Birth Family Members
How we can help
If your birth child/relative is under 21 years of age
You may want to know about the current well being of a child placed for adoption. Perhaps you received very little or no 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.
For further information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below and/or contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.
If you are a birth relative (cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent) of a child, formerly in the care of The Department, you are not entitled to receive file information from closed IDCFS files; however, you may search for the adoptive/guardianship parents of that child and and attempt to establish some type of contact. The adoptive/guardianship parents may be willing to provide you with information about the sought after child or may be willing to meet you.
If you are a birth sibling of a child, formerly in care, you are not entitled to their information but may be entitled to you own if you were in care. Please contact our office for more information or to see if you are eligible.
If you are a birth parent of a child, formerly in care, you may be entitled to some information from the files regarding yourself (medical or psychological reports) or the termination of parental rights document, if it is in the file. For questions about whether or not you are eligible to receive file information, please contact our office to discuss your specific situation.
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
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; communicate by letter without revealing your name; or you and your relative may choose to have direct contact. Your caseworker will discuss each option with you to assist you in making a contact decision.
This program is not intended to provide in-depth counseling, but assistance and support will be offered throughout the process.
If your sought after relative's adoption was not through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are Frequently Asked Questions about the DCFS Closed File Information and Search program.
This service is only available to adopted persons, those who were in foster care but never adopted, birth relatives and adoptive parents of minors connected to placement through DCFS. If you are an adopted person, adoptive parent or birth relative and the adoption was through a private adoption agency, doctor or attorney, please visit: ci-illinois.org
We are not able to give you information about your child from DCFS files. If you would like to know how your child is doing, you can request that we attempt to located him/her/they. If the child is currently under the age of 21, we will try to locate the child's adoptive/guardianship parent(s). You and your MAC caseworker will discuss what information you would like to obtain and share with them. Some adoptive/guardianship parents are open to exchanging letters or having direct contact with birth parents of their child.
If your birth child is now 21 years of age or older, you can request search service through this program. We will attempt to locate him/her/them and let your birth child know that you would like a connection. Your MAC caseworker will try to facilitate a connection that is acceptable to both of you.
MAC is able to provide certain kinds of information from a birth parent's own DCFS file about service received from The Department. No information about the child or any other person can be provided.
The DCFS Closed File Information and Search program can be used by any birth relative of a child who was in care.
We provide service to aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandparents and cousins. If the child is still under 21 years of age, we will attempt to contact the adoptive/guardianship parent. If the child is 21 years of age or older, we will make the outreach directly to him/her/them and let the child know that you would like a connection.
You can request search service through our DCFS Closed File Information and Search Program. We will go into the DCFS system to find out about placements your birth sibling was in. Using that information, we will attempt to locate your birth sibling and let him/her/they know that you would like a connection.
If your child was returned home to you from foster care and you have lost touch with him/her/they, we will not be able to help.
However, if your parental rights were terminated while your child was in DCFS care, you can request search service through the DCFS Closed File Information and Search Service program. We will go into the DCFS system to determine whether your child was adopted or not and get information to help us attempt to locate he/her/them.
There is no fee for this service.