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Adoption Search

Recent changes in Kentucky’s law now make access to some information easier. Under Kentucky’s current law the Department for Community Based Services is able to conduct birth parent searches and provide certain background information to adult adoptee's, birth relatives and other professionals in the field of adoption.

In Accordance with Kentucky Revised Statute 199.570, adoption records are confidential. Upon the entry of the final order in the case (this is after the child has been adopted), the clerk shall place all papers and records in the case in a suitable envelope which shall be sealed and shall not be opened for inspection by any person except on written order from the Court.  In accordance with Kentucky Revised Statute 199.572 (2), the adult adopted person applies in person or in writing to the Circuit Court for authorization to inspect all papers and records pertaining to the adoption proceedings of the adult adopted person.

Non-identifying information is available upon written request from the requestor. Identifying information is available only if the adult adoptee (over 21 years old), birth parents and birth siblings each consent. All requests for information from adoption records must be submitted to the agency that placed the adoptee or to the circuit court that finalized the adoption.

To request identifying information from an adoption file:

  • The adult adopted person needs to obtain a Court Order by filling the AOC 290 ( Petition to Inspect Adoption Records) with the Kentucky Circuit or Family Court in the county where the adoption was finalized. Click Here for AOC 290 form.
  • The Court will either grant the petition or order the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to conduct a biological parent search.
  • If the Cabinet is ordered to do the biological parent search the Cabinet has six (6) months from the date of the court order to conduct the biological parent search.
  • If located, the biological parent (s) has two (2) months to provide the Cabinet with written consent or denial of consent for release of identifying information.
  • The search results are submitted to the courts by affidavit. The AOC 290.2 (Order Granting or Denying Request to Inspect Adoption Records) is sent from the Court to the Cabinet and the adult adopted person instructing if records can be released. 

The adult adoptee may file the AOC 209, Petition to Inspect Adoption Records, with the Circuit Court in Kentucky that finalized your adoption.

To request nonidentifying information from an adoption file the adoptee must make the request in writing and singed by the adult adoptee and must include the following in the letter:

  • The adoptee's full name and date of birth.
  • The adoptive parents full names.
  • The Kentucky county in which the adoption was finalized.
  • The adoptee's biological parents names (if known).
  • The adoptee's social security number.
  • The adoptee's current name, address, and telephone number.
  • A photo copy of a valid, government issued photo identification card.

For more information, contact the following:

Toll Free Numbers: 

Frankfort Office:
(502) 564-2147

Cabinet for Health and Family Services
DCBS/Adoption Branch
275 E. Main Street, 3 C-E
Frankfort, KY  40621

Other Resources

National Adoption Information Clearinghouse
11426 Rockville Pike, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (301) 231-6512


Last Updated 3/19/2009