A group of Indiana residents who were adopted came together Monday to celebrate a new law that gives them access to their birth records. The law went into effect July 1.
Many Hoosiers placed for adoption before 1994 didn’t have access to their records. Those files were automatically sealed unless the birth parents told the state to make their information available.
That’s changed with the new law, which opens the previously-closed records.
Pam Kroskie is president of the Indiana Adoptee Network. She spent nine years fighting for the legislation after going through her own emotional journey to find her birth mother.
“I thought, I don’t want any adoptee to ever feel like this ever again,” Kroskie says.
Sen. Michael Young (R-Indianapolis) worked with Kroskie on the bill. He says it will give adopted Hoosiers access to vital information, like their family medical histories. Some have waited their entire lives for that information.
“What a horrible feeling [to] know nothing about your history, nothing about your past,” Young says.
Adoptees must fill out a form with the Indiana State Department of Health to access their adoption records. Birth parents can still maintain their privacy by filling out a nondisclosure form with the ISDH.
The state says it could take up to 16 weeks to process the requests.