For people separated from their birth relatives by adoption or guardianship, the Illinois Department of Children and family services offers two programs that can search for birth family members and make possible connections. Midwest Adoption Center is the agency that provides these services for IDCFS.
IDCFS can help adoptees, adoptive parents and birth family members seeking information from closed files and/or search service. The Department has contracted with Midwest Adoption Center to provide this service for adoptions handled through any DCFS office throughout the state.
Individuals requesting closed file information will receive, in writing, all of the information found in the available DCFS files that is specified by law to be provided.
Adoptees and or adoptive parents may request a search for a biological relative through this program. If that relative is not located, is found to be deceased, or declines to respond, a search for another relative may be initiated. Birth parents may request a search for each child placed. If the child is a minor, contact will be made with the adoptive parent(s) who will make the decision regarding any communication or contact. If the adopted person is an adult, contact will be made directly with him/her and the consent of the adoptive parent(s) is not required.
Individuals who were wards of DCFS but never adopted may also request information from files and/or search service through this program.
Mental health professionals or others providing service to adoptive families may request information from closed files given they have obtained proper consents.
Search service is also available to youth who are current wards of DCFS.
There is no fee for service through this program.
Click here to request service through this program.
Any adult adopted person, adoptive parent of a minor and birth parent touched by an adoption that was legally completed in Illinois can request the court appoint a Confidential Intermediary to conduct a search for a biological relative. Certain other relatives may also use this program but they must explain to the Court the reason the search is being requested. DCFS has contracted with Midwest Adoption Center to deliver this program. CIs are employees of MAC who are specifically trained and then are certified by DCFS to provide this service. When appointed by the court, the CI will attempt to locate the sought after individual, explain who is making the outreach and what options are available, and facilitate exchange of information. The confidentiality of all parties is protected and no identifying information is released without written consent. There is a fee for service through this program. Click here to go to CI website.
MAC provides general information and referral to adopted persons, adoptive parents and birth families regarding access to adoption records, adoption search and connection. Midwest staff will respond to each caller on an individual basis in order to determine the best resources available. To contact us, click here.