The Texas Vital Statistics Unit (VSU) Central Adoption Registry (CAR) 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.
Who is eligible?
The Voluntary CAR system is open to the following persons who are 18 years or older:
- Adult Adoptees (born and/or placed for adoption in Texas)
- Birth parents
- Biological siblings of adult adoptees
How does it work?
The Voluntary CAR 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. A qualified applicant may apply with the child-placing agency that handled the adoption if the agency operations its own Voluntary Adoption Registry, with the VSU Voluntary CAR, or both. Participation in an Adoption Registry is not mandatory and an adult adoptee and/or birth relative have the right to refuse to participate in any registry.
A match occurs when an adult adoptee and his or her birth parent or an adoptee's biological sibling voluntarily place their name on an Adoption Registry. The registry releases identifying information after the participants in the match complete the following:
- A Consent to Release of Identifying information document that specifies the identifying information the participant wishes to release to the adoptee or birth relative.
- 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 the identifying information is exchanged.
Requirements to register
Complete the two-page Voluntary CAR application and mail it and following items to:
DSHS MC 1966
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
$30.00 check or money order payable to DSHS
Proff of age and identity in the form of a photo ID, i.e., a valid driver's license, passport, or State ID; and
If the applicant's name has changed due to marriage, a copy of a legal document that includes the applicant's maiden name, i.e., a copy of a birth or marriage certificate;
If the applicant is a sibling, a copy of his or her birth certificate must be included in order to verify the biological relationship;
If the applicant's name has been legally changed, a certified copy of the court order verifying the name change should accompany the request.
Application and instructions
Questions about CAR?
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