Personal Adoption History

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Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children maintains thousands of adoption records from its 109-year history. Spence-Chapin, as an authorized agency, is also the custodian of the adoption records of Louise Wise Services and Talbot Perkins.

Eligible individuals who are interested in receiving information from an adoption record can contact our Post Adoption History Department at to request an application and receive more information on our services.

A $25 application fee will apply to all Spence-Chapin and Talbot Perkin clients requesting Post-Adoption History information. The fee will not affect clients currently in process.

Who can apply?

  • Adoptees, 18 years and older
  • Birth Parents
  • Adoptive Parents of children under the age of 18
  • Biological siblings of adoptees, 18 years and older

Spence-Chapin cannot share confidential information with anyone other than an approved applicant without proof of guardianship or power of attorney. Spence-Chapin is prohibited by law from sharing identifying information.


Non-Identifying Information – Under NY and NJ law, Spence-Chapin, as an approved adoption agency, is authorized to provide certain individuals with a summary of non-identifying information from their adoption record. This may include social and medical background information.

Copy Request – Repeat requests for non-identifying information will be treated as copy requests. Spence-Chapin can provide eligible applicants with information previously provided to the applicant.

NYSAIR application – Persons eligible for NYSAIR (the New York State Adoption Information Registry) can apply directly to NYSAIR or can send their NYSAIR application to Spence-Chapin instead, who can then help expedite their request with NYSAIR. Once Spence-Chapin forwards the NYSAIR application to the NYSAIR office on the client’s behalf, NYSAIR will contact the client directly to confirm registration. If the client does not hear from NYSAIR within 4 months after receiving notice from Spence-Chapin that their NYSAIR application has been forwarded to the NYSAIR office, the client should contact NYSAIR directly.

Information on Search and Reunion - Spence-Chapin can provide a list of resources for search and reunion assistance. Spence-Chapin cannot endorse or guarantee the services of any third party provider.

Counseling on Search and Reunion - Spence-Chapin counselors can provide an individual counseling sessions related to search and reunion, free of charge. Email to learn more.

Removal from foreign country military draft list – In some countries, children who have been adopted internationally remain on military draft lists in the child’s country of origin by virtue of being born in that country.  Spence-Chapin can assist families in removing their internationally adopted child from the military draft list in the foreign country.

Contact assistance with open adoptions - Spence-Chapin can facilitate contact between clients who mutually executed a written openness/post-adoption contact agreement at the time of adoption planning but have since lost contact.

Other - For additional services related to an adoption record, such as verification or proof of an adoption, please indicate “other” on the application and describe the request.



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.