Bloomington, Indiana - A new law that went into effect July 1st allows any Indiana resident adopted before January 1, 1993 to request access to their adoption records. Those records were previously sealed. Senate Enrolled Act 91 opens the records unless the biological parent files a contact preference form to restrict access.
Eligible individuals must register with the Adoption Matching Registry. Individuals eligible to register include an adult adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent, and birth sibling. Spouses and relatives of the deceased adoptee or deceased birth parent may register with the appropriate proof of relationship. An individual must be 18 years or older to register. To receive adoption information, the individual seeking information must be at least 21 years old, and complete both forms, identifying and non-identifying. A government issued ID must accompany the forms.
This change was pushed by a woman out of Bloomington, Pam Kroskie. She was also adopted but found her birth mom several years ago. She says she began the fight for other adoptees more than 20 years ago so others could get the opportunity.
"I just thought no adoptee should have to go through this and when I found my mom I thought what can I do," she said.
She believes this will impact thousands of adoptees in Indiana. One of them includes Nick Schneider from Bloomfield. He's 65 years old and has been searching for his birth mom for decades.
"My dream would be to sit down face to face with my mother and say thanks, thanks for life," said Schneider.
He already submitted his paperwork and he expects to get some information back in the next few weeks. Indiana State Department of Health warns it may take 12 to 16 weeks to process requests after receipt due to high volume.
For a link to forms and more information on the Adoption Matching Registry, click here.