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Indiana adoption advocates optimistic about legislation

December 31, 2015

The leader of an advocacy group for Indiana adoptees says she's optimistic state lawmakers will endorse a bill to expand adoptees' access to sealed records.

Pam Kroskie of Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records told The Herald-Times of Bloomington that the group believes it has "a really good shot this time to make it all the way through" the Legislature after another measure stalled last session.

She said the bill lawmakers will consider when their session begins Jan. 5 is similar to legislation Ohio lawmakers enacted in March.

The new bill would give biological parents the option of designating if they are comfortable with being contacted directly by an adult adoptee, if they prefer being contacted by an intermediary, or if they do not want to release any identifying information.

The records of children in Indiana who were adopted between 1941 and 1994 are currently sealed, preventing thousands of adoptees from finding their biological parents.

In 1994, state law changed to require biological parents to sign an official form, indicating whether or not the state can disclose their information. Lawmakers agreed at the time to seal records for the preceding decades to protect those who did not expect their information to be readily available.

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