Scenario Four...

 

The adoption was handled by a private attorney, with no agency involvement, and finalized outside of Cook County or in Cook County before the late 1950s and the person searching is the adoptee or the adoptive parent.

 

Despite the fact that Illinois law guantees all adult adoptees and their adoptive parents access to non-identifying information on request, in most counties of Illinois other than Cook, the court supportive services available to searching triad members are pretty much non-existent (and Cook County Supportive Services has almost no files from before the late 1950s). Many judges outside of Cook County require searching adoptees to hire an attorney and formally petition the court to open their adoption record before providing them with any non-identifying information contained in the court file or on the original birth certificate (no, that's not really what the statute says, but, like many adoption statutes, judges are pretty much free to require whatever they please when they receive requests of this nature from adult adoptees). Clerks of the court in most counties can provide you with a special "Petition to Examine an Adoption File" form to complete before filing your petition.

 

Judges who are particularly uncooperative have been known to tell adoptees that there is "no non-identifying information available" in their court file (despite the fact that the obc and relinquishment papers should include (at a minimum), the birth mother's age, profession, and number of previous children). If you encounter problems accessing non-identifying information through the courts, please let us know and we'll see what (if anything) we can do to help...

 

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. To download printable versions of the Illinois Adoption Registry application forms, click here.