Searching For Adoption Records

 

 

 

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Searching For U.S. Adoption Records

Over the years, adoption (the act of permanently placing a minor child with parents other than the child’s biological birth parents) has become more and more popular. Today, roughly 100 million Americans have someone adopted in their immediate family - this means that roughly one in every three Americans have a close connection to someone who has been adopted. These figures are based on census reports, taken since the year 2000, the first year that adoptions were included in the record-gathering.

But with so many people being moved from home to home, it was only a matter of time before the adoptees would grow curious and wish to know about those who gave birth to them. Sometimes, these wishes are due to mild curiosity or simply wishing to know where they are from but, in more serious cases, the wishes may be due to health risks and concerns. At first, it was allowed that discovered medical information could be added to ‘sealed’ files and made accessible to the adoptees but, as times have changed, so too have the laws that granted birth parents that degree of obscurity.

In most states, the ability to search up adoption records has become surprisingly simple. While many still limit the amount of information which is made available, basic records can easily be uncovered for those who are doing genealogical research and, in many cases, information can be gathered which may result in the reunion of these adoptees with their birth families. So how does one go about applying for this information? You’d be surprised, just how simple it is!

The first step in searching up adoption records is to gather up everything that you do know. This includes important information, such as your date of birth, what hospital that you were born in and in what city. Do you have a copy of your old birth certificate, showing your original name or that of your biological parents? Do you know what agency handled the adoption? All of these answers will help you in your search to reunite with your biological family.

Once you have gathered this information, it is time to ask yourself whether you wish to perform this search yourself, or if you would like assistance. For a fee, there are investigators out there, who work much like referees, not only helping you locate your birth family, but also helping to ease the transition and make contact on a neutral level, checking to see if the birth family wishes to meet with you. While these investigators are helpful, they can also prove quite costly.

The other option is to handle the search yourself, and this is the method that we shall now address:

Upon gathering all of your information, you will first want to get in touch with the state office that handles adoption records. For your convenience, an alphabetized listing appears below, along with helpful links to assist you on your journey. While you can often contact the offices, via phone, to answer questions, most requests for adoption records must be made in writing. Additionally, these inquiries must also include, not only your full name and address, but also a copy of your government-issued photo identification, as well as written reason why you are requesting said information.

In addition to this information, you will want to include all pertinent information that you believe will help to locate your birth family. This can include, but is not limited to:

- Your full name
- The name given to you at birth
- The hospital that you were born at
- Your date of birth
- Your biological father’s name
- Your biological mother’s name
- The agency that handled your adoption
- The date your adoption was finalized

Also, be sure to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelop along with your written request. In most cases, you may hear back in just a couple of weeks though you must remember to be patient. Also, be considerate; sometimes, birth families are not as desirous of a face-to-face meeting as the adoptees are, or vice versa. The key is being patient and content to take things slow.

Are you ready to begin your search? Listed below are the various state offices, where requests should be addressed, along with a listing of helpful links to help you on your way. Happy hunting and good luck!


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State Information:

Alabama ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Alabama, please use the contact information listed below:

The Department of Health Services
Post Adoption Unit
50 N. Ripley Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
205- 242-9500

Website ~ http://www.alapubhealth.org

Please note that, in accordance with Alabama law, the State Registrar is directed to complete a new birth certificate after an adoption takes place. This new certificate is then substituted for the original and the original birth certificate, along with records of adoption, are then placed into a “sealed file.” In 2000, however, this vital record law was amended to allow an adult adoptee to obtain an uncertified copy of that record, as well as any other documents that had been placed into the “sealed file.” Additionally, the birth parent is allowed to place information in this file, for the parent that was adopted. This information can be in regards to contact wishes and / or information, as well as pertinent medical information and history.

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Alaska ~ For information on Alaska adoptions, please contact the Department of Health and Social Services, located in Juneau.

Department of Health & Social Services
Division of Family and Youth Services
350 Main Street, Fourth Floor
P. O. Box 110630
Juneau, AK 99811-0630
Phone: 465-3170
Faxes: 465-3397 and 465-3190

Website ~ http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dfys

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Arizona ~ Questions regarding Arizona adoptions should be directed towards:

Arizona Vital Records Section
Arizona Department of Health Services
P.O. Box 3887
Phoenix AZ 85030
Phone: (602) 255-3260

Website ~ http://www.supreme.state.az.us/cip/default.htm

Arizona has a program, called The Confidential Intermediary Program, which helps to reunite families that have been separated by adoption. This program then provides training to ensure that intermediaries are educated and sensitive to the needs of adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth parents.

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Arkansas ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Arkansas, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Human Services
Div of Children & Family Services
PO Box 1437 - slot 808
626 Donaghey Plaza South
Little Rock AR 72203-1437

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California ~ For information on adoption records within the state of California, please use the contact information listed below:

California Department of Social Services
744 P Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 800-KIDS-4-US

Website ~ http://www.childsworld.org/

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Colorado ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Colorado, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Human Services
Office of Youth Services
4255 S. Knox Court
Denver, CO80236
Phone (303) 762-4466
Fax (303) 762-4401.

Website ~ http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/cyf/cwelfare/cwweb.html

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Connecticut ~ Any adoptee, over the age of 18, may request information regarding his/her birth family, although the adoptee may be required to submit to a personal interview, prior to the initiation of the search. The adoption agency is then required to attempt to locate the birth family, in order to obtain written consent from them, stating that said birth family grants permission for the adoptee to contact them.


Department of Children and Families
Office of Public Relations
505 Hudson Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone (860) 550-6578.

Website ~ http://www.state.ct.us/dcf/FOSTER.HTM#SEARCH

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Delaware ~ Adoptees may request non-identifying information from the adoption agency that handled their case. It is also possible to file an affidavit that states that you are willing to allow your contact information to be released to your birthparents, should they look.

Youth and Family Center
Children and Youth Services
Adoption Services Manager
1825 Faulkland Road
Wilmington, DE 19805-1195
Phone: 302-633-2655

Website ~ http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/4392/laws.html

Or for notarized affidavits, send inquiries to:

Family Court of Wilmington
Attn: Maxine Wiggins
P. O. Box 2359
Wilmington, DE 19899

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District of Columbia ~ For information on adoption records within the District of Columbia, please use the contact information listed below:

Dept. Of Health Services Post Adoption Unit
609 H Street
Washington, DC 20002,
Phone: 202-727-5930

State adoption records Information Dept
District Bldg
14th and E streets
Washington DC 20004
Phone: 202-628-6000

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Florida ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Florida, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS) Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 210
1217 Pearl Street
Jacksonville, FL32231

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Georgia ~ The Office of Adoptions will grant non-identifying information to an adoptee over the age of 21 or to the adoptive parents, should the adoptee be 21 years of age or less. For more information, contact the links below:

State Adoption Unit Division of Family & Children Services
2 Peachtree St., Ste 13-400
Atlanta, GA 30303-3142
Phone: (404) 657-3555.

Website ~ http://www.adoptions.dhr.state.ga.us/pstadopt.htm

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Hawaii ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Hawaii, please use the contact information listed below:

Dept of Social Services and Housing
PO Box 339
Honolulu HI 96809

Island of Oahu
Family Court, First Circuit
PO Box 3498
Honolulu HI 96811-3498

Website ~ http://www.hawaii.gov/jud/excite.htm

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Idaho ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Idaho, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Health and Welfare
450 West State Street, 5th Floor
Boise, ID 83720 - 5005
Phone: (208) 334-5710
FAX: (208) 334-0666
Toll-free: 800-356-9868

Website ~ http://www2.state.id.us/dhw/vital_stats/appmenu.html

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Illinois ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Illinois, please use the contact information listed below:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
605 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62702-5097

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Indiana ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Indiana, please use the contact information listed below:

Social Services Division,
Dept. Public Welfare
402 W. Washington St
3rd Floor, W-364
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317-232-4448

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Iowa ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Iowa, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Human Services
Division of Adult
Iowa Dept of Human Services
Hoover Building 5th Floor
Des Moines IA 50319
FAX: (515) 281-8854
Phone 515 281-5580

Website ~ http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/

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Kansas ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Kentucky, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
915 Harrison Street, 6th Floor
Docking State Office Building
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Phone: (785) 296-3271
FAX (785) 296-4685

Website ~ http://www.ink.org/public/srs/main.html

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Kentucky ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Kentucky, please use the contact information listed below:

Department For Social Services
Recruitment, Certification and Permanency Planning Branch
6th Floor East
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
Phone: (502) 564-2147
Fax: (502) 564-3096

Website ~ http://www.kdla.state.ky.us/arch/adoption.htm

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Louisiana ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Louisiana, please use the contact information listed below:

State Reunion Registry Voluntary Registry
Department of Social Services, Youth, & Family Services
Located in the Commerce Building
333 Laurel Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
Phone; (504) 342-4059

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 3318
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821

Website ~ http://www.dss.state.la.us/

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Maine ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Maine, please use the contact information listed below:

Dept of Human Services
221 State St, Station 11
Augusta, ME 04333-0011

Website ~ http://www.os.dhhs.gov/

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Maryland ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Maryland, please use the contact information listed below:

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401
MD toll free (800) 235-4045
Phone: (410) 974-3914
FAX: (410) 974-3895

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Massachusetts ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Massachusetts, please use the contact information listed below:

Massachusetts Department of Social Services
24 Farnsworth Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
Phone: (617)727-0900

Website ~ http://www.state.ma.us/dss

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Michigan ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Michigan, please use the contact information listed below:

Dept of Social Services
235 S Grand Ave
PO Box 30037
Lansing MI 48909

For more information ~ http://www.michigan.gov/fia

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Minnesota ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Minnesota, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Human Services
444 Lafayette Road, 4th floor
St. Paul, MN 55155-3846
SIS General Information: (651) 772-3750
TDD: 1-800-627-3529
SSIS FAX: (651) 772-3794
SSIS Help Desk: (651) 772-3777

Website ~ http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/ChildInt/Programs/Adoption/default.htm

Information on adoption records, dating back to 1856 should be directed to:

Sandy LeMire
Department of Human Services, Family and Child’s Services
444 Lafayette Rd.
St. Paul, MN 55144-3831

Please include: adopted adult’s full name, birthday, adoptive parents’ names, return address, phone number, or mother’s full name at time of birth. Any other information which you believe might prove beneficial can also be included.

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Montana ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Montana, please use the contact information listed below:

Dept of Family Services
1400 Broadway, Helena, MT 59620
Phone: (406) 444-5900
Fax: (406) 444-2547

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 8005
Helena, MT 59604-8005

Website ~ http://www.dphhs.state.mt.us/

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Nebraska ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Nebraska, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Social Services
P.O. Box 95026
Lincoln, NE 68509

Street Address:
301 Centennial Mall S
5th Floor
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-9103
FAX: (402) 471-9455
1-800-831-4573 [1]

Website ~ http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/cse/cseindex.htm

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Nevada ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Nevada, please use the contact information listed below:

Dept of Human Resources
Nevada State Welfare Division
Social Services
2527 North Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89710
Phone: (702) 687-4744
Phone: (402) 471-9108
TTY (402) 471-9570

Website ~ http://www.vitalrec.com/nv.html

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New Hampshire ~ For information on adoption records within the state of New Hampshire, please use the contact information listed below:

Bureau of Child and Family Services
Dept of Health and Welfare
6 Hazen Dr
Concord NH 03301

Concord
40 Terrill Park Drive, Unit 1
Concord, NH 03301-7325
271-6200 or 1-800-322-9191

Website ~ http://www.state.nh.us/

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New Jersey ~ For information on adoption records within the state of New Jersey, please use the contact information listed below:

New Jersey Department of Human Services
Division of Youth and Family Services
PO Box 717, Trenton, NJ 08625-0717
Phone: (609) 292-8816
Phone: (609) 984-6800
FAX: (609) 984-5449

Website ~ http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/adoption/adopt.html

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New Mexico ~ For information on adoption records within the state of New Mexico, please use the contact information listed below:

Human Services Department
P.O. Box 2348
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504
Phone (800) 432-6217 (505) 827-7750
TDD: 1-800-609-4TDD

Website ~ http://www.state.nm.us/hsd/home.html

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New York ~ Operating the Adoption Information Registry, the Vital Records Section helps adoptees to obtain non-identifying information about their birth parents, as well as enabling reunions of adoptees with their birth parents and family. Also allows birth parents to file medical information updates for their children.

For information on adoption records within the state of New York, please use the contact information listed below:

Vital Records Section
New York State Department of Health
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12237-0023
Phone: (518) 474-3077

Website ~ http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/consumer/vr.htm#adoption

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North Carolina ~ For information on adoption records within the state of North Carolina, please use the contact information listed below:

Children's Services Branch
Division of Social Services
Department of Human Resources
100 East Six Forks Road
Office of Adoption Services
Raleigh, NC 27609-7750
Phone: (919) 733-3801

Website ~ http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/

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North Dakota ~ For information on adoption records within the state of North Dakota, please use the contact information listed below:

N.D. Department of Human Services
Children & Family Services
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0250
Phone: (701) 328-2310
FAX (701) 328-2359

Website ~ http://lnotes.state.nd.us/dhs/dhsweb.nsf

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Ohio ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Ohio, please use the contact information listed below:

Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 15098
Columbus, Ohio 43215-0098.
Phone: (614)466-2531

Website ~ http://www.odh.state.oh.us

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Oklahoma ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Oklahoma, please use the contact information listed below:

Child Welfare Services Unit
Attention: Adoption Section
Department of Human Resources
P.O. Box 25352
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
Phone: (405) 521-3646

Website ~ http://www.okdhs.org/


The Mutual Consent Voluntary Registry assists adoptees and individuals who have been separated from birth family members and wish to reunite.

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Oregon ~ Handles all adoptions, dating back into the 1920’s until current. For information on adoption records within the state of Oregon, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Human Resources
Children's Services Division
500 Summer Street, NE
Salem, OR 97310-1017
Phone: (503) 945-5651
FAX: (503) 581-6198

Website ~ http://www.scf.hr.state.or.us/ar/index.htm

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Pennsylvania ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Pennsylvania, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Public Welfare
Office of Children Youth & Families
P.O. Box 8018
Harrisburg, PA 17105
Phone: (717) 787-3672
FAX: (717) 787-9706

Website ~ http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ocyf/ocyfas.asp

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Rhode Island ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Colorado, please use the contact information listed below:

Rhode Island Child Support Services
Department of Human Services
Dept for Children & Their Families
77 Dorrance Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 277-2847
FAX: (401) 277-6674

Website ~ http://www.dhs.state.ri.us/

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South Carolina ~ Please note that South Carolina has an informal registry with each adoption agency in the state. For information on adoption records within the state of Colorado, please use the contact information listed below:

Division of Social Services
Department of Human Resources
100 East Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27609-7750
Phone: (919) 571-4114
FAX: (919) 571-4126
1-800-992-9457 [1]

State Reunion Registry
Division of Social Services
Department of Human Resources
100 East Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27609-7750
Phone: (919) 571-4114
FAX: (919) 571-4126
1-800-992-9457 [1]

Website ~ http://www.state.sc.us/dss/

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South Dakota ~ Each court in South Dakota has it’s own process, relating to the opening of adoption records. For more information on this, please contact:

DiAnn Kleinsasser
Child Protection Services Adoption Specialist
(605) 773-3227

For other inquiries:

Department of Social Services
Child Protection Services
700 Governor's Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
Phone: (605) 773-3641
FAX: (605) 773-6834

Website ~ http://www.state.sd.us/state/executive/social/CPS/

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Tennessee ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Tennessee, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Human Services
Citizens Plaza Building - 12th Floor
400 Deadrick Street
Nashville, TN 37248-7400
Phone: (615) 741-2441
FAX: (615) 313-4885
Phone: 1-800-874-0530 [2]

State Reunion Registry
Department of Human Services
Post-Adoption Services
Citizens Plaza Building - 12th Floor
400 Deadrick Street
Nashville, TN 37248-7400
Phone: (615) 741-2441
FAX: (615) 313-4885
Phone: 800-874-0530 [2]

Website ~ http://www.state.tn.us/humanserv/

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Texas ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Texas, please use the contact information listed below:

Central Adoption Registry
Mail Code Y-943
Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714-9030
Phone: (512) 834-4485

Website ~ http://www.tdprs.state.tx.us/

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Utah ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Utah, please use the contact information listed below:

Division of Family Services
Bureau of Vital Records
PO BOX 141012
Salt Lake City UT 84114-1012
Phone: (801) 538-6105

Street address:
Cannon Health Building
288 N 1460 W
Salt Lake City UT 84114-1012

State Reunion Registry
Bureau of Vital Statistics
Voluntary Adoption Registry
PO BOX 141012
Salt Lake City UT 84114-1012
Phone: (801) 538-6105

Street address:
Cannon Health Building
288 N 1460 W
Salt Lake City UT 84114-1012

Website ~ http://hlunix.state.ut.us/bvr/html/vital_statistics.html

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Vermont ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Vermont, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Social Welfare
Agency of Human Services
103 South Main Street
Waterbury, VT 05671-1901
Phone: (802) 241-2319
FAX: (802) 244-1483
1-800-786-3214 [2]

Website ~ http://www.ahs.state.vt.us/

State Reunion Registry
Vermont Adoption Registry
Social & Rehabilitation Service
103 Main Street
Waterbury VT 05676
Phone: (802) 241-2122

Website ~ http://www.state.vt.us/srs/

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Virginia ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Virginia, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Social Services
730 East broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone (804) 692-1201

Website ~ http://www.dss.state.va.us/

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Washington ~ For information on adoption records within the state of Colorado, please use the contact information listed below:

Division of Children and Family Services
Office Building #2
Olympia WA 98504
Phone: 800-737-0617

Website ~ http://www.wa.gov/dshs/ca/ca3ov.html

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West Virginia ~ For information on adoption records within the state of West Virginia, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Welfare
1900 Washington St E
Charleston WV 25305

State Reunion Registry
Mutual Consent Registry
Bureau of Human Resources
Office of Social Services
Capitol Complex
Building 6 Room B-850
Charleston VA 25305

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Wisconsin ~ Wisconsin does not have a state-run registry that helps to reunite adoptees and birth parents. All searches must be requested from the agencies.

For information on adoption records within the state of Wisconsin, please use the contact information listed below:

Division of Health & Social Services
Adoption Records Search Program
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Phone: (608) 266-7163

Website ~ http://www.dhfs.state.wi.us/Children/adoption/index.htm

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Wyoming ~ Please note that Wyoming is a closed-adoption state. When an adoption is finalized, the records are then sealed and access to them is limited.

For information on adoption records within the state of Wyoming, please use the contact information listed below:

Department of Health
2300 Capitol Avenue
117 Hathaway Building
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-7657
FAX: (307) 777-7439
TTY: (307) 777-5648

Website ~ http://www.state.wy.us/

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Other Adoption Links:

The Adoption Registry ~ http://www.adoptionregistry.net/

Adoption Records.org ~ http://www-adoptionrecords.org/index1.html

Search Adoption Records.org ~ http://www.searchadoptionrecords.org/index2.html

Adoption.com Forums ~ http://forums.adoption.com/california-adoption-records/

Adoption Records ~ http://www.adoptionrecords.org/

Adoption Records.com ~ http://www.adoptionrecords.com/

ABC Adoptions ~ http://www.abcadoptions.com/

Miracle Search ~ http://www.miraclesearch.com/

Adoption Guru ~ http://www.adoption-guru.com/free-adoption-records-search.html

Adoption Research ~ http://www.adoptionsearchbureau.com/


International:

Australian Intercounty Adoption Network ~ http://www.aican.org/

Canadian Adoption Links ~ http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/9606/canada.html

Irish State Registry ~ http://www.adoptionboard.ie/preferenceRegister/index.php

World Adoption Reunion Site ~ http://www.familieslost.com/

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