The Texas Vital Statistics Central Adoption Registry is part of a voluntary mutual-consent registry system mandated during the State of Texas' 68th Legislative Session in 1983. It enables an adult adoptee, birth parent, or sibling to place his or her name on the registry and to locate other family members who are also registered.
We are unique in that we have the authority, without a court order, to view a sealed or confidential record. This allows us to authenticate a match between two biologically related people.
Please send us an e-mail if you have any questions or comments about the Central Adoption Registry or call us at 1-888-963-7111 ext. 6279.
Who is eligible?
The Central Adoption Registry system is open to the following persons who are 18 years or older:
- Adoptees (born and/or placed for adoption in Texas)
- Birth parents
- Biological siblings
How does it work?
The Central Adoption Registry system provides an avenue for adult adoptees, birth parents, and biological siblings to locate one another without having to go through the court system or spend excessive amounts of time and effort trying to find each other through other sources. The registry does not require registration, and you have the right to refuse to participate in any registry.
A match occurs when an adopted person and his or her birth parent or a biological sibling voluntarily register. The registry releases identifying information after the participants in the match complete the following:
- A one-hour post-adoption counseling session that educates and prepares each for the reunion.
- A written biography or history about the participant's life with copies of photographs or other visual media.
The registry sends the biography to the other participant at the same time as when the identifying information is exchanged.
Requirements to register
- Complete an application.
- Submit a copy of a photo ID issued by a government entity. If your name has changed due to marriage, or if you are a sibling, provide a copy of your own birth certificate, as well.
- Submit a $30 check or money order, payable to DSHS, to:
Central Adoption Registry
Department of State Health Services
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
Application (pdf 39K)
Application Instructions (Word 97K)
Application Instructions (pdf 12K)
How do I request the opening of a sealed adoption record?
You must petition the court that granted the adoption to open the sealed record. If you do not know which court granted the adoption, you can download an application form with instructions on requesting the court's identity.
Click here for the form in Word (41K).
Click here for the same form in pdf (79K).
Questions about the Central Adoption Registry?
Please send us an e-mail.
Click here for assistance in viewing files.