Personal Adoption History

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We provide personal adoption histories (non-identifying family information) to adoptees and birth parents with information provided in the adoption record until the time of finalization. A social worker will guide you through the process, providing support as you discover more about your family and yourself.

Individuals eligible to make an adoption history request:

  • Adult adoptees, age 18 years and older
  • Family member acting on behalf of an adoptee who has been granted power of attorney
  • Birth parents whose name was signed on the surrender papers

Spence-Chapin is able to provide information for adoptions facilitated by Spence-Chapin, Louise Wise, and Talbot Perkins. Due to state restrictions, Spence-Chapin is unable to provide identifying information. Read more information about starting a search, including Personal Adoption Histories, New York and New Jersey state laws, information for individuals never legally adopted and international birthland tours.

What is included in the Personal Adoption History? 
If you are an adoptee, you will receive a Biological Background Narrative. This includes non-identifying information about the birth parents at the time that they were making an adoption plan. If you are a birth parent, you will receive an Adoptive Family Profile. This includes non-identifying information about the adoptive parents and adoptee prior to adoption finalization. These may include medical or health information about the adoptive or biological family, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and why the decision for adoption was made.

Emotional Support: Our therapeutic support team is here to help you. Our adoption-competent therapists have decades of experience working with all members of the adoption community, most often adoptees and birth parents in their search for information or reunion. Call or email today: 646-539-2167 and



Effective January 1, 2017, authorized individuals may obtain an uncertified copy of an adoptee's original birth certificate and other related documents. For more information, please see New Jersey Vital Statistics FAQ's which can be found here. Individuals interested in obtaining a birth certificate from the NJ Vital Statistics Office can find application instructions here.

Birth Parents interested in submitting contact preference information and/or family history information to the NJ Vital Statistics Office can do so online here.

All requests to receive birth certificates or update contact and family history must be made directly to the Vital Statistics Office. Spence-Chapin cannot process these requests.