You do not know the name of the agency or attorney that handled the adoption OR none of the above scenarios fits your particular situation and you are an adoptee or an adoptive parent.
If you do not know the name of the agency or attorney that handled the adoption, you may be able to rule in--or rule out--Cook County as the site of the adoption by writing to the Clerk of the Court of Cook County for a copy of your "adoption certificate" or "Gold Seal Certificate." This document, which is provided to Cook County adoptees and adoptive parents upon request ($6 filing fee), shows the date and place of the adoption and provides the case number for the adoption. If the adoption was not handled in Cook County, the Clerk of the Court of Cook County will let you know (and return your $6 check, too). For additional info on requesting a Gold Seal Certificate or Certificate of Adoption in Cook County, please click here.
If you have ascertained that the adoption was not finalized in Cook County, the only way to access additional information on the adoption is to contact court supportive services of all counties where you believe the adoption may have taken place and ask that they search their records for some trace of your adoption (many counties have no resources to conduct such a search, though, and many others are extremely uncooperative).
If you are unable to figure out in which Illinois county your adoption was finalized, it may be that your adoption was finalized out-of-state. We have encountered a number of cases where the adoptee was born in Illinois, but adopted in another state. If you believe that this was the case for your adoption, please contact us directly for additional information on accessing information relevant to your case.
Fortunately, as of January 1, 2004, all Illinois adoptees, adoptive parents of minors and birth parents can confirm or ascertain the adoptee's "actual date and place of birth" through the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (be sure to check the appropriate boxes on the Illinois Adoption Registry Application Form). In addition, the new law allows adoptees and adoptive parents of minors to confirm the birth mother's exact age at the time of the adoptee's birth through new Registry procedures. Furthermore, the state Registry will inform you if the adoption took place outside of Illinois (providing, of course, that the adopting state notified Illinois of the adoption once it was finalized). To download printable versions of the Illinois Adoption Registry application forms, click here. .