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Frequently asked questions

Services for adopted persons
If you are one of the many adopted persons wants to know about your birth family or perhaps locate a birth relative, we may be able to help.

If you were in care with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at the time of your adoption, you can request information from your DCFS file and search service through the DCFS Closed File Information and Search Service described below.

If you were adopted in Illinois or born in Illinois and adopted in another state but DCFS was not involved, the Confidential Intermediary Service of Illinois may be able to help you. Click for more.

Obtaining “non-identifying information” or other information
about your birth family and the adoption.

Midwest Adoption Center provides “non-identifying information” regarding adoptions that were handled through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.? Click here for information if your adoption was not through DCFS.

The Illinois Adoption Act specifies that certain “non-identifying information’ be given to adult adoptees.? Depending on what is found in the DCFS files, you may receive:

  • Data about biological relatives, including:
  • Parents’ general appearance, age at the time of the birth of the child; race, religion and ethnic background; education, occupation, hobbies, interests and talents; existence of any other children born to the biological parent(s)
  • Information about biological grandparents, including reason for immigrating to the U.S. and country of origin
  • Relationship between the biological parents
  • Detailed medical and mental health history of the child, the biological parents and their immediate relatives
  • Actual date and place of birth of the adopted person
  • A description of the circumstances leading to the child coming into the care of the Department
  • Record of placements prior to adoption
Your file may include information about your placements, education and medical reports and descriptions of important things that happened to you during the time you were in care. For some clients, we receive files that are very large and contain a lot of detailed information. However, that is not always the case. Until we receive files pertaining to your birth family and your placement, we will not know exactly what information is available about you and your time in care. You will receive the information in a written report. Any photos, letters or other personal items found in the file that were intended for you will be included.

Locating a birth relative
The law does not permit DCFS to release identifying information from the files such as the names and addresses of others. However, if you want to locate a relative, search service is available to you. As an adopted adult, you may request a search for a birth parent, siblings or other birth relative.

In most cases, the person being sought is located. Your caseworker will explain the reason for the contact. Every attempt will be made to negotiate an arrangement that is comfortable for everyone. There are several choices for contact: you may want to exchange some information through your MAC caseworker worker; communicate by letter without revealing your name; or you and your relative may choose to have direct contact.

This program is not intended to provide in-depth counseling, but assistance and support will be offered throughout the process.

If your adoption was not through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Any adult adopted person, adoptive parent of a minor and birth parent touched by an adoption that was legally completed in Illinois can request the court appoint a Confidential Intermediary to conduct a search for a biological relative. Certain other relatives may also use this program but they must explain to the Court the reason the search is being requested. DCFS has contracted with Midwest Adoption Center to deliver this program. CIs are employees of MAC who are specifically trained and then are certified by DCFS to provide this service. When appointed by the court, the CI will attempt to locate the sought after individual, explain who is making the outreach and what options are available, and facilitate exchange of information. The confidentiality of all parties is protected and no identifying information is released without written consent. There is no fee for service through this program. Click here to go to CI website.

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