Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Adult Adoptees - repost from 9/2013

Monday, September 2, 2013
Adult Adoptees in Texas - Opening Adoption Records
Update January, 2015:

A couple of people have emailed me that the suggestions I made have not worked for them. I'm sorry if my ideas have not worked.  I opened my adoption file in 2003 and perhaps some things have changed.

I still have not found my personal adoption file.  I moved & it's probably still in a box.  I continue to look for my adoption info from 2003.

I was referring people to a lovely lady but she has asked that her name be removed.  Sorry!

I will update my blog regarding this matter from time to time.  I am always researching this area.

I still have not found my missing file!!

Original blog:

I moved over a year ago and I cannot find my file with all my information containing what I did to open my adoption file!  I've looked everywhere!  I'm hoping that I will find it soon - maybe if I quit looking it will "pop up"!

In the past 8 months, at least 5 people have called or emailed me about my old blog post regarding my journey to open my adoption record.  The blog post I am referring to is probably 7-8 years old.

Here is a quick summary of 2 of my ideas:

1.  If you are over the age of 18 the State of Texas has a Texas Central Adoption Registry for you to try to locate your birth family.  It costs $30.  Their phone number is 888-963-7111 extension 6279.  Their address is Central Adoption Registry, Department of State Health Services, P O Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347.

You can "google" this information and all the information regarding how to register for this site will show up.

Please be advised that I registered for this site over 10 years ago when I tried to find my birth family.  Due to some incorrect information, my birth family and I did not connect.  So if you and your birth family incorrect information and/or slightly different information, the employees will not connect you.  I suspect that they don't want to be held responsible for "connecting" the wrong families.  But it is certainly worth a try and it is not a lot of money.

2.  The other idea is to apply for a "Non-certified copy of your original birth certificate" for $10. This is done by writing the Department of State Health Services, Texas Vital Statistics, P O Box 12040, Austin, Texas 78711-2040.  They say on their website to allow 2 months.

You can "google" this information and read all about this birth certificate and get a copy of the forms that you will need to send into Austin.  They do ask for your adopted parents names as well as your birth mother's name.  So if you have not accessed your adoption file, you might not have this information.

Other ideas:

1.  If you had an adoption through an adoption agency, begin there.  Even though they will "black out" a lot of information.  It is the easiest place to begin.

2.  Hire a private investigator.  I did.  I am thankful that I did.  She specialized in helping adoptees. I do not have her name.  It's in the missing file.

3.  Be prepared for the worst.  I'm sure that are happy reunion stories.  Mine was not.  Another friend of mine did not have a happy one either  - she located her bio mom in a homeless shelter.
DO NOT GIVE ANY OF YOUR RELATIVES MONEY!  YOU DO NOT OWE THEM ANYTHING -- a bio mom gave me this information as I started the search for my bio family & it was good advice -- follow it!

4.  Going to Court to Opening Your Sealed Adoption Record --

I recommend hiring an attorney to help you do this!  Please don't do it on your own.

A lot of people attempt to go to court and ask a judge to open their "sealed" adoption records after they turn 18.  Even with a medical necessity, some judges do not want to open adoption records.  Judges in Texas have a lot of discretion.  Once a file is assigned to a specific court, it is impossible to get the file transferred to another court.  Therefore, if you attempt to handle this matter yourself without an attorney and the judge refuses to open the file - DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO UPSET THE JUDGE.  It will come back to haunt you in the future.

I strongly urge you to retain an attorney that knows the judge.  How do you find an attorney that knows the judge?  Great question.  This is often difficult to determine.  It must be done very discretely.  Patience is required.  Do not be a bull in a china shop.  Quietly ask around for the best lawyer to use in that judge's courtroom.

I know that you feel that you are "entitled" to see your adoption file.  Unfortunately, there are some judges do not agree with you.  In fact, they feel strongly that you are never entitled to see the file ever - no matter if you feel it is a life and death matter.  (Somehow your file might suddenly "disappear" - it could suddenly get misfiled somewhere in their voluminous court files never to be found or it might disappear in the bottom of a locked desk drawer -- you never want something like this to happen to your file because it could be "lost forever"!)

That said, there are some judges that will easily & gladly open a person's adoption file.  If  you are one of the lucky ones, count your blessings.  I only get the phone calls from the people that are hitting the brick walls.

5.  If you expect to be greeted with open arms - you probably won't be -- you might be the "secret" that no one talked about in the family!  If you were the product of a rape, an affair or incest do you really want to know?  Be sure you are prepared for the worst before you open this can of worms!  You might consider counseling before beginning this journey.

6.  I do not recommend anyone under 25 years old search out their bio parents.  I was almost 50 years old when I found my bio family.  They were really a screwed up bunch.  I'm really glad that I did not try to locate them when I was younger - they would have really played "head games" with me if I'd been younger and innocent!  I understand why judges don't want to open adoption records for people -- they are actually trying to protect you from yourselves! Additionally, many adoption agencies will only give you information after you attend some therapy sessions -- this is to insure that you are adequately prepared for what you might find out and if you can handle the possible rejection that might occur.

Good luck on your journey.  I wish you only happiness and love at the end of your trail.

Adult Adoptee Info - as of May 2016

Read my blog post of 9/2/2013 for more adult adoptee information!

Go to bottom of this page to see a bunch of websites to begin your search...

I opened my own adoption records over 13 years ago when my oncologist insisted I get my medical history when I learned I had breast cancer.

I have moved and I cannot find my file on everything I did - I keep hoping it will turn up but it's been 2 years and still missing - very frustrating!

If you were born in Texas, go the to State of Texas Department of State Health Services on-line. You can order a non-certified copy of your original birth certificate for around $10.

You can also call the Texas Department of State Health Services - they were very nice to me.

There was an adult adoptee location service that I used. Unfortunately, it did not connect me with my half-sister that was looking for me -- we were very close but both of us had some incorrect info so the agency did not match us.

There are many adult adoptee sites on the internet.  Some people have learned ways to find out info or people that will amaze you.

You can hire a skip-trace person to help you find "missing" people. If you find one with a lot of experience they won't tell you how they do it but they can find people -- even ones that are trying to hide. With the internet today it's hard to go off the radar.

Don't expect a lot of info in your adoption file. My file was very thin and did not contain a lot of information. Also, my birth parents lied a lot -- so a lot of the info was wrong! The man listed as bio dad was not bio dad -- so be prepared for anything!

I hope this information is helpful.

I am always researching this area of the law and I will continue to do updates from time to time.  I do this as a public service. I make no money from my blog.

I will tell you that I've had several people call or email me really upset on my posts. I do these as a public service. If you don't like them, I apologize. But if I continue to receive abusive emails and phone calls then I'm just going to delete them. I don't need to be cussed out when I am only trying to share information to help folks for FREE!

Be aware that some Texas judges will not open your sealed adoption file.

If you were adopted through an agency, there is a website to contact - even if the agency has gone out of business.

Being an adult adoptee is a journey filled with many twists and turns.  I encourage you to talk to people that have been in your shoes. Just because it worked for me does not mean that what I did will work for you - be creative and patient.  Good luck on your journey!

I "googled" Texas Adult Adoptee and here is what I found:

Warning: I have no idea who these groups are & have not visited every site listed. 

You need to try different search engines (yahoo, bing, google, etc. because each might be different.)

But I receive at least 2 calls a month from people just beginning their journey and this will be a good place to begin your searches.

  1. Adoption and Adult Adoptee Information - Texas Department ...


    Texas Department of State Health Services
    Oct 8, 2013 - General Information about adoption in Texas. ... processing time. Adult Adoptee Application for Non-Certified Copy of Original Birth Certificate.
  2. The Adoption Revolution Led by Adoptees Searching on the ...

    Here in Texas we have the Texas Coalition for Adoption Resources and Education ... Our first goal is to give adult adoptees a legal right to have a copy of their ...
  3. Resources for Adult Adoptees | Adoptionsbygladney


    The Gladney Center for Adoption
    Sep 24, 2011 - ... Your Page Too. On this page you will find resources of interest toadult adoptees: ... 6300 John Ryan Drive | Fort Worth, Texas 76132-4122.

  4. www.texaslawhelp.org is a free site & it contains lots of Texas legal information.
  5. I recommend this site. 

  6. Adult Adoptees | Texas Free Legal Forms, Law, Pro Bono ...


    Adult Adoptees who were born in Texas can click on this link to the Texas Department of State Health Services to request a copy of their original birth certificate.
  7. Adoptees Meetups - Meetup
  8. adoptees.meetup.com/

    This group is open to all members of the adoption triad...adult adoptees, adoptive ... Welcome to the Texas Adoption Reunion and Support Group of Houston!
  9. STAR | Support Texas Adoptee Rights | Working to Restore ...


    We support legislation restoring to adult adoptees born in Texas, full access to their first medical record; their original, factual and unaltered certificates of birth.
  10. AAAFC A site by adoptees, for adoptees.


    Feb 9, 2015 - Is this why it's often so hard for reunions to work for both sides with us caught in the middle even as adults? Because the arents are given first ...
  11. Adult Adoptees in Texas - Opening Adoption Records - Fran ...


    Sep 2, 2013 - Adult Adoptees in Texas - Opening Adoption Records. Update January, 2015: A couple of people have emailed me that the suggestions I made ...
  12. Adoption group supports bill to access original birth certificates


    Jan 19, 2015 - He is part of the nonprofit Adoption Knowledge Affiliates, which supportsadult adoptees from Texas to be able to easily get their hands on ...
  13. Adoptee Rights | Facebook

    Support Texas Adoptee Rights STAR is heading to the capitol today for .... 352, which if passed would give adult adoptees from Indiana's “closed records” period ...
  14. Forum | AAAFC


    Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change is an adoptee-centered support forum. This forum was created by adoptees, and is owned, administered and moderated ...
  15. Forum - AAAFC


    Adult Adoptees.Org is an adoptee-centric support forum. We strive to meet the needs of the adoptee first with support, understanding, friendship and more than a ...
  16. AAAFC A site by adoptees, for adoptees.


    Feb 9, 2015 - Once we are adults, it seems so wrong to still have to carry the original ..... to join the forum so that she could hopefully help her adopted son to ...
  17. Adult Adoptees - Adoption.com Forums


    Adult Adoptees - Find support and encouragement for issues concerning adult adoptees.
  18. Adoptee Support - Adoption.com Forums

    ... Needs & Attachment Forums · Search & Reunion Forums · Adult Adoptees Forums· Birth Parents Forums ... Threads in Forum : Adoptee Support, Forum Tools ...
  19. Adoption family tree search. Adopted? Find birth parents.


    I'm an adoptee searching for a birth family member. ... FORUMS ... I am an adult adoptee, aged 55, who found my birth family 5 years ago, unfortunately too late ...
  20. POSITIVE Adult Adoptee Support (birth, options, parents, stories ...

    www.city-data.com › ... › General Forums › Parenting › Adoption
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10 posts - ‎8 authors
    Any adult adoptees who feel their lives have been positively influenced by adoption please post your stories here. Adoption can be a Blessing.
  21. I Was Adopted | Group with Personal Stories, Forums and ...


    Were You Adopted? Join 3403 friendly people sharing 736 true stories in the I WasAdopted group. Find forums, advice and chat with groups who share this life ...
  22. [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: When an adoptee says: I'm not ...


    Feb 26, 2014 - As late as 1960, some forty percent of the states still had laws on the books recognizing "an unrestricted right of adult adoptees to inspect their ...
  23. AAAFC A site by adoptees, for adoptees.


    Feb 9, 2015 - Once we are adults, it seems so wrong to still have to carry the original lie around if .... The first hit on a Google search for adoptee support is often ... how lucky and grateful they were, like it was part of the culture of the group.
  24. Adult Adoptees Resources - Band Back Together


    Joining Support Groups - local, national and international support groups exist foradult adoptees everywhere. These support groups are a wonderful place to ...
  25. Adult Adoptees « Center for Adoption Support and Education


    Center for Adoption Support and Education C.A.S.E.
    Adult Adoptees. In the adoption community, we say “Adoption is a lifelong journey.” Being adopted can have a significant impact on a person's life at any age.
  26. 10 Things Adoptees Want You to Know | Lesli Johnson


    The Huffington Post
    Jan 11, 2013 - Only eight states in the U.S. allow adult adoptees access to their ... can find connection through support groups, interaction with other adoptees ...
  27. Services-Adoption-Post Adoption - Catholic Charities of the ...


    Adult Adoptee and Birthmother Search Services. Counseling. Birth parent support group. Search and Reunion Support Group. Adoption Day Camp (ages 6-12 ...
  28. Texas Adoption Reunion and Support of Houston ... - Meetup


    Oct 11, 2014 - Welcome to the Texas Adoption Reunion and Support Group of Houston! We are a diverse group of adult adoptees, birthparents and adoptive ...
  29. Adoptees Meetups - Meetup


    Welcome to the Texas Adoption Reunion and Support Group of Houston! We are a diverse group of adult adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents who are ...
  30. [PDF]Support Groups - American Adoption Congress


    Apr 4, 2012 - Support Groups. 1. Last Updated on April 4, 2012. ALABAMA. Birth Parents/Adult Adoptees Group. Birmingham, AL. Audrey Derevenko, LCSW.

  31. Adoption Support Group: Young Adult Adoptees - Adoptive ...

    www.adoptivefamiliescircle.com › Groups

    Home > Groups > Young Adult Adoptees. National Adoption Directory. Find an Adoption Agency. By Country, U.S., Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan ...

  32. This is an article from the website 
  33. www.texaslegalhelp.org
  34. look under "family" and click adoption link -- 
  35. Lots of info on this website including suggested forms!


  37. In Texas, courts must seal adoption records. But sometimes, people can show good reasons why the records should be opened to them. Only the adopted child or an immediate relative to the adopted child can ask for access to the sealed records. The request, called an Application, should be filed with the District Clerk in the county where the adoption took place. You must sign the Application in front of a notary. Because the release of adoption information has long been considered a highly emotional issue, the Court may require you to undergo counseling before the records are released to you. Depending on circumstances in your case, the Court may order that the records be released to an Adoption Intermediary, who can pursue contact with other parties on your behalf. If the Court orders that an Intermediary be appointed in your case, you will be responsible for the Intermediary’s fees The judge will usually honor your request to have a specific counselor or intermediary appointed. It is a good idea to have discussed fees with a counselor or intermediary, and have one in mind before you go to see the judge. You will also be responsible for any fees associated with copying the sealed records in your case. When you complete your Application, be as specific as you can be in explaining why you need access to the sealed records. After you complete the Application and Order, make a copy for your records. File the original in the county where the adoption took place. Ask the clerk how to set a hearing for your Application. In some counties, you may be able to see a judge the same day you file your Application. This is not possible in all counties. When your case is called before the judge, walk up to the judge’s bench. Stand close enough for the judge to hear you. Remember not to lean against the judge’s bench. The judge will swear you in, asking you to tell the truth, and then ask you some questions about your situation. Be prepared to answer the judge in a courteous, honest, and respectful manner. After the judge has heard your testimony and reviewed your case, s/he will make a decision about whether or not you can have access to the information you requested. If the judge grants your request, and allows the information to be released directly to you, ask the District Clerk to make a certified copy of the order you have requested, along with a certified copy of the Order Regarding Access to Termination and Adoption Records. If the judge allows you to have access through an Intermediary, you will have to contact the Intermediary. You should ask the District Clerk to make a certified copy of the Order Regarding Access to Termination and Adoption Records to give to the Intermediary. You might want to make a copy for yourself, as well. The Clerk’s office usually charges a fee for certified copies. 

  38. Keep in mind, the judge might tell you s/he can’t give you access to the records. The judge has sole discretion to decide whether or not you are entitled access to the records.