Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

13.30.2 Request for Inspection of Adoption Records for Identifying Information and Contact with the Birth Family

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 13-Adoption Services
Effective:
12/3/2010
Section:
13.30.2 Request for Inspection of Adoption Records for Identifying Information and Contact with the Birth Family
Version:
1

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Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The adoption must have been finalized in Kentucky in order for the Cabinet to provide search services.

Procedure

The central office Adoption Services Branch adoption specialist: 

  1. Instructs an adopted person who is twenty-one (21) years old or older and attempting to obtain information from closed adoption records, to file an AOC-290 Petition to Inspect Adoption Records form, with the court that finalized the adoption; 1 
  2. Notifies each biological parent identified on the original birth certificate that the adult adopted person has requested to inspect the adoption record, upon direction from the Circuit or Family court; 2 
  3. Requests a fee in the amount of one-hundred, fifty dollars ($150) for conducting a biological parent search; 3 
  4. Requests and reviews archived adoption records and original birth certificates for identifying information, or any previously filed biological parent consent forms;
  5. Summarizes and sends identifying information to the FSOS in the county where the biological parents were last known to be located;
  6. Reviews the search results, attachments and record for accuracy;
  7. Submits an affidavit of notification summarizing the search results to the court, which issued the order to search;
  8. Instructs the adult adopted person to contact the Adoption Services Branch in central office to make an appointment to inspect the adoption records, if so granted by the court; 
  9. May send copies of the record to the adult adopted person, if so ordered by the court.

The FSOS: 

  1. Initiates the search (completed within six (6) months of the court order; and documented for the court) by assigning appropriate staff to actively search for the biological parents without revealing the identity of the adult adopted person.

The SSW:

  1. Utilizes all available resources to conduct the biological parent search including, but not limited to the following:
    1. Cabinet databases and systems (e.g. mainframe, TWIST, KASES, etc.);
    2. Internet databases or directories not charging fees;
    3. Library records, newspapers, obituary records, school yearbooks, city directories, county clerk records (property transfer, voter registration, driver's license) or neighborhood contacts (Refer to Biological Parent Search Results);
  2. Notifies the biological parent, if found, by personal and confidential contact, (not by mail) and obtains a written consent or denial of consent using the DPP-192 Biological Parent Consent Form;
  3. Provides the biological parent with the following information when notifying the biological parent of the adult adopted person’s petition to inspect the adoption record:
    1. The nature of the information requested by the adult adopted person;
    2. The date of the request of the adult adopted person;
    3. The right of the biological parent to file with the court or the Cabinet consent or denial of consent statement at any time;
  4. Submits a detailed report of search results with any relevant attachments and forms to the Adoption Services Branch in central office.

Practice Guidance

  • When the biological parents place the child for adoption, they are asked to complete and sign a DPP-192-Biological Parent Consent Form. This form provides consent to inspection of the adoption record, to personal contact by the child, or to both after the adopted person reaches twenty-one (21) years of age and requests information. The biological parent may modify their consent at any time.
  • No identifying information, including the individual’s original birth certificate, may be released to any requesting party without an order from the court which finalized the adoption.
  • When written consent is on file, court and Cabinet records are available for inspection or copying by the adult adopted person upon order of the court that granted the adoption. However, the court may request the Cabinet to confirm that any filed consent or denial of consent is still valid by ordering the Cabinet to conduct a biological parent search.
  • In the event there is no past or current consent or denial of consent on file in the court record, the court will order the Cabinet to conduct a search. The Cabinet searches for the biological parents listed on the original birth certificate in an attempt to obtain their consent for the adult adopted person’s inspection of records. The court order is mandatory in order to proceed.
  • After an affidavit of notification is submitted to the court, the court then issues a form AOC 290.2, which is the court order granting or denying the adult adopted person access to the adoption record.
  • The court mails a copy of the AOC 290.2 to the adult adopted person and to the Cabinet.
  • When the Cabinet is unable to locate the biological parents, or certifies they are deceased, the Circuit or Family court judge may order that the adult adopted person may be provided with identifying information about their biological parents.
  • The Circuit or Family court judge may also order that the adult adopted person be provided with a copy of their original birth certificate. In this instance, the adult adopted person must provide a copy of the court order to vital statistics and comply with their procedures.
 

Footnotes

  1. If the adult adopted person does not know which court finalized the adoption, he or she may contact the central office Adoption Services Branch adoption specialist for assistance.
  2. Within seven (7) working days of receipt of the request, the Circuit or Family court which granted the adoption directs the Cabinet to take this action.
  3. The fee can be waived only upon approval of the court. Checks are made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer and forwarded to the central office Adoption Services Branch after the adult adopted person has received the acknowledgment letter from the Cabinet that the court order to search has been received.

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