There are two locations where adoption records are held, the adoption placing agency, and the county of finalization.
  • COUNTY OF FINALIZATION: Is always the county where the adoptive parents resided in approx. a year after the child was placed in their home.
  • ADOPTEE'S: (Getting Started) Request Non-Identifying information and sign a consent form, to be checked in Michigan Central Registry, for any consent forms from the birth family. Call your agency or court for the following forms: DSS-1925 'Request by Adult Adoptee For Identifying Information' (Identifying information will be released only if there is a consent filed, with the Michigan Central Registry, by a former birth family member)
  • DSS-1920 'Release of Information Authorization Adult Adoptee'

The agency/court must file the release form with the Michigan Central Registry for the adoptee, as they must fill in the identifying information on the form. The adoption agency/court can charge up to $60 for this information. Be sure to ask about fee's on your first contact with the agency/court. They have 63 days to provide you with the non-identifying or identifying information once the request has been made.

Non-identifying information can provide enough information to help you do a search for your birth family on your own, with the assistance of a experienced searcher. Agencies tend to provide better non-identifying information, although there are some courts that provide very good non-identifying information for less money. There are many search and support groups throughout Michigan to give advice in search and reunion.


A form must be filed with Michigan Central Adoption Registry. Forms can be obtained by contacting any MI search and support group, or Michigan Department of Social Services Central Adoption Registry PO Box 30037 Lansing, MI 48909 DSS-1919 Parent's Consent/Denial To Release Information To Adult Adoptee DSS-1917 Adult Former Sibling Statement To Release Information To Adult Adoptee Former family members must send the signed consent forms directly to the Michigan Central Registry. Former family members must request non-identifying information, in writing, to the adoption placing agency. The county of finalization, is not always the county that the birth mother released her child in. The placing agency must tell the county of finalization within 28 days of request. Non-identifying information on the adoptive family and adoptee, or usually rather sketchy, but will cover the child's progress during the home visits by the case worker.

Once you receive the non-identifying information, then a search for the birth mother's, or adoptee's name can begin. Again, a search and support group can be very instrumental in guiding you in locating a name through public record, with the use of the information you have receieved.

Note: Birth Records are not public information in the State of Michigan. Original Birth Certificates are sealed when an amended certificate is filed with the State. Birthmothers may want to try on a county level first, for the original birth certificate. Most adoptee's do not know their birth name, or their birth mothers name, no request can be made without that information.

If you have tried everything, and just can't find, then it may be time to consider the Confidential Intermediary Services.