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What options are there for adoption search in Illinois?

Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Exchange
The Illinois Adoption Registry is a confidential cross-reference file of birth parents, adult adoptees and siblings. Individuals provide identifying information and medical information and may authorize its release to the other parties to the adoption. A computer searches the registry for individuals whose information matches and then handles the release of identifying and medical information that each person has submitted to the Registry for that purpose. Additional information and registration forms may be obtained:

Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
605 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62702
217-782-6553
www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/adoptioninfo.htm

Search assistance and programs

If the adoption was completed through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services:
Illinois law does not allow any agency, including the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to release the name or address of an adopted person or birth relative without their consent. However, DCFS offers post-adoption search service to adoptees, adoptive parents and birth family members who hope to locate a relative. This program is only available to individuals party to an adoption in which the child was a ward of DCFS at the time of the adoption. Midwest Adoption Center provides this service on behalf of the Department. There is no fee for service through this program. If you believe the adoption was handled by DCFS, request a service request form:

IDCFS Post-adoption Program
2720 South River Road - suite 50
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
847/298-9096
Click here to request service

If the adoption was completed through a private adoption agency:
Illinois law does not allow any agency to release the name or address of an adopted person or birth relative without their consent. If the adoption agency still exists, they may offer search service to adoptees and birth parents who received service through their programs. Contact the agency directly to request service. There may be a fee.

If there was no adoption agency involved, if you do not know the name of the agency involved, or if the agency no longer exists:

Illinois law (750 ILCS 50/ 18.3) now provides a way for adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents and other birth relatives to connect. A Confidential Intermediary (CI), trained and certified to provide this service, is appointed by the Court to locate your birth relative(s). When the relative is located, the CI explains the reason for the contact, describes the options available and helps facilitate a mutually agreeable outcome. Each person’s privacy and confidentiality is protected during the process.

By law, the CI cannot release name and address of your relative to anyone without his consent. If the CI is able to locate the sought after birth relative, the CI will explain what the petitioner is hoping for and attempt to facilitate a mutually agreeable outcome. The petitioner might only want to receive medical information or may be hoping for a face-to-face meeting.

The Confidential Intermediary program is administered by Midwest Adoption Center under contract to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. For detailed information, go to www.ci-illinois.org.