Sealed TX Adoption Records Don’t Always Prevent Access to Vital Info

July 26, 2017 Posted in Adoption

In accordance with Texas Family Code, Texas adoption and termination records are sealed. However, adoptees and both biological and adoptive family members may have good reason to view the information, such as for medical backgrounds, potential organ donor information or the need of certain parties affected by the adoption to connect.

Texas law makes connection relatively easy when all parties are interested. Additionally, it is not impossible to obtain vital information in times of need. Dallas adoption attorneys can provide information and assistance in these situations.

Adoption Registries Can Make Mutual-Consent Connection Possible

At some point after adoption, any number of parties may develop an interest in getting in touch with each other. This is why Texas Family Code provides a voluntary Adoption Registry, which essentially allows certain people connected with an adoption to make contact on a mutual-consent basis. The following individuals can send their information to a centralized Registry through a variety of agencies as long as they are age 18 or older:

  • Adoptees
  • Birth parents
  • Alleged fathers who acknowledge paternity after the fact
  • Biological siblings, age 18 or older

These connections can make a major psychological and emotional difference to individuals who want to know more about themselves and their origins. In fact, they can turn out to be life-saving for people who are in need of compatible organ transplants.

These parties must make all information requests directly, rather than through a representative, and many rules can apply, including vetting requirements before accepting applications. As long as both parties are registered, the information will be provided by mutual consent.

Cases of Emergency Can Require Involvement by Multiple Agencies

Even when the individuals connected with an adoption want to remain anonymous, adoptees may benefit from learning more about their medical history, such as medical conditions that they may have inherited. In Texas, this information can often be provided without identifying parties that want to remain anonymous.

Still, adoptions often involve individuals across state lines or even U.S. borders, which are governed by laws outside of Texas. While it is still possible to obtain vital information, the process can become very complex due to the multiple laws and parties involved. Assistance from a knowledgeable Texas adoption attorney can help individuals unravel the red tape and potentially gain access to the information that they require.

These issues can take time. We recommend that families in need of this type of information contact us as soon as possible to learn all available options.