I was adopted at birth. I tried to get medical info from the state I was born (Illinois in 1968) the state says they have no record of the adoption. I have reason to believe that my birth mother was from New York state. Is it possible that even though I was born in Illinois that the actual adoption went through New York. My adoptive parents and brother and sister all were from New York. My brother and sister were also adopted, both in New York. I just can't figure out why Illinois has no records of my adoption. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

If you were born in Illinois, there should be a record of the adoption in Illinois. But perhaps not everyone remembers everything correctly. Perhaps you were born in New York, or you were born in Illinois, but your birthmother took you to New York before placement. A copy of your original birth certificate would tell you where you were born, and the names of your birthparents. But your amended birth certificate should also have your correct place of birth. But if you were born and Illinois and taken to another state right after birth, and placed for adoption and then the adoption was finalized in this second state (perhaps New York) then only this second state would have a record of the adoption.

In any case, check with New York to see if they have a record of your adoption. Finally, given when you were born, it is also possible that you were placed in an "unofficial" or "illegal" adoption, and no paperwork from the adoption exists.

Hopefully this is not the case, but if you do not have a copy of your original birth certificate or the names of your birthparents here are the steps we recommend to help you find your birthparents:

1. Talk to your adoptive parents. See if they will give you any information they may have. Sometimes they have the original birth certificate or even know your birthparents. I do realize that many adoptees don't search until their adoptive parents have died, or are afraid that their adoptive parents will be upset by the search. This may be true, so you will have to judge for yourself, if you can approach your adoptive parents for information.

2. Contact the adoption agency or attorney that arranged your adoption. They can definitely give you non-identifying information. In addition, your birthparents may have contacted them as well asking them to release their information if you asked. You should also leave a letter with the agency or attorney stating that if you birthparents contact them to please give them your contact information.

3. If your state has an adoption reunion registry, sign up. If you birthparents also are registered or register, they will notify you.

4. If you are really lucky you were placed for adoption in a state with open adoption records. If this is the case, and your are 18 years or older, you can just ask the state for a copy of your original birth certificate. Unfortunately, some states have limited open adoption record laws (like you had be be born before a certain date). Here is a link describing the laws on open records: http://www.omnitrace.com/states-open-adoption-records/

You will notice that California is not listed as having open adoption records. This is because records are open on a County by County basis in California and not on a statewide basis. At this point 23 of the 58 California counties have open records. If you were born in one of the 23 open records counties you just need to go to the County Courthouse and
request your original birth certificate. If you are under 18, your adoptive parent(s) can make the request, if they are willing. Here is a link to other information that the State of California publishes about searching for birthparents or adopted children: http://www.childsworld.ca.gov/PG1314.htm

5. If you know the name(s) of your birthparents and their approximate age, it is usually pretty easy to find them using an online search. This may cost a small amount of money, but you can probably find them.

6. If you do not know their name(s), but you do know what state and county you were born in, the date of your birth, the time of your birth, and the hospital, it is pretty easy to go to the County Courthouse and look at all the birth certificates for that date and figure out which one belongs to you. Your birthmothers name will be listed and perhaps your birthfather as well.

Finally, here is a link to information published by the Dept. of Health and Human Services about searching for birthparents: