Steps to Getting a Copy of Your Original Birth Certificate

Author: PeopleFinders on May 21st, 2020
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Adoption is actually a common experience in the United States. About 1.5 million children in the United States are adopted, and seven million Americans as a whole are adopted. However, although almost 70% of adoptions nowadays are open adoptions, the stigma surrounding adoption over the years means that many of those were closed adoptions. In a closed adoption, your birth certificate is changed to show your adopted parents’ names, rather than those of your birth parents, and the original copy is sealed. If you were adopted, and you eventually want to find your birth parents, for whatever reason, this may present a substantial barrier. Here are the steps you’ll need to take get your original birth certificate.

Find the adoption laws in your state

Adoption laws regarding access to an original birth certificate are not mandated federally; rather, every state has its own set of laws governing when and how you can get a copy of your original birth certificate. State laws range from unrestricted access, where every adult adoptee is allowed to receive a copy of his or her original birth certificate, to completely sealed, where access is not granted except through a court order. Depending on the state, you will have to go through a different process. As adoption rights groups continue to introduce more laws to allow adoptees access to their original birth records, even states that have their records sealed may start to relax the laws, until all adult adoptees are allowed to get these documents. However, for now, you’ll have to do your own research.

File a request for your birth certificate; if necessary, meet with a judge

In order to file one of these requests, you’ll have to go through the county clerk. Call and ask for information on obtaining your birth certificate; the clerk will be able to tell you what forms you need to file, and may even be able to give you some answers to any questions you have about the process. In a state with unrestricted access, you can get your original birth certificate simply by filing a request and waiting for it to be processed. However, in states where the records are sealed, you need a court order to receive it, so you’ll have to meet with a judge to explain why you need the birth certificate. These requests are only granted in emergencies, such as requiring important medical information about your birth parents, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get access for personal reasons.

If you do have an emergency and receive access, or you live in a place where you can get the information as soon as the request is processed, you’ll get your original birth certificate with the information that was initially filed. This usually includes information such as your birth parents’ names and the hospital at which you were born.

Use this information to contact your parents

Just getting the original birth certificate will only give you the names of your birth parents, not an immediate way to contact them. You’ll need to do your own research for that, and an online people search is the perfect way to find that information effectively. With PeopleFinders, you can get contact information for almost anyone, and that includes your birth parents, now that you have their names. You can look through the public records to find them, and use the people search to get detailed contact information, often including a phone number and email address. Whether it’s just because you want to meet them for personal reasons or you need important medical information, you can contact them and tell them you want to set up a meeting.


Being adopted is a complicated and tumultuous process, obviously. Many adoptees are adopted as a baby; thus they never knew their birth parents. Getting a copy of your original birth certificate is generally the best way to get in contact with them, so you can ask questions on which you’ve always wanted clarity. As adoption rights agencies continue to lobby for more unrestricted access to original birth certificates, it’s becoming easier and easier to get access to the names of your birth parents. Once you have that information, it’s easy to use PeopleFinders to get in contact with them. Don’t just wonder about your birth parents anymore; get a copy of your original birth certificate and actually find them.

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