Step 3: Get Your Official Info

Official documents can contain important clues to aid you in your search, including background and medical information. Take heed, though, because information in these documents is often missing and can be inaccurate. It can take a long time to receive them so get request in as quickly as you can.

Types of official information you should try to obtain include your:

What information you have access to and where to obtain it will vary by state, but the following resources can help

Additionally, join the Google Group to find out about off-line sources, open counties, and friendly judges who can facilitate access to documents. These might provide a short cut or a key piece of information in your search.

When requesting your non-ID, OBC, or even your adoption record, be sure to also submit a Contact Consent or similar form or statement. This will let anyone looking for you know that it is okay to contact you.

Non-Identifying Information (No-ID): Non-ID is family background information which is made available but does not include identifying information, such as names, addresses, birth dates and telephone numbers.  Examples of information that may be provided in non-ID are ages, occupation, education, and physical description of birth parent(s), and number and ages of siblings. Health information may also be included. The information authorized for release varies by state and agency. How much or little information that is in the record also impacts what is released. The accuracy of the information can vary widely.

Adoption Record: Very few states open or release the adoption record.