Legislators

Thank you for visiting this site to learn more about the issue of sealed original birth certificates in the United States.

Please view or download our Comprehensive Lobby Packet for Adoptee Rights Legislation here.


Every person who is born in the United States receives a birth certificate that recorded the historical event of their birth.  Birth certificates have become increasingly used in to verify identity in our country.  When a child is adopted, which could be months or years after their birth, their original birth certificate is sealed and an amended one is issued that lists the adoptive parents as though they are the biological parents.

Although all 50 States have some law on the books allowing adult adoptees to access the original birth certificate, adult adoptees in all but six States encounter systemic barriers in accessing this record.  This discrimination occurs for no other reason than the fact that the individual was legally adopted as a child.  The Adoptee Rights Coalition opposes policies that treat adopted persons differently than all other citizens born within a given State.  We believe that this institutionalized discrimination sends a negative message about being adopted.

We urge legislators to speak with their peers in Kansas and Alaska, two states that have never sealed birth certificates of adopted persons. We also ask legislators to speak with their peers in Oregon, Alabama, New Hampshire and Maine, the four states that have passed legislation that gives adopted adults unconditional access to their birth certificates without any restrictions upon reaching the age of 18. 

Adoptee Rights legislation has no fiscal impact.  It simply acknowledges that adopted persons access their original birth certificate the same way those who are not adopted do.

The Adoptee Rights Coalition officially endorses Maine LD 1084 as model legislation for all other States in the U.S.  LD 1084 gave adopted persons born in Maine equal access to their original birth certificates while allowing original parents to state their boundaries in a non-legally binding Contact Preference Form.

Thank you for your time and attention to this important equal rights issue.