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Frequently asked questions

Services for birth family members

If your birth child/relative is under 21 years old
If you are a birth parent or other relative, you may want to know about the current well being of a child placed for adoption. Perhaps you received very little information about the family into which the child was placed and have not had any word of the child’s well-being since the time of the adoption. Or you may want to give medical or other family information that could have great importance to the child.

As a birth relative, you are not entitled to receive information from the closed DCFS files; however, there is another way that you may be able to get information about the child placed or pass on information to him or his adoptive/guardianship family.

If you request search service through the DCFS Closed File Information and Search program, we will attempt to locate the adoptee, or his adoptive or guardianship parent if he is still a minor. If the adoptee or parent agrees, information about his current health, education, etc can be obtained for you and you could pass information on to the adoptive/guardianship parent through the MAC caseworker.

Adoptions Completed through IDCFS
If the adoption was completed through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, search service is available to birth parents and other birth relatives for no fee. Your MAC caseworker will try to locate the adoptee and help you connect in whatever way is comfortable for both of you. Some relatives exchange letters through MAC and some have face-to-face contact. In other situations, MAC is not able to find the adoptee or he does not want to have any kind of connection. 

Adoptions Not Involving IDCFS
If your birth child (or relative) was not adopted through DCFS, the Confidential Intermediary program could be an option for you when the adoptee is 21 years of age or older. You will file a petition with the Court for the appointment of a trained, certified Confidential Intermediary. MAC staff can help you with the filing process. Your Intermediary will be given the sealed Court adoption file, other identifying information about the adoption to help locate the adoptee. If and when the adoptee is located, your CI will help you connect in whatever way you both desire. If both of you want direct contact, the CI will arrange for you to exchange names and contact information. There is no fee for service.
Click here for more information about the Confidential Intermediary program.

If you are a birth parent requesting information from your DCFS file
If your birth child was taken into care by DCFS, you may be able to receive some information from the closed DCFS file pertaining to the service given to you by the Department. To request closed file information, you must submit a written service request to the DCFS Closed File Information and Search service.

Help to know what program is best for you.
MAC staff would be glad to talk with you about your situation and your hopes to connect with your birth child or birth relative. Click here to contact us.