How to Get Birth Certificate in Wisconsin if You Were Adopted
Wisconsin OBC Access Status: Sealed, but with OBC at age 18 IF permission if granted.
Access to Original Birth Certificate in Wisconsin
Per Wisconsin Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.433- The original birth certificate is available upon request to the adopted person who is age 18 or older if the birth parents have filed affidavits authorizing disclosure.
Also, at age 18 an adoptee may request a search for birth parent(s) identity and location and a copy of his or her impounded birth certificate.
Identity and location of birth parent(s) will not be disclosed unless an affidavit of consent has been signed by birth parent(s). If a court has legally determined paternity, or the father’s name appears on the impounded birth certificate, affidavits usually will be needed from both birth parents.
If the birth parent(s) files the necessary affidavits of consent, identity and location of the birth parent(s) and the impounded birth certificate will be released upon request.
If affidavits of consent are not on file, a search for the birth parent(s) will be conducted. If located, the birth parent(s) has the option of signing an affidavit of consent to release identifying information.
Adoptee Equal Rights Task Force Wisconsin is a state group working towards support for Equal Access on the ground in Wisconsin.
Who May Access Adoption Information in Wisconsin
Per Wisconsin Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 48.432; 48.433 – Non-identifying information may be provided to:
The adopted person who is age 18 years or older
The adoptive parent
The guardian or legal custodian of an adopted person
The offspring of an adopted person if the requester is age 18 years or older
An agency or social worker assigned to provide services to the adopted person or place the child for adoption
Identifying information may be accessed by the adopted person who is age 21 or older.
Accessing Medical Information for an Adoptee in Wisconsin
When an adoptee is 18 years old, he/she can request medical and genetic information about his/her birth relatives and non-identifying social history information.
Upon written notification from a licensed medical provider, the Department of Children and Families or another licensed adoption agency must make every effort to notify an adoptee, 18 years or older, if a birth parent(s) or sibling has developed a genetically transferable disease or condition.
Birth parents are required to provide medical/genetic information to the court at the time parental rights are terminated. Updated medical/genetic information may be filed with the Department of Children and Families at any time thereafter. Upon written notification from a licensed medical provider that an adoptee has developed a genetically transferable disease or condition, an effort will be made to notify birth parents.
There is no statutory provision for birth parents to request searches for their birth children by the search program, except to provide medical or genetic information. A birth parent may request the Adoption Search Program to search for their birth child to provide important medical/genetic information. A written statement from a licensed medical provider must accompany each request.
Per Wisconsin Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 48.432; 48.433 – Whenever any person listed above wishes to obtain medical and genetic information about a birth parent who consented to his or her child’s adoption before 2-1-1982, and the information is not on file with the department or agency, the person may request that the department or agency conduct a search for the birth parents to obtain the information. The request shall be accompanied by a statement from a physician certifying either that the individual has or may have acquired a genetically-transferable disease or that the individual’s medical condition requires access to the information.
If a birth parent is located but refuses to provide the information requested, the department or agency shall notify the requester, without disclosing the birth parents identity or location, and the requester may petition the circuit court to order the birth parent to disclose the information. If the department or another agency that maintains records relating to the adoption receives a report from a physician stating that a birth parent or another offspring of the birth parent has acquired or may have a genetically transferable disease, the department or agency shall notify the adopted person of the existence of the disease, if he or she is age 18 years or older, or notify the adopted person’s guardian or adoptive parent if he or she is under age 18. If the department or agency may not disclose the identifying information requested per § 48.433, it shall provide the requester with any nonidentifying social history information about either of the birth parents that it has on file.
Mutual Access to Identifying Adoption Information in Wisconsin
Per Wisconsin Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.433 – The birth parent may file an affidavit authorizing the release of any available information about the birth parent’s identity and location. An affidavit may be revoked at any time by notifying the department or agency in writing.
An adopted person who is age 18 or older may request any available information regarding the identity and location of his or her birth parents. The requested information may be disclosed if the department or agency has on file unrevoked affidavits from both birth parents or, if one of the birth parents was unknown and the known birth parent has filed an unrevoked affidavit.
If the department or agency does not have on file an affidavit from each known birth parent, it shall, within 3 months after the date of the original request, search for each birth parent who has not filed an affidavit. If the birth parent is contacted and files an affidavit, the department shall disclose the requested information. If the birth parent does not file the affidavit, the department may not disclose the information. If, after a search, a known birth parent cannot be located, the department may disclose the requested information if the other birth parent has filed an unrevoked affidavit.
If a birth parent is known to be dead and has not filed an unrevoked affidavit, the department shall so inform the requester. The department may not release the identity of that parent, but shall release any available information regarding the identity and location of the other birth parent if the other birth parent has filed an unrevoked affidavit and 1 year has elapsed since the death of the deceased birth parent. The requester may petition the court to order the release of any information that may not be disclosed under this section.
Wisconsin’s Adoption Records Search Program
When inquiring about the Adoption Records Search Program please indicate whether you are a birth parent, adult adoptee, or an adoptive parent.