Michigan has rules and guidelines in place to help adopted people find their birth parents. However, the law also takes steps to respect the privacy of birth parents who do not wish to be contacted. While basic birth-parent information is often readily available, identifying information such as birth-parent names and contact information is typically harder to obtain. Depending on the date of your adoption, different requirements must be met before information is released.
Find out from the parents who adopted you where and when your adoption took place. Michigan requires that all requests for information from adoption records, including information about the birth parents, must be made through the adoption agency involved or the court where the adoption was finalized.
Write to the court or adoption agency to request your adoption records. Once your request has been received, the court or agency will access the state's Central Adoption Registry to determine if your birth parents have granted or denied the release of their information. If identifying information from your adoption file is eligible to be released, you will be provided with your birth parents' information so you may contact them.
Request the assistance of a confidential intermediary if your adoption took place between May 28, 1945 and September 12, 1980. You must petition the court that finalized your adoption to have an intermediary appointed. The intermediary works to locate your birth parents and gain their approval for having their identifying information released to you.
File a petition with the court that finalized your adoption to have your records released if all other attempts prove unsuccessful. The court will consider all information and decide if identifying information from your adoption record can be released. However, the court is not required to release any information from your sealed record.
File additional requests periodically. Birth parents are able to agree to or restrict the release of their identifying information at any time by submitting a form to the state registry. If your initial attempts at locating your birth parents prove unsuccessful, make a second request at a later date.
All requests for identifying information must be made in writing, not by phone or e-mail.