Indiana does not recognize adult adoptees’ unrestricted right to obtain their own original birth certificate. While a new law expands the release of “identifying information,” which includes an OBC, a birthparent may prohibit release of that information at any time.
Illinois does not provide all adult adoptees unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates. The state uses tiered-access and redactions to limit unrestricted access to certain adult adoptees.
Wisconsin law does not provide adult adoptees unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates. Wisconsin “impounds” original birth certificates after adoptions and releases them only by court order or through Wisconsin’s Adoption Records Search Program.
Washington does not allow adult adoptees unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates. An OBC is available through the Department of Health but release is subject to birth parent disclosure vetoes as well as to corrupt contact preference forms.
Vermont does not allow adult adoptees unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates. Access may be obtained through a probate court order or by adoptees who are at least 18 years of age and who have already obtained identifying information from Vermont’s Adoption Registry.
Nearly all adoptees in Tennessee who are 21 years of age have unrestricted access to their their “adoption records,” which should include original birth certificates. The only exception to unrestricted access is for an adult adoptee whose birth parent was a victim of rape or incest—in such cases the written consent of the birth parent is required for release of records.
Adult adoptees in South Dakota do not have access to their original birth certificates except by court order. It is believed, however, that most court petitions for release of an OBC in South Dakota are successful.
Pennsylvania denies adult adoptees unrestricted access to their original birth certificates. The state allows birthparents to request redaction of their names from the original birth certificate.
While Ohio law has settled down a bit after legislative reforms in 2013, significant legal restrictions remain for adult adoptees seeking their OBCs. The state has redaction provisions, diclosure vetoes, and a tiered-system of access that breaks down adoptee rights by the date of adoption.
New Jersey is best described as a “fixed” partial restriction state. Because of disclosure vetoes, approximately 550 adult adoptees do not have access to their own original birth certificates, except by court order. All other adult adoptees in New Jersey have unrestricted access.