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GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH

CERTIFICATE

Massachusetts:  Access to OBCs and Non-ID

MASSACHUSETTS

DENIES UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO OBC FOR ADOPTEES BORN BETWEEN July 17, 1974, and JANUARY 1, 2008,

EXCEPT BY COURT ORDER.
UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO OBC​ FOR ADOPTEES AGE 18 AND OLDER, BORN ON OR BEFORE JULY 17, 1974

AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 2008. (Legislation pending: H1892/SD1123 would amend the current law to remove

the date-based restrictions and create access for all Massachusetts adoptees to their OBCs.  For more info,
contact
Access Massachusetts.)  
 

Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 5D

Non-identifying information may be provided to:
• The adopted person who is age 18 or older
• The adoptive parents
• The birth parents

 

Identifying information may be released to:
• The adopted person who is age 21 or older
• The adoptive parents
• The birth parents

 

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Adoptees born between July 17, 1974, and January 1, 2008, do not have access to their own original birth certificates,  except by court order.   Adoptees born on or before July 17, 1974 and after January 1, 2008 have unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates (upon reaching the age 18).

 

Access to Non-identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 5D

A placement agency that holds records relating to an adopted person, the birth parents, or the adoptive parents shall:
• Release to the adopted person who is age 18 or older, upon his or her written request, information about his or her birth
parents that does not identify the birth parents or their present or former locations
• Release to a birth parent of an adopted person, upon the birth parent’s written request, information about the adopted
person that does not reveal his or her identity after adoption or his or her present or former locations
• Release to an adoptive parent, if the adopted person is under age 18, upon the adoptive parent’s written request, information
about the adopted person and his or her birth parents that does not identify the birth parents or their present or former
locations
The information shall include such non-identifying information that the agency holds concerning the medical, ethnic, socioeconomic,
and educational circumstances of the person. The agency, in its discretion, shall further release such nonidentifying information
concerning the circumstances under which the adopted person became available for adoption as it deems to be in the best interest
of the person so requesting.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 5D

If a placement agency has received written permission from a birth parent to release the identity of the birth parent to the adopted
person and the agency has received written permission from the adopted person, or written permission from the adoptive parents
if the adopted person is under age 21, to release the identity after adoption of the adopted person to the birth parent, then the
agency shall release the identity of the adopted person to the birth parent and the identity of the birth parent to the adopted
person.
The placement agency shall:
• Release to the birth parent, upon the birth parent’s written request, any personal data that it holds relating to the birth parent
• Release to an adoptive parent, upon his or her written request, any personal data that it holds relating to the adoptive parent
In making any disclosure of information, the agency shall remove personal identifiers relating to a third person. All other adoption
records held by the placement agency shall be confidential and shall not be released.

Where the Information Can Be Located
Adoption Search Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Social Services

FIND YOUR BIRTH PARENTS