Adoptions before 1951

This information applies to adoptions completed, or attempted, prior to March 16, 1951 and all records for the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.

(Information for adoptions completed after 1951)

Records in this category will be made available to:

  • An adopted person age 21 years or older
  • The adopted person’s birth, adoptive, step- or legal parents who are 21 years of age or older
  • The adopted person’s birth or adoptive siblings who are 21 years of age or older
  • The adopted person’s lineal descendants who are 21 years of age or older
  • The legal representatives of any person listed above

The records can include:

  • Sealed adoption records
  • Post-adoption records
  • Court records
  • Adoption agency records
  • Records from the Department of Health, Offices of Vital Records

How to request records

Record requests can be submitted by an adopted individual and/or an adoptive or birth family member. Please submit a written request with the following information:

If you were adopted, include:

  • full name, including the adoptive name and if married, your married name
  • your birthdate
  • full names of adoptive parents, including mother’s maiden name
  • county and state where adoption was finalized
  • your phone number and address
  • your signature and the date

If you are an adoptive parent, adoptive sibling or a lineal descendant, include:

  • adoptive person’s full adoptive name, and if married the married name
  • adoptive person’s birthdate
  • your full name
  • your date of birth
  • your relationship to the adopted person
  • the adoptive parents full names, including the mother’s maiden name
  • the county and state where the adoption was finalized
  • your current address and telephone number
  • your signature and the date

If you are a birth parent or birth sibling, include:

  • the adopted person’s full birth name
  • the adopted person’s birthdate
  • the adopted person’s county, city and state of birth
  • full name of birth parents
  • your full name and date of birth
  • your relationship to the adopted person
  • your current address and telephone number
  • your signature and the date

Searching for birth relatives

The department does not conduct searches for birth relatives in adoptions that took place prior to 1951.

Contact Veto and Advance Notice Registry

There is not a Contact Veto option and no Advance Notice Registry for adoptions that took place before 1951. 

Learn more

Please call or write us:

Department of Children's Services
Access to Records  
315 Deaderick Street
UBS Tower, 9th Floor
(615) 532-5637