The “Sealed Records” and the Adopted Person’s Search for Information

Northstar Consulting affiliates are exceptionally knowledgeable about the impact on adopted people of lacking access to information about their birth relatives and to their family medical histories, including the need for updated information. In addition to most states’ denying adopted people their own original birth certificates, agencies report being overwhelmed by adopted adults’ requests for information from their adoption records. Some are charging high fees for this “service,” or they lack the qualified staff to process these requests or to provide the professional counseling that, for many, is critical. Unfortunately, many agencies are responding perfunctorily as though it were a data-processing exercise, unconscionably providing no human service, eventually mailing a “non-identifying” summary from the record. The adopted person is left alone to absorb and process what they learn, often within a mounting sense of confusion, urgency and, for many, depression and/or acute anxiety.

Northstar believes it is a human right of the adopted adult to be provided direct, personal service by qualified mental health professionals at an affordable fee. If agencies cannot provide this, we believe that referral to Northstar Consulting will have the greatest potential for providing adopted people with substantive service that is relevant to their needs.