Kentucky Adoption Laws

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Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 199.520; 199.572; 199.575

Nonidentifying information may be provided to:
  • The adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • The adoptive parents

Identifying information is accessible to:

  • The adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • A birth sibling who is age 18 or older
  • A birth parent

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.520

The health history and other nonidentifying background information of the birth parents and blood relatives of the adoptee shall be given to the adoptive parents and the court no later than the date of finalization of the adoption proceedings.

The information shall be made available upon the request, in person or in writing, of the adult adoptee. The information shall not be made available if it is of a nature that would tend to identify the birth parents of the adoptee, except as provided in §§ 199.570 and 199.572.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 199.572; 199.575

If the birth parents have given consent, the adult adoptee may inspect the records pertaining to his or her adoption proceedings upon written request. If the birth parents have not given consent, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may notify the birth parents that the adult adopted has made a request for information. The notification shall be by personal and confidential contact, without disclosing the identity of the adult adoptee.

If, after a diligent effort, the secretary of the cabinet certifies that both birth parents identified in the original birth certificate are deceased or is unable to locate the parents, then a judge may order that all adoption records shall be open for inspection to the adult adoptee. In any case, the court shall order that only identifying information about the birth parents be shared with the adult adoptee.

In situations where a preadoptive brother or sister relationship existed, and one or more of these siblings was then adopted, the following procedures shall be followed on an inquiry by one or more of the siblings to the cabinet seeking information about his brother or sister:

  • In all cases, an adoptee age 18 or older or a preadoptive sibling age 18 or older may file information with the cabinet about himself or herself, his or her present location, and his or her known antecedents, stating his or her interest in being reunited with his or her preadoptive siblings and authorizing the cabinet to release such information to any preadoptive siblings who may make similar inquiry.
  • In any case in which a person age 18 or older requests information about or expresses a desire in being reunited with a preadoptive sibling, the cabinet shall first determine whether the sibling has made similar inquiry. If the sibling has previously authorized release of information, the cabinet shall release the information to the sibling making inquiry.
Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.570

The original birth certificate is available only upon court order.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Department for Community Based Services, Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children

Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (

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