GreeneStreets. Feature photo of a back country road in Greene County, Indiana. Courtesy of Nick Schneider.


New law impacting adoption records takes effect July 1

INDIANAPOLIS—Beginning July 1, Indiana residents placed for adoption before Jan. 1, 1993, can request access to their birth records from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) due to a change in state law. These records have been generally unavailable to adoptees until now.

Records of adoptions that took place prior to Jan. 1, 1993, were automatically closed unless the birth parent gave consent for his or her information to be made available. With the signing of Senate Enrolled Act 91 in 2016, these records will now be open unless the biological parent files a nondisclosure form with ISDH.

Hoosiers placed for adoption before Jan. 1, 1993, who would like to access their adoption records containing information such as the names and medical histories of their birth parents can go to the ISDH website at https://www.in.gov/isdh/27862.htm and fill out the Identifying Consent Form (Form 47896). This must be submitted to ISDH with a copy of a government-issued photo ID, like a driver’s license, military ID or passport. These documents can be scanned and emailed to ISDH’s Vital Records Division at VRAdoptionRegistry@isdh.in.gov. They also can be printed and mailed to ISDH at the following address; no in-person requests will be processed.

Indiana State Department of Health
ATTN: Indiana Matching Registry – Vital Records
2 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

All requests will be reviewed and processed as quickly as possible based on the volume of requests. Individuals should allow up to 16 weeks from the date the forms and ID are received to receive their records.

Birth parents who placed a child for adoption prior to 1993 and who wish to limit release of their identifying information must file a "contact preference form" with ISDH. Birth parents also can use this form to indicate that they prefer contact only through an intermediary. The birth parent contact preference form (Form 56535) can be found at https://www.in.gov/isdh/27862.htm. The form can be scanned and emailed to ISDH’s Vital Records Division at VRAdoptionRegistry@isdh.in.gov or be printed and mailed to ISDH at the address above.

Birth parents who placed a child for adoption after Jan. 1, 1993, and filed a nonrelease form with ISDH to restrict access to their information will not have to file a new form. Their original form will still be in effect after July 1.

This change in the law will bring adoptions occurring before 1993 into alignment with current statute, under which post-1993 adoption records are open unless the birth parent files a form to keep them closed.

Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.in.gov/isdh for important health and safety information, or follow on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.