Adult Adoptees


Emotional Preparation

Adoption is a personal issue involving grief and loss. There are often emotions tied to the search and reconnection process that the adoptee may not yet be aware. Through counseling and self-exploration Adoptions of Indiana helps adoptees address positive and negative information that they may receive during their search. We also help educate family and friends to support you through this process.

Practical Preparation

To begin a search, always start with the known facts regarding the adoption:

  1. Where did it occur?
  2. Who was involved (agencies, lawyers, foster families)?
  3. What documentation is readily available (birth certificate, adoption records, hospital records, correspondence)?

This information can often be obtained from adoptive parents or relatives. By asking for information from your adoptive family, it offers comfort that you are not dissatisfied with them as parents. They are also an excellent resource for most documents and may have names and dates readily available.

Take all of the information that you have, no matter how small, and organize it in a folder or file. This allows you to have all your search information in one place.

Recommended Reading

Many adoptees have shared their search and reunion stories and their experiences are often helpful when exploring your own emotions.  We recommend reading “The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search, Reunion, and Beyond” by Julie Jarrell Bailey & Lynn N. Giddens, M.A.

Indiana State Law

Effective July 1, 2018, Indiana law states that adoptees are able to access their adoption records and original birth certificates through the Indiana State Department of Health. If you have not done so already, you would need to register with the Indiana Adoption Registry by filling out and submitting both State Form 47896 Identifying Information Consent Form and State Form 47897 Non-Identifying Information Consent Form, which can be found here

If you are already registered with the Indiana Adoption Registry, you would need to again fill out and submit State Form 47896 Identifying Information Consent Form.  Your response should include your original birth certificate and a letter to the agency or attorney who handled the adoption requiring them to grant you access to your adoption file. Using the names and information on the original birth certificate and in the adoption file, you can do an internet search in order to locate birth family members and get contact information.

If a birthmother has submitted a do not release form to the Indiana State Department of Health, an adoptee would NOT be able to access their original birth certificate or adoption file.

**Since this law went into effect, the State Department of Health has been inundated with requests.  Adoptees often wait months for their results. If you have questions about the status of your request, please contact the registry directly.

For more information, please contact Darcy Haight, Indiana State Board of Health, at (317) 233-7279 or call (317) 233-2700 and ask for the Adoption Matching Registry. You can also reach them via email at

Adoptions of Indiana can assist you with your search. Please contact us at 317-505-0935 for more information.