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Closed Adoption Records

Michigan's adoption law requires that adoption agencies, Department of Human Services, and the probate courts maintain and release information from adoption records in their possession. In general, information from closed adoption records can be released to the:

  • Adult adopted person
  • Adoptive parents of a minor child
  • Biological/former parent
  • Adult biological/former sibling

The type of information that can be released to the above referenced individuals varies. All individuals are entitled to receive nonidentifying information. It is the adult adopted person who may obtain identifying information, which would be dependent on certain circumstances. The following chart shows the variables relating to the release of information to the adult adopted person:

If Parental Rights Were Terminated

Prior to May 28, 1945
  • If no denial statement is found in CAR, identifying information may be shared with the adult adopted person.
  • If no denial statement is found in CAR, the adult adopted person would be provided a copy of the CAR clearance form, FIA 1921. (The adopted person presents this form to DCH for a copy of their original birth certificate.)
After May 28, 1945 but Before Sept. 12, 1980
  • Birth parent must have on file a statement of consent with CAR before identifying information about that birth parent can be shared.
  • If birth parent is deceased, proof of death must be provided before identifying information on that birth parent is shared.
  • Lack of a birth parent statement filed in CAR serves as a denial.
  • Confidential Intermediary program is available through the court that finalized the adoption.
  • Original birth certificate could only be obtained through a court order.
Sept. 12, 1980 or after
  • If no denial statement is found in CAR, identifying information may be shared with the adult adopted person.
  • If no denial statement is found in CAR, the adult adopted person would be provided with a copy of the CAR clearance form, FIA 1921. (The adopted person presents this form to DCH for a copy of their original birth certificate.)
CAR: Central Adoption Registry
DCH: Department of Community Health, 201 Townsend Street, Capitol View Building, 3rd Floor, Lansing, MI 48909

Our Adoption FAQ's answers questions about obtaining closed adoption record information.





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