Gov. Pence signs bill giving adopted Hoosiers full access to birth records

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 4, 2016)– Governor Mike Pence signed a bill Friday giving Hoosiers adopted before 1994 full access to their birth records, which were previously sealed.

The records will open starting July 1, 2018, unless the birth parent files a contact preference form with the Indiana State Department of Health.

“SEA 91 expands opportunities for adopted Hoosiers seeking more information on their health and heritage even while ensuring that birthparents who choose to maintain their privacy are protected, and I am pleased to sign it into law,” said Governor Pence. “I want Indiana to be known as the most pro-adoption state in America and SEA 91 will give greater clarity and compassion to our adoption laws.”

The more than 50-year window is known as the “closed records” period, which bans access to these adoptees, who are now all adults, who want access to their birth records, history and other personal documents.

Access to these documents range from medical records and history, to documents needed to get a passport.

Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records (HEAR), a non-profit formed to push for adult adoptee access legislation in Indiana, issued the following statement:

“Today marks a tremendous victory for hundreds of thousands of people adopted in Indiana. We are deeply grateful to the Indiana General Assembly for passing this legislation, and thank Governor Pence for his partnership on this critical issue.”