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Could an adopted child access adoption records?

Iowa collects birth records, adoption agreements and other related information thoroughly, making it possible for adoptees to search for their birth siblings or parents in some cases. It could benefit you to know what to do if you were to receive a request from your child to help find biological family members — a common inquiry once a child understands the details of your family situation. 

There are some formal techniques you might try before engaging in — or if you become frustrated with — your own independent investigations. Your adult adopted child might also decide to pursue some of these independently. 

If you are reticent to share or discover your child's history, you could let him or her know that the system could allow for discovery later in life — if and when it becomes necessary. According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, Chapter 600 of the state code gives adult adoptees the power to access medical history records of their biological parents, if such records exist. This information is often essential in determining risk factors for certain diseases or conditions.

Adopted individuals and their blood relatives may also enter information into a voluntary registry. If your child's information matched that of another volunteer, the DHS could then reconnect the biological family. 

You might not want to rush into these types of legal steps. It is fully possible that your child does not understand the exact nature of the responsibilities he or she could acquire following a discovery. Your child's maturity is one factor in the ability to handle the truth, but, even so, there is usually no way to determine what might happen when you begin looking into adoption records. Therefore, each case should be taken individually — please do not consider this as legal advice. It is meant simply to inform.

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