According to a survey by the Washington Times, almost 15,000 adult adoptees have requested their original birth records from four states that have open records. Many adoptees are using this information in order to search for their birth parents. And the survey showed that over 80 percent of the 854 birth parents that were contacted, consented to the adult adoptees contacting them.
Of all 50 states, only six states allow adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates. They are Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Kansas, Oregon and Tennessee. And the requirements to obtain the birth certificates are different in each state. In Oregon and Alaska, for example, you have to be 18 years old to obtain your birth certificate, whereas in Tennessee and Delaware you must be 21. In addition, in Tennessee and Delaware, a contact veto registry has been established. When adoptees request identifying information, the birth parents are notified of the request and have an opportunity to submit a document prohibiting the adoptee from making contact with them. According to the Washington Times, in Delaware, only 15 biological parents have chosen to block contact, while 472 adoptees out of 502 adoptees have gotten their records. In Oregon, 367 out of 447 biological parents agreed to contact, either directly or through an intermediary. And in Alabama, “almost all” of the 110 birth parents that sent in contact-preference forms said they wanted contact.