I Am a Birth Parent, How Can I Get Non-Identifying Background Information About the Family That Adopted My Child?


The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) or the licensed California public or private adoption agency that handled the adoption can give birth parents information about the status of the adoption and general non-identifying background information regarding the adoptive parents, including information on the progress of the child at the time of the adoption. This service is available only for adoptions that were finalized in California. Some licensed private adoption agencies may charge a fee for this service.

You may request this information by writing directly to the licensed California adoption agency, if known, or to the CDSS. Your letter must include the name you used at the time of the adoption, your child's name (if named), and his/her date and place of birth. Also, your signature must be notarized by a Notary Public. The CDSS does not accept requests submitted by email or by fax. Please send your request to the licensed California adoption agency or to the CDSS at the following address:

California Department of Social Services
Adoptions Support Unit
744 P Street, M.S. 8-12-31
Sacramento, CA 95814

If you do not know which licensed California adoption agency handled your child’s adoption:

  • You may mail your letter to the CDSS and we will search our records to determine who maintains your child’s adoption file
  • If the CDSS maintains your child’s adoption file, we will process your request
  • If a licensed California adoption agency maintains your child’s adoption file, we will return your letter along with the address of the agency, so that you may mail your letter directly to them