Copies of original birth certificates available to adoptees and those surrendered

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                      Under the amended Illinois Adoption Act

                      (750 ILCS 50), starting November 15, 2011, adults

                      born on or after January 1, 1946 in Illinois who were

                      surrendered or adopted, can request a non-certified

                      copy of their original Illinois birth certificate,

                      which typically includes the birth parents’ name(s),

                      age(s) and place(s) of birth.  To allow birth parents

                      who surrendered their children in Illinois for

                      adoption to convey their wishes regarding the release

                      of their identifying information to their surrendered

                      child or children, the Illinois Department of Public

                      Health is providing a Birth Parent Preference Form

                      that will allow birth parents to request their

                      identifying information remain confidential.

                      “While being able to obtain a non-certified copy of

                      their original birth certificate can be wonderful for

                      a person who was adopted or surrendered, birth

                      parents may have concerns,” Illinois Department of

                      Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold said.  “To

                      respect the wishes of all birth parents, the Birth

                      Parent Preference Form allows birth parents to notify

                      the Illinois Department of Public Health of their

                      choice regarding the release of their identifying

                      information.

                      “Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is pleased that

                      the original birth certificate law has allowed many

                      adopted persons access to something that is very

                      important and dear to them,” Lutheran Social Services

                      of Illinois Statewide Search and Records Coordinator

                      Mary Wake said.  “At the same time, LSSI wants to be

                      sure that all birth parents, particularly those

                      living outside of Illinois, are aware of the new law.

                      This law was carefully crafted to take into account

                      the needs of both adopted persons and birth parents.

                      Any birth parent who has placed a child for adoption

                      should be fully informed of the changes in the law

                      and their rights and options under the new law.”

                      On November 15, 2011, the Department will begin

                      accepting applications for non-certified copies of

                      original birth certificates from adult surrendered or

                      adopted persons.  Birth parents who wish their

                      identifying information to remain confidential during

                      their lifetime should submit a completed Birth Parent

                      Preference Form before this date.  While the

                      Department will continue to accept Birth Parent

                      Preference Forms after November 15, 2011, there will

                      be no way to ensure information was not already

                      released prior to processing the Birth Parent

                      Preference Form after that date.

                      Birth parents who prefer not to have their

                      identifying information released can still

                      confidentially provide medical information, such as

                      genetically-transmitted disease, to the Illinois

                      Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange

                      (IARMIE) to be released to an adopted or surrendered

                      child.  Providing medical information may help an

                      adopted or surrender person be proactive about health

                      issues and live a longer, healthier life.

                      The Birth Parent Preference Form, medical

                      questionnaire forms and the request form for an

                      adopted or surrendered person to obtain a

                      non-certified copy of their birth certificate, can be

                      found at

                      http://www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords/vital/non_certified.htm

                       or by calling the Illinois Adoption Registry at

                      877-323-5299.  The fee for submitting either form is

                      $15, however, the fee will be waived for birth

                      parents who complete the IARMIE medical questionnaire

                      forms.  All forms should be submitted to the Illinois

                      Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange.

                      Adopted or surrendered persons must be 21 before

                      receiving a non-certified copy of their original

                      birth certificate.