Indiana law is incredibly complicated for adopted people who simply want a copy of their own original birth certificates. It is so complicated that a flowchart is necessary to illustrate how it is all supposed to work.
That flowchart is below, and it shows how Indiana has implemented a dizzying array of discriminatory restrictions for adopted people to overcome, including:
- Intermediaries. Indiana relies on a state-operated “adoption matching registry” to exchange information and release documents, including the original birth certificate (as opposed to the adoptee applying directly to the state’s vital records office, which maintains the record);
- Veto Disclosures. Indiana calls these documents two things, depending on when they were filed. It is a “nonrelease form” if filed prior to July 1, 2018. After that date, Indiana switched to using a contact preference form where a birthparent can check off “I do not want to be contacted by my adopted child in any way.” If that is checked, no identifying information about that parent will be released. This is called a “corrupt contact preference form,” described in more detail below. Unless changed later, the choice to veto disclosure will also last forever.
- Corrupt Contact Preference Forms. While generically called a “birth parent contact preference” form, in reality the form goes far beyond providing a parent’s simple preference for contact. Rather, birthparents (and others) use the form to prohibit release of identifying information about them, including the adopted person’s own birth record. Even if a birthparent prefers an intermediary to facilitate contact, the corrupt contact preference form requires that the parent check off “I prefer to be contacted by my adopted child through an intermediary and I do not authorize the release of my identifying information directly to my adopted child.”
- Zombie Vetoes. A zombie veto allows a birthparent to veto the release of identifying information and to make that restriction last forever, even after the parent’s death.