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Adoption Disclosure

What is Adoption Disclosure?

Adoption Disclosure is the official release of information from a sealed adoption file related to the legal adoption of a child. An adult adoptee, adoptive parent, birth parent, and adult birth sibling may request identifying and non-identifying information from the adoption file under the conditions outlined in the Code of Virginia § 63.2-1246 and § 63.2-1247. Learn More

The Virginia Department of Social Services maintains a permanent record of all adoptions finalized in Virginia since July 1, 1942. Virginia is a "closed" or "sealed" adoption state. At the time of finalization, adoption files are sealed by a court order and are not public record. This means that there are restrictions on who can request information relating to an adoption and the type of information that can be released. Submitting an Application for Disclosure is the first step for adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, and adult birth siblings to explore access to information. This process will not grant full access to the adoption file. An Adoption Disclosure Specialist can provide further guidance at the conclusion of an adoption search or request for a file.

Adoption Search


Identifying information is information that will lead to the discovery of a person's identity, which may include names and contact information. A search for the adoptee or birth family must first be completed to obtain their consent to release their current identifying information.

Adoption Records


Non-identifying information includes information from the adoption file that may include legal documents and placement information, but does not identify the birth family. Information provided will have birth family names and trace information removed.

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