Finding birth parents a long process for adoptees
Many questions about the past are often brought up by adopted people. They have a thirst to know where they come from and who their birth parents are.
But it is not an easy nor fast process. It often times takes months and sometimes years to get access to any information available from the state.
T he first stop for any adoptee over the age of 18 is Probate Court, in the county you were born in. There you will be asked to fill out a request to see your file in the statewide adoption registry.
" You submit those forms to the state and then they release what forms they can to you," Shelia Davis, Heaven Sent Adoption Services Director said.
A t the time of birth , parents either says yes or no to allow the state to reveal information to the adoptee once they turn 18.
" 99.9% of the time there is no consen t," Diana Harrold, Emmet County Adoption Worker said.
E ven if it is denied , you will be granted non-identifying information.
" You will at least get something that you can start with and if both parties have submitted then you get a wealth of information ," Davis said.
A doptees of different ages may experience different challenges throughout this part of the process.
A doption laws from the year 1945 to 1980 were completely different than the ones we know today. F iles from that time period are sealed off to the public , but for anyone born after 1980 the laws have changed.
" If they're not in that window where the records are still sealed then they can access information pretty easily ," Harrold said.
T o assi s t adoptees born during that difficult time frame , the state developed a confidential intermediary program , w hich for many is the last possible step .
T he court appoints a person to unseal their adoption record and reach out to the birth parents. A t that point , the parent will either agree to reveal the facts or they will simply say no.
" There are some birth parents that want to remain anonymous and do not want that part of their life revealed again ," Davis said.