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November 6, 2008

Governor Blagojevich Encourages Those Wanting to Find Birth Parents or Children to Sign Up for the Illinois Adoption Registry during Adoption Awareness Month
Hundreds of families in Illinois have been reunited

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to help reunite families during National Adoption Awareness Month, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is helping spread the word about the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange (IARMIE). This comprehensive database provides an avenue for individuals involved in an adoption in Illinois to locate other people involved in the adoption without having to go to court.


“The Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange has made it possible for hundreds of Illinoisans to reconnect and exchange potentially life-saving medical information with their birth parents and families,” said Governor Blagojevich. “I would like to encourage parents who have adopted children to check this registry for what could be vital information for their children’s health.”


Approximately 11,000 people are currently registered with IARMIE and 713 matches have been made between adopted persons or their families and birth parents or their families.


“Searching for a person’s birth family can be time consuming and costly. The IARMIE is a secure and inexpensive way for families wishing to reunite to find one another, or to exchange information regarding inherited medical conditions,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damen T. Arnold. “I strongly urge anyone wanting to unite with their birth family to go to the Illinois Department of Public Health Web site and check out the registry.”


The following information can be exchanged via the registry:


  • Identity and last known address of other birth and adoptive family members who have registered with IARMIE
  • Medical background information filed with the registry; can be shared anonymously
  • Pictures and written statements filed with the registry
  • Adoptee’s original birth certificate (providing he or she was born in Illinois)


Registration is open to the following persons:


  • Adopted or surrendered persons 21 years of age or older who were born, adopted or surrendered in Illinois
  • Birth parents of eligible adopted or surrendered persons
  • Surviving birth relatives (adult non-surrendered child, brother or sister) of a deceased birth parent
  • Surviving adult child of a deceased adopted person or spouse if child is a minor
  • Adoptive parents of eligible adopted persons under the age of 21 or a deceased adopted person
  • Legal guardians of adopted or surrendered persons


For example, if a woman who placed a child for adoption 30 years ago wishes to reveal her identity or to exchange medical information with her surrendered son or daughter, she must file her consent agreement with the registry to release this information. The adoptee also must file a consent agreement with the registry to release the same information. If the birth mother and the adopted person have not both registered and signed a consented for the release of medical and/or identifying information, no data can be released.


Through the IARMIE, Dan Svezia was able to reunite with members of his birth family after 50 years.


“The challenges of searching for one’s birth family can be complex, mysterious and emotional. The Illinois Adoption Registry offers a safe and professional resource for a possible reunion. I was very lucky, after fifty years of separation the registry successfully reunited me with members of my birth family. Perhaps the registry can assist in your search. You won’t know until you enroll,” said Svezia.


IARMIE registration forms are available from numerous sources:


  • Download the forms from the Department of Health Web site, www.idph.state.il.us
  • E-mail a request for forms to vitalrecords@idph.state.il.us
  • Fax a request for forms to 217-557-5279
  • Call the registry at 217-557-5159 or toll-free at 877-323-5299, TTY (hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466
  • Mail a request for forms to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information Exchange, Division of Vital Records, 605 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62702-5097


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