How to Obtain Identity of Biological Parents

by Chad from Washington, Georgia

I'm trying to find my biological mother and or any relatives, I was adopted in Marion County, Florida in 1971.

I have received all of the non identifying information from the court but I'm requesting identifying information.

I have used a private organization to assist with my search. However, once they contacted the law firm that handled my adoption they were advised that they would not release any information to the search agency because my adoptive parents are no longer living to sign.

They advised that we petition the court to obtain a decision from the Judge as to whether the file will be opened and the information released to me. The only petition forms available are for non identifying information, I already have this information. Please advise on how to obtain this information and/or the correct forms to submit to the Marion County Judge.

Answer to Florida Adoption Question

Dear Chad,

I found some information on the site for the U.S. Department of Human Services - Access to Adoption Records: Summary of State Laws.

You are correct, that petition form you've found online only requests non-identifying information.

However, if you look at the corresponding order, also posted on the Florida Supreme Court's website, you'll see that the order includes identifying information in addition to non-identifying information.

You may need a compelling reason for the court to allow you access to that information. A compelling reason may be, for example, that you need that information for an exact genetic match for an organ transplant.

It seems to be at the judge's discretion whether or not to allow access. And one of the factors as to whether a judge might or might not allow access is whether the release of identifying information will disrupt the lives of any of the parties.

Since your adoptive parents are deceased, their lives cannot be disrupted. But, the lives of your biological parents could be disrupted if identifying information were released. The following is part of the information
found on the site for the Department of Human Services website.

This is only a small part of the information, there is much more. Please go to that site and read about how to find the information that you're seeking. You may well need a court order, but you may also be able to search their database and find your information.

Identifying Information

Identifying information is disclosure of records or other information that may lead to the positive identification of birth parents, the adoptee, or other birth relatives.

Identifying information may include current or past names of the person, addresses, employment, or other similar records or information. Statutes in nearly all States permit the release of identifying information when the person whose information is sought has consented to the release.

If consent is not on file with the appropriate entity, the information may not be released without a court order documenting good cause to release the information. A person seeking a court order must be able to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that there is a compelling reason for disclosure that outweighs maintaining the confidentiality of a party to an adoption.

Access to information is not always restricted to birth parents and adoptees. Approximately 36 States allow biological siblings of the adoptee to seek and release identifying information upon mutual consent.

The following link is on the same site; and is a searchable database. I don't know what you might find there: National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Comments for How to Obtain Identity of Biological Parents

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Finding Biological Great Grandparents
by: Ann from Pennsylvania

I want to find my grandmother's biological parents. Given that my grandmother was born in the 1940s I'm assuming that they are no longer living.

She was definitely adopted in Florida. Does this allow me to have information about them? And how do I go about getting it?

--You might try a site called It allows you to search through a database, and post information about who you are looking for. In Florida adoption records are sealed and require a court order to unseal.

You can also search death certificates through This covers Florida statewide. is the best known site for searching genealogy.

If your mother was born in the 1940's it doesn't necessarily follow that your great grandmother is no longer living. You could try some simple online searches.

Elderly people don't tend to move around too much. Try or She might be living in the same house she's lived in for the past 50 years. Good luck! --Staff

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