Indiana may open long-shuttered adoption records

A bill that would open state adoption records is advancing in the Indiana legislature, as supporters say it would help potentially thousands of people access medical records and find their birth parents.

The Indiana state Senate approved the bill, which would open up records for residents adopted between 1941 and 1993, late last month. It passed on a 46-3 vote, and is expected to come for a vote in the state House of Representatives sometime this spring.

If it passes, Indiana would join a growing list of states opening adoption records, including New Jersey. The idea behind the change is to make it easier for adopted adults to receive their original birth certificate and track down other information.

As the law stands now, records for residents adopted between 1942 and the end of 1993 are closed -- making it difficult for them to get their original birth certificates and other medical information, including information about their birth parents. According to the Daily Herald, they would have to go through expensive intermediaries to receive these documents.

After Dec. 31, 1993, mothers who put their children up for adoption could file a non-release form with the state registrar -- if not, the records would be open.

The new bill is meant to address the gap between 1942 and 1993.