How to Open Adoption Records in Indiana

By Andrea Howland-Myers
The information inside your closed adoption file can help you find and reunite with your birth family members.
The information inside your closed adoption file can help you find and reunite with your birth family members.

Gaining access to the information inside closed Indiana state adoption files requires paperwork and patience. Indiana state laws do not provide for everyone to receive identifying information about their birth relatives, but legal channels do exist that allow most people to open their files and find and contact their family members.

For Adoptions Finalized Before Jan. 1, 1994

Visit the Indiana State Department of Health's website, and download an Identifying Information Consent Form. You are eligible to file this form with the state if you are an adoptee who is 21 or older, an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee, a birth parent or the adoptee's adult birth sibling. Exceptions to these restrictions can be made if either the adoptee or the birth parents are deceased.

Fill out the form in its entirety.

Gather the other documents and materials you will need to send in along with your Identifying Information Consent Form. This will include some form of signature identification, such as a photocopy of your driver's license or social security card and a photocopy of the death certificate if the adoptee or birth parent in question is deceased.

File your form with the State Registrar by mailing it and any other required materials to:

Indiana Adoption History Registry Indiana State Department of Health Vital Records Division, B-4 2 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46204

If your birth parent or adopted child has also filed consent with the registrar, all state agencies involved in the adoption must release identifying information, and you will receive an authorization letter stating your right to access the information in your closed adoption file.

For Adoptions Finalized After Dec. 31, 1993

Draft a request for identifying information. If you are an adoptee who is 21 or older, or the adoptive parent of an adoptee under 21 years of age, you may request information about birth relatives, including pre-adoptive siblings. Unlike the birth parents of children adopted before 1994, birth parents in more recent adoptions do not need to have filed consent in order for the adoptee to receive information.

Photocopy your driver's license, social security card or another form of signature identification.

Send your written request for identifying information and your photocopied signature identification to:

Indiana State Registrar Indiana State Department of Health 2 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46204

Tip

If you are unable to gain identifying information about your birth relatives through the state because they have not filed consent, there are separate processes you can undertake to receive non-identifying information or a family medical history. In order to actually find and contact your relatives, there are several other avenues you can try, including adoption registries.