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Illinois Law Gives Adoptees Access to Birth Records

Posted on in Child Custody

birth record, birth certificate, adoption, adoptee, your rights, illinois adoption lawyer, DuPage County adoptionThe adoption process is different for almost everyone, parents and children included. While some adoptees may never wish to find out more information regarding their birth parents, others are eager to connect on some level with their biological family. As a recent news article reported, the Illinois law giving adoptees the right to view their birth records makes all the difference to the latter group.

Illinois Law

Several years ago, Illinois law changed to give adopted persons the right to view birth records including their birth certificates, documents that were previously unavailable to them, since they were sealed in connection with adoption proceedings. Those adoptees are voicing their appreciation for the law change this week in Springfield. Their appearance also serves another purpose: to encourage states who have not changed their laws in viewing such documents to do so. Many plan on telling their stories at the state capitol.

Before the Law Change

Prior to the law change, there were concerns with making such a huge change to the secrecy associated with adoptions. Now, four years later, the opening of records has not caused any major catastrophes to the process. States that have not changed their laws as Illinois did cite the privacy concerns of birth parents trumping the rights of adopted people to have access to information about their birth records. The Illinois law does contain a provision of which birth parents can take advantage to request to remain anonymous in advance. Fewer than 500 have chosen to do so to date, and only a small portion of those requests actually end up in a refusal for an adoptee to access information.

The Results for Adoptees

Many adoptees who have taken advantage of the law have gotten the chance to reconnect and discover biological parents and relatives they many have never known existed otherwise. Many are enjoying newly formed relationships with their birth families and siblings. These individuals realize that without the new law, this would never have been a possibility. Before, those adopted persons seeking to find out more information about their biological families may have spent years, even decades, in their search for clues about their identity, since their birth records were sealed.

Beyond the identity information, peace of mind, and family relationships formed, there are also more practical benefits of birth records being available to adopted individuals. A documentary regarding the Illinois law features a story about a woman who was denied insurance coverage for cancer gene testing since she lacked knowledge about her family medical history. After obtaining her birth certificate, she found out her biological mother had battled breast cancer.

Family Law Attorney

At The Davi Law Group, LLC, we have experience assisting families with the adoption process. If you are considering adopting, contact us today for a consultation. We serve clients in DuPage County, Cook County, and surrounding areas.

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