As of Wednesday, Arkansas adoptees are now able to access their previously-sealed adoption files.
According to an Arkansas Department of Health press release, adoptees can request their files if they are 21-years or older, starting Wednesday, Aug. 1. Adoption files typically include an original birth certificate and adoption decree but can vary from case-to-case.
The state Health Department has been preparing for the Aug. 1 opening over a year ago. The department was required by a 2017 law to prepare more than 65,000 birth records to be accessible.
The state legislature passed Act 519, which became law in March 2017, to allow adoptees to access their files. There is fee of $100 for each file request. However, the act allows the fee to be changed by the Department of Health.
Birth parents were allowed to redact their names from the adoption files and update family histories ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline. Slightly over 40 individuals chose to redact their names from adoption files.
Around two dozen requests have been filed so far, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Individuals wishing to access their adoption files can visit the Arkansas Department of Health’s website to obtain the necessary forms.