January 1, 2004, the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange
(IARMIE) became one of the first state registries in the U.S. to provide non-identifying
information to adult adoptees, adoptive parents of minors and birth parents
In addition, Illinois' Confidential Intermediary Program removed the need for
adult adoptees to "show cause" when petitioning the court...and was
expanded to include birth parents (and, under certain conditions, surviving
relatives of deceased adoptees and birth parents).
Background on the New Law
The original Illinois Adoption Registry and Confidential Intermediary sections of the Illinois Adoption Act were introduced in 1985 and 1989 respectively. In 1999, a number of important changes were made to the Illinois Adoption Registry
(expansion of the number of birth family members who could use the Registry,
introduction of the exchange of pictures and letters as well as medical background
information through the Registry, a waiver of the $40 registration fee for anyone
who agreed to exchange medical background information through the Registry), and the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE) was established. These innovations allowed the Illinois Adoption Registry to more than double both its number of registrants and registry matches during
its first three years of operation.
Changes That Went Into Effect
The law that went into effect on January
1, 2004, made the following improvements to the Registry and Confidential Intermediary and
sections of the Illinois Adoption Act:
- Authorized the Illinois Adoption Registry
and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE) to release non-identifying information included on the original birth certificate (the age, race,
profession and marital status of the birth parent at the time of the birth
for birth certificates issued before 1958; the age of the birth parent or
parents for birth certificates issued after 1958) to an adult
adoptee, adoptive parent or legal guardian who is an IARMIE registrant.
- Enabled adult adoptees and adoptive parents
of minors registered with the IARMIE to confirm the adoptee's "actual
date and place of birth" through the Registry. Confirmation of the adoptee's
actual date and place of birth should also now be available to adult adoptees and adoptive
parents through the agency that handled the adoption (when applicable).
In so doing, we have nullified the effects of a
1971 law that allows adoptive
parents to arbitrarily change their child's place of birth on the amended
birth certificate will, henceforth, be able to nullify the effects of this
outrageous law by registering with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical
Information Exchange and requesting this information from the Registry.
- Enabled birth parents of adopted persons over
the age of 21 who have filed a Medical Information Exchange Authorization with the IARMIE to confirm the date and place of birth of their surrendered son or daughter.
(Birth parents who never knew or cannot recall their child's date of birth
will be able to obtain their birth son or daughter's birth date if they register
with the IARMIE and their application includes sufficient
details about the birth to allow IARMIE personnel to locate the original birth
- Authorized the
Registry to release of the place of adoption to IARMIE registrants in cases where the adoptee was born in Illinois but adopted in another state or country. This allows Illinois-born
inter-state adoptees and their birth parents to petition the appropriate court in the state or country where the adoption was finalized
(and avoid needlessly clogging the court system in a state where none of the relevant
court records are located!).
- Removed the need for adult adoptees,
adoptive parents of minors, and legal guardians seeking to petition the court for the appointment of a confidential intermediary
to show "medical" or "psychological" cause.
- Authorized birth parents of adoptees over the age of 21 to petition the court for the appointment of a confidential intermediary.
- Authorized Illinois courts to allow adult children of deceased adoptees
as well as adult siblings and non-surrendered adult children of deceased birth parents to petition the court for the appointment of a confidential intermediary;
surviving relatives of deceased adoptees and birth parents must demonstrate
to the court the benefits of locating the biological relative before their
petition can be granted.
additional information on the new law, please e-mail us at ILtreesurgeon@aol.com
or click here to visit the offical
Web site of Illinois' Confidential Intermediary Program.