(AP) - Indiana residents who were adopted as children are waiting longer
than expected to get access to previously closed adoption records, as one
state agency struggles to handle thousands of requests.
Department of Health has received more than 3,300 requests for adoption
records since a July law made such information available to adoptees, WFIU-FM
It could take more
than five months to process each request, the department said. The agency
has fulfilled more than 860 requests.
“We are continually
looking at ways to decrease the processing time, including hiring additional
staff, because we know this information is very important to those who are
seeking it,” a department spokesman said in an email.
The state had
closed adoption records from 1941 to 1993, making it hard for many people
adopted during that time period to get information about their origins.
was adopted as an infant. Her adoptive parents told her she was born at
Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis in June 1968, but she doesn’t know much
else about her biological family.
“I guess I’ve
always just wanted to know, ‘What was my parent’s story?’” she said.
Anderson filled out
the paperwork shortly after the new law took effect but still is waiting for
“I had expected at
the time that I filed that maybe by Thanksgiving or the beginning of
December I might have it,” she said. “Now I’m thinking it might be March or
Anderson said she’s
frustrated that more resources haven’t been allocated to process the
requests, but she’s still hopeful that she’ll get answers.
“I never thought
I’d even get this opportunity,” she said. “I’ve waited 50 years, a couple
more weeks, months in the grand scheme of things” isn’t bad.