Feigenholtz law alleviates barriers to accessing records for adopted adults

SPRINGFIELD – Under a new law championed by State Senator Sara Feigenholtz, more adoptees will be able to obtain post-adoption information related to their birth and placement.

“This legislation addresses the barriers adoptees face when seeking information about their histories – especially those whose adoption agency has closed,” said Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “With this fix, more people will be able to learn critical medical and biographical information about their lives.”

Feigenholtz’s legislation adds new language to the Adoption Act to clarify that a confidential intermediary, on behalf of an adoptee or their family, can request access to non-identifying records from closed child welfare agencies that are housed in Central State Storage. Currently, in cases where the adoption agency that oversaw placement has closed or merged with another agency, records are housed in state repository, leading to barriers for adoptees seeking historical and medical information about themselves.

As an adopted adult herself, Senator Feigenholtz has worked to assure that the practice of adoption in Illinois strives to be the gold standard for adoptive parents, biological parents and adoptees. Feigenholtz has been the voice of adopted adults who desire information about their beginnings and health care information. She passed the original birth certificate access law that provided adult adopted persons access to their original birth certificates.

Senate Bill 2134 was signed by the governor on Friday.