Adoption Records Release Notification
Receiving Advance Notification when Adoption Records are to be Released
Adoption records are confidential and not open to the general public, but they are available to certain individuals, which are detailed below.
Tennessee offers the Advance Notice Registry to allow eligible individuals to receive 15 days notice before adoption records containing their identifying information are released to anyone eligible to request them.
For example, a woman who placed a child for adoption can receive advanced notice that the now-grown child, or another eligible person, has requested a release of the records containing her identifying information.
If you were adopted, you don’t need to register.
The adopted person does not have to register or file with the Advance Notice Registry because he or she will automatically be notified if anyone tries to access their records. Additionally, adoptees must always give written consent or denial before any of their sealed records are released.
Who is eligible to see adoption records and register or file with the Advance Notice Registry?
- The adopted person, 21 years of age or older
- The adopted person's birth, adoptive, step- or legal parent, age 21 or older
- The adopted person's birth or adoptive siblings, 21 years of age or older
- The adopted person's lineal ancestors, 21 years of age or older
- The adopted person's lineal descendants, 21 years of age or older
- The legal representatives of any of these persons
Persons ineligible to access adoption records and receive Advance Notification include:
- a parent or pre-adoptive guardian whose rights were involuntarily terminated for cause
- a sibling, lineal ancestor, spouse or legal representative of the person whose rights were involuntarily terminated for cause
- a person guilty of a crime of violence or neglect against the adopted person
How will you be notified?
You only will be notified if you meet the eligibility requirements and the records contain identifying information about you. Notification of the impending release of records will be sent by certified mail with return receipt requested, to the most recent address filed with the Registry.
There is a $25 fee to register.
Registration must be on a form supplied by the Department, and contain an original signature. Forms may be requested by contacting:
Department of Children's Services
Access to Records
315 Deaderick Street
UBS Tower, 9th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243-1290