Adoption records are sealed at the time of the adoption and are not public. You need a court order to open them.

To get a court order, contact the Adoptions Clerk at the Surrogate Court or Family Court in the borough where you think the adoption took place. If you were adopted in New York City but don't know in which court, check both. 

Adoption Information Registry

The New York State Department of Health has an Adoption Information Registry. The State's Registry does not release adoption records, but it can provide general information about birth parents and the name of the agency that arranged the adoption. If all parties register, the State Registry can help parents, children, and siblings reunite. 

Online

Learn more about the Adoption Information Registry.

By Phone

  • Agency: New York State Department of Health
  • Division: Adoption Information Registry
  • Phone Number: (518) 474-9600
  • Business Hours: Mon - Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM