Monday, March 07, 2016 07:00 AM


A new Indiana law is giving adoptees from the “closed records era” access to their birth records and many Hoosiers are calling it a huge relief. Senate Bill 91 passed on March 4, 2016.

Hoosiers adopted between 1941 and 1993 have had a hard time getting hold of their original birth certificate and adoption files. Accessing the files can often be a timely and expensive process and most of the time, adoptees are denied any information. People adopted after 1993 can learn about their biological parents and where and when they were born with relative ease.

The law states that starting in July 2018, the playing field will be equalized. Advocates for closed records say biological parents should have their own right to privacy. Open records advocates argue that adoptees need important birth information such as their medical histories.

Pamela Patterson, a Fort Wayne resident who was born in Columbia City, was only able to find out who her birth parents were through personal searching. Courts and hospitals denied her access to her original birth records.

Patterson believes the birth date on her adoption records may be incorrect. Her birth mother, who she said lived a life of self-destruction, doesn’t have her original birth certificate or know the ...

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See also: Trauger