In NC, adoption records are sealed following the finalization of an adoption. This means that if a member of a family involved in adoption wants to find out about a biological family member who was adopted or an adoptee wants to know more about or identify their biological family, there are 3 potential options for gaining information:

  • An adoptee can request their non-identifying adoption information 
  • Confidential Intermediary Services
  • Unsealing of the adoption record by the court of original jurisdiction.

Non-Identifying Information

If an adult adoptee is interested in finding out non-identifying information about their biological family, including health history at the time of the adoption, they can reach out to the original adoption agency (County DSS or private child placing agency) and request their non-identifying adoption information. There is no cost associated with a request for non-identifying adoption information.

What if I Don’t Know Where the Adoption was Finalized?

All adoptions in NC are finalized by a County Clerk of Superior Court. If you do not know where an adoption was finalized or the agency involved in the adoption, you can request that information from the NC Division of Social Services. You will be required to document your identity and connection to the adoption. Requests should be directed to:

Confidential Intermediary Services
NC Division of Social Services
820 S. Boylan Ave.
2425 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2425
(919) 527-6370

What are Confidential Intermediary Services?

Confidential Intermediary Services are services provided by a County Department of Social Services or a Private Child Placing Agency to facilitate the sharing of information between adoptees and their eligible biological family members. The services can be initiated by the adoptee or their eligible family members.

What if I Want to Establish Contact?

Confidential Intermediary Services can include facilitation of contact between family members. All parties must agree to the sharing of identifying information and contact information.

Is There a Cost for Confidential Intermediary Services?

Typically, there is a cost which is established by the provider you are working with.

Which Agencies in NC Provide CI Services?

County DSS’s and private child placing agencies are not required to provide CI services. A variety of private child placing agencies and County DSS’s have opted to provide the services, some only for the adoptions finalized through their agencies, and others for anyone in the state of NC. The NC Division of Social Services maintains a list of organizations providing CI services. This list can be accessed on their website.

For additional information about birth family search information visit NC DSS’s informational website: Birth Family Search Information | NCDHHS

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