original birth certificate from a sealed file.
In Alabama, only the adopted individual may request an uncertified copy of the original birth certificate. Family members including adoptive parents and offspring of an adopted individual may not request a copy of the original birth certificate in the state of Alabama. Additionally, the adopted individual must be 19 years of age or older, must have been born in Alabama, and must have an original birth certificate in a sealed file in Alabama.
Once a request is received and processed, the individual will receive an uncertified copy of the original birth certificate. However, this document may not be used for any legal purposes. The copy of the original birth certificate will appear with the exact information that was provided by the birth parents. Along with the birth certificate copy, copies of any court papers or legal documents concerning the adoption that are contained within the sealed file will also be issued.
Since the amendment to the law pertaining to vital records in Alabama in 2000, birth parents have the right to include a Contact Preference Form in the sealed file. If this form is contained within the sealed file at the time of the request for a copy of the original birth certificate, it will also be sent to the applicant. This form is a valuable piece of information that allows the adopted individual to contact the birth parents. Even if the birth parents do not wish to make personal contact, valuable medical information can be obtained with this contact information.
No medical information or medical records of any kind are held within the sealed file in the state of Alabama. Moreover, no social background or other family history is contained within the file either. The information held in the file pertains strictly to the adoption and the circumstances surrounding it.
When the request for a copy of the original birth certificate prior to the adoption is made, it must be stated clearly. If the request is not clear, a copy of the birth certificate issued after the adoption will be sent.
Since the applicant’s original signature must be included with the request, orders cannot be made on the Internet. A “Request for a Pre-Adoption or Other Birth Certificate from an Alabama Sealed File” application must be completed. The form can be obtained at the following link: http://ph.state.al.us/Chs/VitalRecords/Adoption/sealed.pdf. Adobe Acrobat is required to open the form.
The form requests very basic information including:
- Current name on birth certificate
- Date of birth
- County of birth
- Full maiden name of the mother currently listed on birth certificate
- Full name of the father currently listed on birth certificate
- Printed version of current signature
- Complete address
- Telephone number
After you have completed the form, sign and date the request. Include a check or money order for twenty dollars made out to Alabama Vital Records. Mail the completed application to:
Center for Health Statistics
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5625
Questions and additional comments can be directed to the following telephone number: 334-206-5426.
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