Original Birth Certificates. The District of Columbia is a Restricted Jurisdiction. Release of an adopted person’s own original birth certificate requires a court order. Depending on the date of the adoption, the court that finalized the adoption may be the D.C. Superior Court or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
How DC Works. Two different courts have maintained jurisdiction over adoptions in the District of Columbia. The date of an adoption controls which court handled the adoption:
After September 14, 1956: D.C. Superior Court. The D.C. superior court began handling adoptions in the District after September 14, 1956. Petitions to request the release of the original birth certificate for adoptions after September 14, 1956, should be filed with the D.C. Superior Court.
Before September 14, 1956: Federal Court. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia previously had jurisdiction to hear and decide adoption petitions in the District of Columbia. Accordingly, adoptees who were born and adopted prior to September 14, 1956, likely have court records on file with the federal district court in DC.
Important! Original birth certificates and court records for adoptions initiated prior to August 25, 1937, are available upon request unless a party to the adoption proceeding specifically requested that the court seal them. Many of the court records, if not all, are stored in the National Archives, while the District of Columbia Department of Health holds the original unsealed birth certificate. The birth record, however, may be sealed if the adoption occurred outside of the District.
Court Records. Court records are sealed and available only by court order, though courts are required to give weight to the fact that the adopted person is an adult. While consent of birthparents is not required for release of court records, a birthparent’s opinion for release may be considered.
Identifying Information. D.C. law does not specifically address the release of identifying information held by adoption agencies or other institutions or individuals, other than such records are considered confidential and must be permanently retained.
Adult Adoption. District of Columbia law provides for the adoption of adults who are at least eighteen years of age. An adult adoption generally requires 1) a petition from the adopting parent(s); 2) the consent of the prospective adoptee; and 3) court approval.
D.C. Law: Vital Records and Birth Certificates
Relevant parts of District of Columbia vital records law. The entire District of Columbia vital records statute is available here.
D.C Code § 7–231.10. Infants of unknown parentage
(a) An individual who assumes legal custody of a live born infant of unknown parentage shall file with the Registrar a report of live birth that establishes the facts of live birth. The report shall be submitted to the Registrar within 5 days after the individual obtains custody and shall include the following information:
(1) The date and place the child was found;
(2) The sex and approximate birth date of the child;
(3) The name and address of the individual or institution with whom the child has been placed for care;
(4) The name and address of the individual or institution submitting the report;
(5) The name given to the child by the custodian of the child; and
(6) Any other data required by the Registrar.
(b) The place where the child was found shall be entered as the place of live birth.
(c) Information submitted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall constitute the report of live birth for the child.
(d) If the child is identified and a live birth registration is found or obtained, the report submitted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and any live birth registration resulting from that report shall be voided and placed in a sealed file and shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of the court or as provided by rules issued pursuant to § 7-231.29.
D.C. Code § 7–231.19. Adoption forms
(a) The court shall prepare an adoption form for each adoption decreed by the court. The form shall:
(1) State facts necessary to locate and identify the original record of live birth of the adoptee;
(2) Provide the information necessary to establish a new record of live birth for the adoptee;
(3) Identify the adoption order; and
(4) Be issued under seal by the court.
(b) The petitioner for adoption or his or her attorney shall supply the information necessary to prepare the adoption form. The social service agency or any individual with knowledge of the facts shall supply the court with any additional information necessary to complete the adoption form. The court shall require such individuals to provide the information prior to issuing a final decree in the matter.
(c) The court shall prepare an adoption form whenever an adoption decree is amended or annulled which shall include the facts necessary to identify the original adoption form and the facts amended in the adoption decree necessary to properly amend the record of live birth.
(d) No later than the final day of each calendar month, the court shall forward to the Registrar adoption forms concerning decrees of adoption, annulments, and amendments of decrees of adoption that were entered in the preceding month, together with any related reports the Registrar may require.
(e)(1) The Registrar shall forward to the Registrar in the state of the adoptee’s birth an adoption form and a certified copy of any court decree that annuls or amends a decree of adoption for an individual born outside the District.
(2) When the court annuls or amends a decree of adoption relating to an individual born in a foreign country, the Registrar shall return the adoption form and decree to the attorney or social service agency handling the adoption for submission to the appropriate federal agency.
(f)(1) If an adoptee was born in a foreign country and was not a citizen of the United States at the time of birth, the Registrar shall prepare a “Record of Foreign Live Birth”. The Registrar shall also send a copy of the adoption form, report of annulment of adoption, or amendment of a decree of adoption to the appropriate registration authority.
(2) If the adoptee was born in a foreign country and through parentage is a citizen of the United States, the Registrar shall not prepare a “Record of Foreign Live Birth” but shall notify the adoptive parents of the procedures for obtaining a revised live birth record for their child through the U.S. Department of State.
D.C. Code § 7–231.21. New records of live birth for adoption and determination of parentage
(a) The Registrar shall establish a new record of live birth upon receipt of one the following documents:
(1) An adoption form prepared in accordance with § 7-231.19;
(2) An adoption form prepared and filed according to the laws of a state or foreign country;
(3) A certified copy of an order issued by the court determining the parentage of such an individual; or
(4) A voluntary acknowledgment of parentage by an individual in accordance with § 16-2345.
(b) The Registrar shall establish a new record of live birth for an adoptee born outside of the United States upon receipt of a request of the adoptive parent or the adoptee, if the adoptee is 18 years of age or older, and either:
(1) An adoption form prepared in accordance with § 7-231.19; or
(2) A copy of the foreign adoption decree that includes a certified translation of the decree.
(c) If birth information is not already included in the foreign adoption decree, the Registrar may rely on the following evidence to determine the child’s birth date and birthplace:
(1) An original live birth certificate;
(2) Evidence of IR-3 immigrant visa status, or successor immigrant visa status for the child, issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
(3) A post-adoption live birth certificate issued by the foreign jurisdiction, including a certified copy, extract, or translation; or
(4) An equivalent document, such as a record of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the U.S. Department of State.
(d) The Registrar shall return all adoption documents issued by the foreign jurisdiction to the adoptive parent or adoptee, whichever is applicable.
(e) The Registrar shall not establish a new record of live birth if so requested by the adoptive parents pursuant to § 16-314(a).
(f) If the individual’s name has been changed subsequent to adoption or determination of parentage, the order shall include the name that currently appears on the live birth record and the new name to be designated on the replacement record of live birth. The new name of the individual shall be shown on the replacement live birth record.
(g) The actual place and date of live birth shall be displayed on the new record of live birth. The new record shall be substituted for the original record of live birth in the files of the Vital Records Division. The new record shall not designate that parentage has been established by judicial process or by acknowledgement.
(h) A replacement record of live birth shall be substituted for the original record of live birth. The original record of live birth and the evidence of adoption, parentage determination, or parentage acknowledgement submitted shall be placed under seal and not be subject to inspection, except by the Registrar for the purpose of properly administering the system of vital statistics, upon an order of the court, or in accordance with rules issued pursuant to § 7-231.29.
(i) If no record of live birth is on file for the individual for whom a new live birth record is to be established pursuant to this section, and the date and place of live birth have not been determined in the adoption or parentage proceedings, the Registrar shall file a delayed report of live birth before issuing a new record of live birth. The new live birth record shall be prepared in accordance with § 7-231.11.
(j) Upon receipt of a report of an amended decree of adoption, the Registrar shall amend the record of live birth.
(k) Upon receipt of a report or decree of annulment of adoption, the Registrar shall restore the original record of live birth. The annulled record of live birth and its associated evidence shall not be subject to inspection, except upon order of the court or as authorized by rules issued pursuant to § 7-231.29.
(l) The Registrar shall not create a replacement record if the date and place of live birth have not been determined in the adoption or paternity proceedings or if a delayed registration of live birth has not been completed in accordance with § 7-231.11.
(m) When a replacement record of live birth is issued by the Registrar, any agency that possesses a certificate of live birth from the original record shall return the certificate to the Registrar upon request.
D.C. Law: Adoption Court Records and Birth Certificates
Relevant parts of District of Columbia adoption law related to court records and original birth certificates. The entire District of Columbia adoption statute is available here.
D.C. Code § 16–311. Sealing and inspection of records and papers
From and after the filing of the petition, records and papers in adoption proceedings shall be sealed. They may not be inspected by any person, including the parties to the proceeding, except upon order of the court, and only then when the court is satisfied that the welfare of the child will thereby be promoted or protected. Such records and papers shall, upon written application to the court, be unsealed and provided to the Child Fatality Review Committee for inspection if the adoptee is deceased and inspection of the records and papers is necessary for the discharge of the Committee’s official duties. The clerk of the court shall keep a separate docket for adoption proceedings.
D.C. Code § 16-314. Birth certificates
(a) Upon the issuance of a final decree of adoption, an adoption form shall be sent to the Registrar pursuant to [Chapter 2A of Title 7]. Unless otherwise requested in the petition by the adopters, the Registrar shall cause to be made a new record of the birth in the new name with the names of the adopters and shall then cause the original birth certificate and the order of the Court to be sealed and filed. The sealed package may be opened only by order of the Court or by the Registrar to properly administer [Chapter 2A of Title 7].
(b) If the adoption occurred outside the District either before or after August 25, 1937, a new certificate of birth shall be made pursuant to [Chapter 2A of Title 7]. The Registrar shall seal the original birth certificate. The sealed original birth certificate may be opened only by order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by the Registrar to properly administer [Chapter 2A of Title 7].
(c) If the birth of the adoptee occurred outside the District the clerk of the court shall, upon petition by the adopter, furnish him with a certified copy of the final decree of adoption.
(c-1) If the birth of the adoptee occurred outside of the United States, a new certificate of birth shall be made pursuant to [Chapter 2A of Title 7].
(d) When an adoption in the District occurred prior to August 25, 1937, the court shall, upon presentation of a motion by a party to the proceedings, order the clerk of the court to seal the records in the proceeding. Upon presentation of a certified copy of the order the Mayor shall cause to be made a new record of the birth in the new name and with the names of the adopters and shall then cause to be sealed and filed the original birth certificate with the order of the court. The sealed package may be opened only by order of the court.
D.C. Law: Adoption Generally
D.C. Code § 16–302. Persons who may adopt
Any person may petition the court for a decree of adoption. A petition may not be considered by the court unless petitioner’s spouse, if he has one, joins in the petition, except that if either the husband or wife is a natural parent of the prospective adoptee, the natural parent need not join in the petition with the adopting parent, but need only give his or her consent to the adoption. If the marital status of the petitioner changes after the time of filing the petition and before the time the decree of adoption is final, the petition must be amended accordingly.
D.C. Code § 16–303. Persons adopted
A person, whether a minor or an adult, may be adopted.
D.C. Code § 16–304. Consent; exceptions
(a) A petition for adoption may not be granted by the court unless there is filed with the petition a written statement of consent, as provided by this section, signed and acknowledged before an officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments, before a representative of a licensed child-placing agency, or before the Mayor of the District, or unless a relinquishment of parental rights with respect to the prospective adoptee has been recorded and filed as provided by section 4-1406.
(b) Consent to a proposed adoption of a person under eighteen years of age is necessary:
(1) from the prospective adoptee, if he is fourteen years of age or over; and also,
(2) in accordance with the provisions of any one of the following paragraphs:
(A) from both parents, if they are both alive; or
(B) from the living parent of the prospective adoptee, if one of the parents is dead; or
(C) from the court-appointed guardian of the prospective adoptee; or
(D) from a licensed child-placing agency or the Mayor in case the parental rights of the parent or parents have been terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction or by a release of parental rights to the Mayor or licensed child-placing agency, based upon consents obtained in accordance with subparagraphs (A) through (C) of this paragraph, and the prospective adoptee has been lawfully placed under the care and custody of the agency or the Mayor; or
(E) from the Mayor in any situation not otherwise provided for by this subsection.
(c) Minority of a natural parent is not a bar to that parent’s consent to adoption.
(d) When a parent whose consent is hereinbefore required, after such notice as the court directs, cannot be located, or has abandoned the prospective adoptee and voluntarily failed to contribute to his support for a period of at least six months next preceding the date of the filing of the petition, the consent of that parent is not required.
(e) The court may grant a petition for adoption without any of the consents specified in this section, when the court finds, after a hearing, that the consent or consents are withheld contrary to the best interest of the child.
(f) A person over eighteen years of age may be adopted, on the petition of the adopting parent or parents and with the consent of the prospective adoptee, if the court is satisfied that the adoption should be granted.
(g) The court may grant a petition for adoption without consent when there has been a relinquishment of parental rights and the termination of parental rights pursuant to [§ 4-1451.05: Newborn Safe Haven Law].
D.C. Code § 16–310. Finality of decrees of adoption
An attempt to invalidate a final decree of adoption by reason of a jurisdictional or procedural defect may not be received by any court of the District, unless regularly filed with the court within one year following the date the final decree became effective.
D.C. Code § 16–312. Legal effects of adoption
(a) A final decree of adoption establishes the relationship of natural parent and natural child between adopter and adoptee for all purposes, including mutual rights of inheritance and succession as if adoptee were born to adopter. The adoptee takes from, through, and as a representative of his adoptive parent or parents in the same manner as a child by birth, and upon the death of an adoptee intestate, his property shall pass and be distributed in the same manner as if the adoptee had been born to the adopting parent or parents in lawful wedlock. All rights and duties including those of inheritance and succession between the adoptee, his natural parents, their issue, collateral relatives, and so forth, are cut off, except that when one of the natural parents is the spouse of the adopter, the rights and relations as between adoptee, that natural parent, and his parents and collateral relatives, including mutual rights of inheritance and succession, are in no wise altered.
(b) While it is in force, an interlocutory decree of adoption has the same legal effect as a final decree of adoption. Upon the revocation of an interlocutory decree of adoption, the status of the adoptee, the natural parents of the adoptee, and the petitioners are as though the interlocutory decree were null and void ab initio.
(c) The family name of the adoptee shall be changed to that of the adopter unless the decree otherwise provides, and the given name of the adoptee may be fixed or changed at the same time.
D.C. Code § 16–313. Child as including adopted person
In the District, “child” or its equivalent in a deed, grant, will, or other written instrument includes an adopted person, unless the contrary plainly appears by the terms thereof, whether the instrument was executed before or after the entry of the interlocutory decree of adoption, if any, or before or after the final decree of adoption became effective.
D.C. Code § 16–315. Prior proceedings
The provisions of this chapter have no effect prior to June 8, 1954, except to the extent that they specifically so provide. They do not affect in any way the rights and relations obtained by any decree of adoption entered prior to June 8, 1954.
D.C. Code § 16–317. Recognition of foreign adoptions and elective petitions for District adoption
(a)(1) A final judgment of adoption granted by a judicial, administrative, or executive body of a jurisdiction or country other than the United States shall have the same force and effect in the District as that given to a judgment of adoption entered by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, without additional proceedings or documentation if the:
(A) Adopting parent is a resident of the District of Columbia; and
(B) Validity of the foreign adoption has been verified by the granting of an IR-3 immigrant visa, or a successor immigrant visa, for the child by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
(2) The foreign adoption that meets the requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be considered final under the laws of the District of Columbia and, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no further petition for an adoption decree shall be required in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
(3) The Department of Health shall issue a birth certificate for the child upon:
(A) Request by the adoptive parent;
(B) Presentation of evidence that the adoptive parent is a resident of the District of Columbia; and
(C) Presentation of evidence that the child was granted an IR-3 immigrant visa, or a successor immigrant visa, by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
(b)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, an adoptive parent may elect to file a petition for a District adoption decree with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
(2) If the foreign adoption meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the court shall issue:
(A) A finding of fact on the foreign adoption, including the:
(i) Name of the adoptive parent;
(ii) Name or names of the child;
(iii) Reported birth date of the child;
(iv) Country of the child’s birth;
(v) Country and the date of the foreign adoption; and
(vi) Date and issuance of an IR-3 immigrant visa, or a successor immigrant visa, for the child by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; and
(B) An adoption decree to the petitioner.
(3) A petition for a District adoption decree pursuant to this subsection may be combined with a petition for a name change.
(4) A petition for an adoption decree issued pursuant to this subsection shall be placed on an expedited calendar to ensure minimal expense of time and money to the petitioning party in attaining a adoption decree.
Ann Saunders says
I am also an adoptee from DC & very much want to find medical info, any family history, etc.
Please advise as to steps I need to take to opening papers.
Eileen shifflett says
I petitioned the dc court to break the seal of adoption earlier this year. You can do this yourself (no attorney necessary) and can get the form online. There is an $80 fee and my records were unsealed within 3 weeks. An intermediary has to complete the search. Sadly I have discovered that my bm passed in 2014 but I’m awaiting a reply from my bf. I’d be happy to help you with your journey.
Ann Saunders says
I have just recently seen your message. Thank you so much for the reply.
Could you tell me where to get the forms I would need?
So sorry that your bm has passed. I am pretty sure mine has as well.
Just google for “break seal adoption Washington DC” and one of the results will contain the form. It’s about 8 pages and must be notarized but overall it’s very easy to complete. My petition was approved in 3 weeks! Hope your search is successful!
Gregory D. Luce says
You should all be aware of a number of posts I’ve written on the DC process (I’m a DC adoptee). They are on this page and on my personal blog at gregoryluce.com. It is a simple process, sure, and breaking the seal is easy. But getting actual results is time-consuming, at times humiliating, and often with little results. I know of no adoptees who have ever seen their original birth certificate, except those that were not sealed in the first place (those prior to August 1937).
Ann Saunders says
AmyGrace Miller says
I am a DC baby too. Does break the seal adoption petition show original birth certificate or adoption papers or both?
Adrienne Rosen says
Hi, My name is Adrienne and I’m helping a friend who was born in 1964 in D.C and adopted. Can you tell us where to get the forms?
Thanks so much,
Gregory D. Luce says
Sure. You can find the court forms here. But I would recommend also reading through some of my own posts on my personal blog about the process and what to expect. I’d start with this one: Petitioning the D.C. Court for Your Adoption Records.
Kathy Combs says
You mentioned you have never seen an adoptee obtain an original birth certificate. Does that include you as well?
That’s the main document that I want to obtain because my birth mother named me and then my name was changed when I was adopted
I just wanted to let you know I’m looking for half sister and a brother born in DC both born between 1962 1967
Help me! I want to unseal my records. I found my BF through AncestryDNA. His family never knew I exsisted. My BM never told them. My BF passed in 1990. Now we all want to know what happened. Help me! [email protected]
David Thomas Cater says
Is there anyway you can help me find my daughter born in DC in 1999
Do DNA. Ancestry & 23 & Me
If she was born in DC, that’s all you really have to work with.
That’s correct. I know now that my
birth mother has passed and yet they won’t even tell me her first name. First time I’ve really been angry about anything related to my adoption, however the entire process of petitioning the court to getting this information was less than 5 weeks which was very pleasantly surprising.
Tammy Kapust says
Hello, what information were you able to obtain once the records were unsealed? I located the identity of my birth father, and was successful in reuniting with his sister, my older sister and cousins. By there accounts my mother took me away from the family. The man whom my mother stated was my father was never married to her. However, without my birth father’s consent, my name was changed to match a man my mother was dating when I was around 8. The social security administration has confirmed that the identifying birth certificate presented had my birth father’s name. My mother, birth father and the man that “legitimized” me are all deceased. Any advice you can provide to assist me in obtaining my original birth certificate is greatly appreciated. If I were to request an amendment of my current birth certificate will DC vital records permit me to change the name of my father to reflect my birth father? This change is vital as the man my mother had my last name changed to was also responsible for raping me, my two sisters and a younger brother. I thank God his blood is not running through my veins. For my children and grandkids I want our family tree and my records to reflect my real father. Thank you
Kathleen Diekmann says
I recently did the Ancestry.com DNA test and was able to find two 1st cousins. One was able to tell me who my birth mother was (I already knew she had passed away) and provide pictures. She’s the only cousin on that side, so my other match has to be on my father’s side. That cousin seems less accommodating to providing information, but I was at least able to eliminate a couple possibilities about my birth father.
This is just another avenue that you may want to consider. Good luck!
This is exactly my same story! I took the AncestryDNA test and have one 1st cousin on my mom’s side and my dad’s side. My dad’s side never knew I existed and to be honest, when I did see my original birth certificate, his name was nowhere on it. My adopted mom refuses to let me see my court papers again. I stumbled across them at the age of 11 by accident. Now, 20 years later, she is hiding my court papers from me. I am searching for my birth mom and want to skip the hassle of opening the records…but it seems this is the only way. The first cousin on my birth mom’s side on AncestryDNA refuses to answer any of my messages and even blocked me last night after messaging her over the span of 3 years sending only 3 messages.
Krystina. My twin brother and I were adopted nearly 70 years ago at birth by two wonderful people who gave us the kind of life any adopted child would love to have. We have never pursued our birth parents because at some point, you realize if you’ve grown up in DC and have achieved the level of notoriety that my brother and I have achieved as photojournalist, if those birth parents or their families are still alive, they would have reached out by now. Many biological parents have lives that don’t include your existence as part of the family history. The feelings of shame or fear of being judged or rejected because of a unwanted pregnancy often causes our biological parents to hide from us, often in plain site. Sometimes, as difficult at it may be to consider, it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie. I’ve seen too many documentaries that show the heartbreaking side to connecting with birth parents to want to intrude upon or change the lives of people we really don’t know. I just thank my biological parents for seeing the pregnancy through, giving my brother and I up for adoption and being the catalyst for the lives we’ve been blessed to live for nearly 70 years. This may not help you at all but it’s our story. God Bless.
You can be blessed with a wonderful adoptive family and a fantastic life and still be entitled to know where you come from. 70 years ago there was no option other than to “see the pregnancy through” and I highly doubt it involved both of your birth parents. I don’t consider my existence either a shameful secret or a “sleeping dog”. We have a birthright and we’re entitled to it.
Michael B Cornell says
I will be filing a petition in DC to Break the Seal of Adoption this week!
In the past year, thanks to 23andMe, I was able to connect to a maternal half-brother, also born in DC. We’re currently on separate coasts, and have gotten together a few times over the past year. As we were both adopted through the same agency, we’re hoping by unsealing records, we may be able to find other family members, and get some medical information as well.
The information on this site tuned us into the Petition process.
Thank you for being here!
Lisa Beaulieu says
Hi, I’m a birth mother to add her 2 cents. I’m not sure why DC is so extreme compared to other states, it is quite frustrating. In addition, the maternity home I went to lost all their records in a fire, although it sounds like a gothic novel, I guess it is true.
I used 2 DNA tests to put myself out there and see if I get a match, and tried a third, 23 and me. For some reason, 23 and me could not read my DNA, they tried twice and refused to try a third time saying it would not work. Just to let everyone know, don’t settle for only one test, please!
Wishing everyone luck with their searches.
Hi…Adoptee here. I’m interested what maternity home you went to as the one I was born in also burned down when I called to get records for it. They said all the records were sent to a storage facility and thats what burned down.
Every agency involved with adoption pulls that old, pathetic excuse out of thin air all the time. There is either an alarming rate of fire/flood/destruction of only adoption records in this country, or it’s a giant load of you-know-what.
Amanda Grimes says
My mother DOB 2/25/53 was adopted in DC. Her adopted parents passed away many years ago. She has little to no information and has had ovarian cancer. I myself have 3 daughters and would like for her to have some answers for our family and for her in her lifetime. She did an ancestry DNA but has not found any relations. Without have the funds it’s almost impossible to find family. Anyone have any recommendations? She has said that Harmon has been a name that has come up.
Karen Worley says
I’m looking for my big brother, born in November 1976 in Washington D.C. I have more details, contact me if this could be you.
Kris Finch says
My deceased mother was born in D.C. or Maryland on August 29, 1937. Her adoption was handled through St. Ann’s (previously may have had a different name). Her district of columbia birth certificate with her adoptive parents names as mother & father was filed Sept. 17, 1937, however I have been told she was placed three days after her birth. I am trying to locate the name of my mother’s birthmother or birthfather, a city they were from or their birthdate. Any advice you can provide would be helpful as I know her birthdate falls just prior to the public records cut off.
All the records from St. Ann’s are kept at Catholic Charities. You can send them a request to receive non-identifying information from those records. They cannot provide names but they can tell you whatever story they were provided at the time of her adoption. I found that information helpful when reaching out to connections on Ancestry.com
Hello. I was born in Alexandria, VA and adopted from Lutheran Social Services out of D.C in 1985. Thanks to some DNA testing, I have been able to reconnect with my other siblings I knew of per the adoption papers I have. However, they did tell me about another sibling that I did not know existed since she would be younger than me and none of us know who she is. All four of us were adopted out separately which makes it more challenging, but I wanted to see if she was perhaps adopted out of the same agency as me. I was told that finding a sibling could be easier than a birth parent and should be freely available, depending upon the state’s rules. I hope I can find some input on this. Thank you.
Hi. I was recently found by my sister via Ancestry DNA, didn’t know I was adopted. The parents that raised me are both deceased, I just completed the petition to open the seal adoption document, what information should I expect to receive, ie original BC. My BM is still living, BF died in June 2019 any information will be appreciated
Robbin Y Bigham says
Hi, I was adopted at 3 months in DC. Born 8/20/1962 at DC General Hospital. I was adopted from Childrens Village in DC, which I understand was an orphanage then. I want to find my birth parents and I need assistance. Can you tell me how to go about this process with very little money.
Ann Saunders says
Have you tried Ancestry? I found half-sister. Have just recently found a first cousin on my father’s side.
Ancestry is not too expensive. Great place to start.
Elise Eslinger says
Hi, my mother was born 2-2-47 and was adopted that same year from Catholic Charities in DC. She passed in 2013, she died of brain cancer. I know she tried for many years to ask her adoptive parents about her birth parents However, they were very hush hush about everything. My mom passed without any answer so I would like to find her parents. The medical information would be wonderful to have as my mom was adopted and I never know my bio family her so my medical history is unknown except for the cancer mom had (she also had bladder cancer) any help would be so appreciated!!
Ann Saunders says
Have you tried using Ancestry? Found my half-sister & a first cousin.
Elise Eslinger says
Hi Ann, thank you for responding. Yes I have done ancestry however, I found 1st cousins on my bio dads side however, nothing on my moms side. I got hits on several 2nd and 3rd cousin however, not sure what side. I have reached out to a couple and they are clueless as to how we may be related. :(. I’m going to do 23 in the next month, maybe I will I have some luck there.
Ann Saunders says
I hope you have successful results! Good luck.
I will tell you my sister had been looking for me for 50 years. Never give up!
Thank you so so much!!
Jen Myers says
My father was born May 1951 in DC. His BM brought him back to Nebraska to be adopted. My dad has passes away and his BM passed about 1 1/2 years ago. The forms says you can’t search on someone else’s behalf so does that mean I can’t request it as his daughter even though he has passed?
The Real ID regulations go into effect in October 2021. Many states are already using Real ID. For adoptees it requires OBC, name change records, and adoption records. How has D.C. law changed to accommodate Real ID requirements?
Donna Lassiter says
I was born in DC and adopted by my biological aunt & uncle they have since passed and I have been unable to see adoption papers, I have a live birth certificate with my adopted parents name it looks doctored. If my adoption was legal would adopted parents have live birth certificate
Catherine Wilson says
I am trying to get my original birth certificate so that my grandchildren have a record of who I am after I am gone. I was born in Washington DC in 1958. My parents divorced in 1962 and my mom moved with me back to RI. My mother remarried and her husband adopted me in 1968. I can’t understand why I have to get a court order to unseal my birth certificate when I sat in a room with my mother, my soon-to-be step father, and a judge when the adoption was finalized. No one needs to be protected. I wasn’t given up by both parents and I know my birth father who gave up its rights. What is the rationale for DC keeping me from accessing my sealed birth certificate? Thanks for listening it has been bugging me for decades. .