Adoptee Seeking Original Birth Information
Obtaining Pre-Adoption and Other Birth Certificates from Alabama Sealed Files
Alabama law directs the State Registrar to establish a new birth certificate after an adoption, legitimation or paternity determination takes place. The new birth certificate is substituted for the original birth certificate in the files, and the original birth certificate and evidence of adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination are placed in a "sealed file." (Section 22-9A-12). In 2000, the legislature amended the vital records law to allow an adult whose original birth certificate was placed in a "sealed file" to obtain a non-certified copy of that record and any other documents in the "sealed file."
Who May Request a Copy?
- The person named on the birth certificate - no other family member.
Personmust be 19 years of age or older. Personmust have been born in Alabama. Personmust have had an original birth certificate removed from the files due to an adoption, legitimation or paternity determination.
What Will the Applicant Receive?
- The applicant will receive a copy of the original birth certificate clearly marked that it is not a certified copy and it may not be used for legal purposes. Note that the information on the birth certificate in the file is shown as it was provided by the birth parent(s) at the time of birth.
- The applicant will receive copies of all other documents in the "sealed file" which often include the legal documents from the court where the adoption or paternity determination took place or other legal documents for a legitimation. These files do not contain medical or other information about the birth parents.
- In the case of persons who were adopted, the revision of the law in 2000 allows birth parents to submit a Contact Preference Form which will be placed in the sealed file upon receipt. If a Contact Preference Form is in the file at the time the original birth record is requested, it will be sent to the applicant.
How Should These Records Be Ordered?
- Applicants must clearly state they are seeking their original birth record prior to adoption, legitimation or paternity determination. Without this information, we will send the current legal record.
- Complete the "Request for a Pre-Adoption or Other Birth Certificate from an Alabama Sealed File" form.
Effective May 1, 2017, identification will be required to obtain a restricted birth certificate. View ID Requirements for more information.
Please note: These records cannot be ordered over the Internet since we must have the applicant's original signature on the request.
Instead of the application form, you may send a letter containing the following information to locate your current legal record:
- Your full name as it appears on your current legal birth certificate
- Date of birth
- County of birth
- Full maiden name of mother as it appears on your current legal birth certificate
- Full name of father as it appears on your current legal birth certificate
- Your mailing address and telephone number where we can reach you during the day
Please be sure to sign and date the request. The request will not be processed unless it is signed by the applicant. Include the non-refundable fee of $25.00 for processing the request. Checks or money orders should be made payable to "Alabama Vital Records."
Mail the application or letter of request to:
Alabama Vital Records - Adoptee Section
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625
For more information, call (334) 206-5426.
Page last updated: August 17, 2017