What the Indiana Vital Statistics says about our information.
It is extremely important when working in the field of adoption to maintain an excellent record-keeping
system. This is especially so in view of laws that permit and promote the possibility of birth parents,
adoptees and pre-adoptive siblings locating each other.
720.1 Case Records
The COFC must maintain adoption case records indefinitely on each child for whom adoption
services are provided and on each adoptive applicant from the time of application for service
through adoption finalization or termination of agency service. The adoption record is to
(1) the child’s social history, including the child’s placement history and identifying
information about the child’s birth family;
(2) the petition for adoption;
(3) the court summary for adoption;
(4) the adoptive family preparation;
(5) any medical/psychological reports from consultants or other persons;
(6) the Indiana Adoption Medical History Report;
(7) the date of the adoptive placement;
(8) reports of placement and supervision;
(9) the record of information given to the adoptive parents about the child and the child’s
(10) all legal and other documents; i.e., the adoption decree, birth certificate, social security
All papers, records and information pertaining to an adoption, whether part of:
(1) the permanent record of the court;
(2) a file in the State Department of Health, Division of Vital Records;
(3) a file in Central Office or a county office of family and children (COFC);
(4) a file in any licensed child placing agency, or
(5) a file maintained by any health care provider as defined in IC 31-9-2-52,
are confidential and may be disclosed only in accordance with IC 31-19-19 (Confidentiality
Requirements for Adoption History and Other Adoption Records) and IC 31-19-25 (Release of
Identifying Information for Adoptions…; Requests for Information Concerning Pre-Adoptive
720.3 Indiana Adoption History Program
On July 1, 1988, legislation creating the Indiana Adoption History Program became effective.
See Appendix AAA for a copy of the flyer entitled “Indiana Adoption History Program”. The
forms used to implement this program can be found in the appendix to this section as well.
Medical history reports filed with the State Registrar had been available to provide medical
information for adoptees since 1986. Public Law (PL) 171-1988 established guidelines under
which confidential files and records may now be opened to release not only medical information
but also non-identifying or identifying information relative to the parties of an adoption.
Information under this program is confidential as described under subsection 720.3. The
Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) administers the Indiana Adoption History Program
through the State Registrar of Vital Records.
720.31 Types of Information Available for Release
The following is an enumeration of the types of information that can be released if
those persons eligible to receive it follow the appropriate procedures:
720.311 Medical History
Medical history is a comprehensive medical report of the adoptee and the
adoptee's birth parents for all adoptions finalized after 6/30/93, as
described in IC 31-19-17-4. The Medical History Report includes:
(1) neonatal, psychological, physiological, and medical care history on
forms prescribed by the State Registrar (A copy of this report shall
be sent to the person identified as the State Registrar and to the
adoptive parent.); and
(2) any medical information voluntarily transmitted to the Registrar.
720.312 Non-Identifying Information
In accordance with IC 31-19-23-1, non-identifying information can be
(1) the state registrar;
(2) the division of family and children;
(3) a county office of family and children;
(4) a licensed child placing agency;
(5) a professional health care provider as defined in IC 34-6-2-117;
(6) the attorney who arranged the adoption; and
(7) a court.
Non-identifying information includes:
(1) any information not including medical history that concerns an
“interested party” to an adoption as defined in subsection 720.321;
(2) any information which does not identify a birth parent, an adoptive
parent or an adoptee.
Non-identifying information may include, but is not limited to general
biographical sketches regarding the following:
(1) Birth/biological parent(s)
(2) Grandparent(s), if known
(3) Sibling(s), if applicable
These sketches could include the following, but are not limited to:
(1) color of eyes and hair, complexion, body stature, personality,
educational achievements, religious affiliation,
nationality/ethnicity, occupation, avocation, talents, likes and
dislikes, fears, favorite hobbies or sports, favorite table games,
(2) general location of where the birth parents were born; i. e., the
quadrant of Indiana or other state (North, South, East, West);
(3) number, sex and age of siblings, at placement, if applicable;
(4) status of sibling(s), if known:
(a) living, deceased, married, single, divorced, established
family member with children, etc.;
(b) adoptive status of sibling(s) and, if adopted, whether they
were placed together with a single person or family.
The COFC or licensed child placing agency is to use discretion in the
amount of non-identifying information released to *qualified persons, as
defined in IC 31-18-19-2(a) when such a step could lead to the
identification of persons associated with the adoption. The attorney for
the COFC is to be consulted for assistance in making decisions
concerning whether certain information should be released.
720.313 Identifying Information
In accordance with IC 31-9-2-54, identifying information includes:
(1) any name or address that a party to an adoption has used or is
(2) the original birth certificate;
(3) any other information, except the medical history, that may identify
a person as a party to an adoption or as a birth parent, adoptive
parent or an adoptee.
720.32 Persons Who Can File the Adoption History Registration Form or Receive
The following delineates what persons are qualified to transfer information to or
receive information from the Adoption History Registry:
720.321 Medical Information
Any person may voluntarily transmit medical information to the State
Registrar for inclusion in the Medical History. The transmission of such
information must be submitted on State Form 13342/State Department of
Health 06-074 Indiana Adoption Medical History Registry which includes
an affirmation by the person completing the form that the information is
true or the person believes it is true. A copy of ISDH 06-074 and a copy
of the confidential form containing the aforementioned affirmation may
be found in Appendices BBB and CCC respectively in this section. These
forms are available
* See Glossary for definition of term.
from the Forms Distribution Center and can be ordered in the usual
manner. See Appendix DDD “Medical History Definitions/Examples”
for additional information regarding completing the Medical History
Report. See Appendix EEE for a copy of SF 47261 Medical Information
for Adopted Persons flyer.
The State Registrar shall release a copy of the Medical History to an
interested person, which is defined as:
(1) an adoptee,
(2) a birth parent,
(3) an adoptive parent,
(4) a relative of a birth parent,
(5) a relative of an adoptive parent,
(6) the DFC or the COFC,
(7) an adoption agency (a licensed child placing agency), or
(8) a court.
In addition, the State Registrar may release a copy of the Indiana Medical
History Report to any person who satisfies the Registrar that the person
has a legitimate need for the information. Any category of information
not prescribed by the Indiana Medical History Report shall not be released
under IC 31-19-19-4.
720.322 Non-identifying and Identifying Information
In accordance with IC 31-19-18-2, non-identifying and identifying
information may be received or transmitted for inclusion with the
adoption history by the following persons:
(1) An adoptee who is an adult (age 21) or over; or if the adoptee is
deceased, the adoptee’s spouse or relative (parent, children, brother,
or sister), providing this relationship existed at the time of the
(2) A birth parent; or, if the birth parent is deceased, the birth parent’s
spouse or relative (parent, children, brother, or sister) providing this
relationship existed at the time of the birth parent's death.
(3) An adoptive parent.
(4) A pre-adoptive sibling
720.33 Registering on the Adoption History Registry
These registration forms must be filed with the State Registrar of Vital Records
(Indiana Adoption History Registry), the state or county office of family and
children, child placing agencies, health care providers or courts. However, COFCs
are encouraged to instruct applicant(s) to forward the forms and other required
identification, documentation and changes directly to the State Registrar of Vital
Different forms are used to register to receive medical, non-identifying and
identifying information as follows:
720.331 Filing for the Release of Non-Identifying Information:
The pink “Non-identifying Information: Adoption History Registration
Form” is used to file for the release of non-identifying information. See
subsection 720.312 for the definition of non-identifying information. A
copy of this form is in Appendix FFF to this section.
720.332 Filing for the Release of Identifying Information:
The blue “Identifying Information: Adoption History Registration Form”
is used to file written consents for or restrictions on the release of
identifying information relating to any adoption. See subsection 720.313
for the definition of identifying information. See Appendix GGG for a
copy of the form.
720.333 Completing the Indiana Adoption History Registration Form
Either Adoption History Registration Form may be filed by mail or in
person. The forms submitted must be originals with original written
signatures. The form must be typed or printed clearly using black ink
only. In addition, the following is required:
(1) Personal Identification: Original photo/signature identification is
required if a form is filed personally. If a form is mailed in, a copy
of photo/signature identification is required. A driver's license,
State identification, Social Security card with original signatures or
any legal identification containing the applicant's original signature
(2) Documentation of relationship to adoptee: This may be required. A
birth certificate, affidavit, court adoption records, a notarized
statement from the agency handling the adoption or baptismal
records serves the purpose.
(3) An affirmation of truthfulness: The person submitting the form
must affirm that the information transmitted is true or that the
person believes it to be true and that the person is a person
described under subsection 720.32.
Original forms presented for filing to agencies other than the Indiana
Adoption History Registry located at the Indiana State Department of
Health (ISDH) are to be photocopied by the receiving agency. The
photocopies must be indexed and stored for future reference, and the
original document and a photocopy of the personal identification item(s)
used are immediately forwarded to the Indiana Adoption History Registry,
Section B499; 2 North Meridian Street; Indianapolis, IN 46204. The
COFC must keep a photocopy of the personal identification as well.
No person or agency can accept a photocopy of a completed Adoption
History Registration Form unless the original document has been initially
filed with and the copies have been made by and received from the
Indiana Adoption History Registry. Copies will be sent to specific
agencies when this action is requested by the person filing with the
Registry, and these documents will be certified by the State Registrar of
720.34 Entities Required to Release Adoption History
The following is an enumeration of the persons/agencies required to release
adoption history information to persons qualified to receive it:
720.341 Non-Identifying Information
In accordance with IC 31-19-23-1, the following entities are required to
release non-identifying information that relates to any adoption to any of
the persons listed in 720.32 upon request:
(1) State Registrar
(2) DFC Central Office
(3) County office of family and children
(4) Licensed child placing agency
(5) A professional health care provider
(6) The attorney who arranged the adoption
(7) A court
720.342 Identifying Information
In accordance with IC 31-19-22-2, the following entities are required to
release identifying information:
(1) State Registrar
(2) DFC Central Office
(3) County office of family and children
(4) Licensed child placing agency
(5) A professional health care provider
(6) A court
Only individuals qualified to receive the information can receive it, and
these persons must request it themselves. See subsection 720.32. The
release of identifying information requires the consent of both the adult
adoptee and the birth parent. An exception to this requirement is made if
an affidavit is provided to the agency releasing information stating that the
adult adoptee or both birth parents are deceased.
The initial release of adoption history identifying information relating to
any adoption by any person or agency requires the written authorization
of the State Registrar of Vital Records. This authorization will be mailed
from the Indiana State Department of Health using the U.S. Postal
720.35 Adding to/Modifying Filed Forms
See subsection 720.32 for an enumeration of persons who can file additional
information or modify information already filed.
720.351 Medical History Forms
Any person can add or modify medical information. See subsection
720.321 for details regarding this process.
720.352 Non-identifying/Identifying Information
It is the responsibility of the person completing the Indiana Adoption
History Registration Form to advise the receiving agency of any future
changes to the information filed. This includes changes to the filer’s
address and telephone number and the desired modifications to the
consents or restrictions selected. The request to add to or modify the
information must be made in writing. The COFC is to instruct the person
providing the changes to mail them directly to the Indiana State
Department of Health (ISDH), Indiana Adoption History Registry; 2
North Meridian Street; Indianapolis, IN 46204. The COFC must keep a
photocopy of the changes. IC 31-19-18-2 also authorizes the State
Registrar to accept and file additional information for qualified persons.
No fee can be charged for the filing of Indiana Adoption History Registry forms.
The only cost that can be required is a reasonable fee made by a child placing
agency or health care provider for the actual expenses incurred in the preparation of
information to be released when this action is authorized. COFCs cannot charge a
fee for the filing of these forms.
This is how the Indiana Legislature views us in Indiana:
Release of medical history; supplementation 31-19-20-1 Sec. 1. The state registrar: (1) shall release a copy of the medical history to any interested person; (2) may release a copy of the medical history to any person who satisfies the registrar that the person has a legitimate need; and (3) shall supplement the medical history with medical information received from any person.As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.11.
IC 31-19-20-2Request for additional medical history information 31-19-20-2 Sec. 2. (a) Whenever the state registrar receives an inquiry for medical history information from an adoptee or adoptive parent and the state registrar reasonably believes that the medical history information available under section 1 of this chapter is incomplete, the state registrar shall request further medical history information concerning the adoptee from: (1) the hospital where the adoptee was born; and (2) the: (A) licensed child placing agency; (B) county office of family and children; and (C) attorney; that arranged the adoptee's adoptive placement. (b) A hospital, a licensed child placing agency, a county office of family and children, or an attorney that receives a request for medical information under subsection (a) shall release medical history information concerning the adoptee to the state registrar. (c) The state registrar shall release any additional medical history information received under subsection (b) to the adoptee or adoptive parent.As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.11. Amended by P.L.197-1997, SEC.26.
IC 31-19-20-3Fees; disposition 31-19-20-3 Sec. 3. (a) The state department of health may charge a reasonable fee for the state registrar's search for further medical history information under section 2(a) of this chapter or death certificates. (b) Fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the adoption history fund established by IC 31-19-18-6 and must be used for the automation of adoption history information and death certificates and for improved service delivery.As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.11.
IC 31-19-20-4Release of medical records by provider 31-19-20-4 Sec. 4. IC 31-19-19, this chapter, and IC 31-19-21 through IC 31-19-24 do not restrict a provider (as defined in IC 16-18-2-295) from releasing medical records to an attorney or agency arranging an adoption if the provider receives the appropriate authorization under IC 16-39-1.As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.11.
Any public employee who knowingly transmits false information or discloses any confidential information relating to an adoption is subject to discharge under IC 31-19-19-5.
720.4 Procedures for Obtaining Adoption History Information Not Available from the State Registrar
In accordance with IC 31-19-22-7, an adoptee or a birth parent who submits a written consent
for release of identifying information may request the attorney, child placing agency (LCPA) or
county office of family and children (COFC) to contact the adoptee or birth parent whose
consent is necessary before identifying information can be released. Also, any interested
person, as defined in 720.321 above, who has a need to obtain medical non-identifying or
identifying information not contained in the Adoption History Registry information through the
State Registrar and not forthcoming from the sources noted above may file a petition with any
court with probate jurisdiction in Indiana for the desired information. The petition must contain,
to the best of the petitioner’s knowledge, the following:
(1) The full name and address of the petitioner.
(2) The adoptee's full name, sex, date of birth and if known, the place of birth and the nature
of the medical information being sought; current address, county of adoption proceeding,
name and address of the agency that placed the adoptee; the full name and current
address of the adopting parents, if any; date of adoption proceedings, full name and
current address of the birth parent.
(3) An affirmation:
(a) by an attending physician, if medical information is sought, that indicates:
(i) the nature of the illness;
(ii) the belief that the illness is hereditary or congenital; or
(iii) the necessity for obtaining/sharing the information for the diagnosis or
treatment of any person; or
(b) by the petitioner, if medical, non-identifying or identifying information is sought,
as to why the release of the information may be beneficial to the welfare of the
adoptee or birth parent; and
(c) that the information sought is not available through the State Registrar.
(4) A statement by the petitioner agreeing to pay a reasonable fee for the services of a
confidential intermediary, if one is appointed, and reasonable fees and actual expenses of
an attorney, child placing agency or health care professional requested to search records
and release information.
(5) A description of the information sought. (IC 31-19-24-1)
Upon the filing of such a petition, the court shall establish that the State Registrar has been
served with notice of the petitioner's request for disclosure of information and has been afforded
opportunity to respond to the petitioner. (IC 31-19-24-2)
720.41 Confidential Intermediary
If the above requirements have been met, the court may appoint a confidential
intermediary after consultation with the State Registrar or the State Registrar's
designee. The court shall provide the confidential intermediary with an order
authorizing a search of all necessary records maintained by:
(1) the Division of Public Health Statistics;
(2) the Central Office or the county offices of family and children;
(3) any licensed child placing agency; or
(4) any health care provider as defined in IC 34-6-2-117.
The confidential intermediary shall be instructed by the court to act as quickly as
possible. The confidential intermediary shall:
(1) make complete and reasonable efforts to locate the information specified in
(2) attempt to locate any person specified in the order to obtain the information;
(3) adhere to any limitations set by the court to prevent the search from causing
harm to a birth parent or adoptee;
(4) inform the person contacted of the medical or other need; and
(5) obtain the needed information.
All communications under this procedure are confidential and shall be made by a
personal contact by the confidential intermediary. Any person contacted by the
confidential intermediary may file, through the confidential intermediary, a consent
or non-consent to disclosure of the medical information sought. In the event of a
non-consent, the confidential intermediary shall report to the court the reason given,
if any, for non-consent. If a person does not agree to release the information
through the confidential intermediary, the court may order the release of the
information after considering information as to the person’s refusal to release the
information. If information is released to the confidential intermediary, the information shall be filed with the court in a manner that protects the identity and location of the person releasing the information and the confidentiality of the information obtained. The court is then required to review the information and may order its release to the petitioner to the extent that the court considers just based upon a medical emergency or good cause shown. If an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury exists, the court may conduct the above proceedings without written pleadings. Any confidential intermediary discharging responsibilities in good faith as outlined above is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might result. (IC 31-19-24-12)
All hearings held in these proceedings shall be held in closed court without
admittance of any person other than:
(1) essential court officers;
(2) the parties to the hearing;
(5) persons who have not previously consented to the adoption but who are
required to consent; and
(6) representatives of the agencies present to perform their official duties
Notice to registrar and opportunity to respond; appointment of guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate
31-19-24-2 Sec. 2.
Upon the filing of a petition under section 1 of this chapter, the court shall:
(1) establish that the state registrar:
(A) has been served with notice of the petitioner's request for disclosure of information; and
(B) has been afforded the opportunity to respond to the petitioner's request for disclosure of information; and
(2) appoint a confidential intermediary after consultation with the state registrar or the state registrar's designee if the:
(A) requirements of subdivision
(1) are complied with; and
(B) petitioner has shown:
(i) an emergency medical need; or
(ii) good cause relating to the welfare of the adoptee or the birth parent.A confidential intermediary appointed under subdivision
(2) may be any person who the court reasonably believes is competent to carry out the responsibilities described in section 3 of this chapter and meets the qualifications under section 14 of this chapter.As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.11. Amended by P.L.
This is what Coleman says that they can do for us. I find it interesting.
The law in no way restricts contacting the natural father in this. The natural father can register on the Adoption History Registry. It is my understanding that since Coleman is a private agency, they can contact who they want and when they want. They are not under the same direction to use the law as a public sector adoption agency would be.
Adoption history Registry
The Indiana State Department of Health has established an adoption history registry for adult adoptees and birth parents. This registry is considered a mutual consent registry, meaning that if both parties agree to exchange identifying information, the exchange will be made.
The way it works is an adoptee or birthmother files a form (known as the blue form) with the registry agreeing to the release of their information. When the state receives the form they process the information to see if the other party in the adoption has also registered. If so, a “match” is made and it is determined that both parties have agreed to the exchange. They will send the adoptee the name, address and phone number of the birth mother. The state will send the birthmother the name, address and phone number of the adoptee. It is up to the two parties to make contact with each other.
The adoption history registry is a free service. Adoptees must be at least 21 years old to receive identifying information. Birth fathers are not allowed to use the registry unless they were legally married to the birth mother when the child was born, or they legally established paternity for the child. This registry is just for adoptions that took place in Indiana.
We partner with the State of Indiana for this process. Forms can be found at http://www.in.gov/isdh/bdcertifs/adoption.htm.
If both parties have not registered to exchange information, the adoptee or the birth parent can contact their adoption agency to request a search for the other party. Most agencies charge a fee for their searches.
They do charge $325.00 to search for natural mothers. It is my understanding that they now charge natural mothers $200.00 to search for their children lost to adoption. Next important information on their CI, Katrina Carlisle.