Where things stand today and how Iowa’s HF855 will work if it is ultimately enacted and implemented.
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.
IIllinois denies the unrestricted right of all adult adoptees to obtain their own original birth certificates. It uses a date-based approach and allows redactions.
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.
Missouri law does not give adult adoptees unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates. A new law, effective January 1, 2018, provides access to an original birth certificate subject to significant restrictions, including birthparent vetoes and redactions.
Since 1937, Maryland has denied adult adoptees unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates. OBCs are currently available only by court order. Adoptees who are at least 21 years of age and whose adoptions were finalized on or after January 1, 2000, may request their original birth certificates. Birth parents, however, may at any time veto disclosure of birth records or identifying information.
Adult adoptees in Arkansas do not currently have an unrestricted right to obtain their own original birth certificates, except by court order. A new law, effective August 1, 2018, will change this, but requests by an adult adoptee 21 years or over will be subject to birthparent redaction. In addition, the cost to request the “adoption file” will be $100.
Minnesota law does not provide adult adoptees with unrestricted access to their original birth certificates. Access to OBCs in Minnesota is ridiculously complex and based primarily on the date of adoption and whether a birth parent objects to disclosure.