Background Search Guidelines for New York State Adoptees

Beginning the search for information on birth parents and background information is a serious, emotional decision. We encourage anyone who thinks they want to start this journey, or those who already have, to talk to a Spence-Chapin counselor. Our staff can help you prepare for the information and feelings you may find on your search.

While adoption records remain sealed by law in NY State, an adoptee who was born and adopted in NYS and is 18 years old or over, the birth parent of that adoptee, or the biological sibling of that adoptee can register with the New York State Adoption Information Registry to obtain the following information:

  • Non-identifying information
  • Identifying information if both parties have registered – If adoptees , their birth parents and /or birth siblings have registered with NYSAIR and give consent NYS will share their current names and addresses. If only one parent signed the surrender agreement, then registration by the other parents is not needed for the exchange of identifying information between the adoptee and the registered birth parent.
  • Medical Information – Birth parents can give medical and psychological information to the registry any time after the adoption. The information will be shared with the adoptee at any time that he or she registers.

Unfortunately under current NYS law an adoption agency such as Spence- Chapin cannot construct its own registry.

However adults who are adopted often contact the agency looking for information about their history. State law permits the agency to provide adult adoptees with all of the non-identifying information available in the case record. Spence-Chapin provides a profile that may include information about the birth family and the making of the adoption plan.

Birth Parents also contact the agency to update their medical and other details, and to inquire about additional information.

In addition to providing a narrative of non-identifying information, Spence-Chapin’s social workers assist adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents with short-term counseling related to search and reunion.

Spence-Chapin also provides similar information for those whose adoptions were facilitated by Louise Wise Services and Talbot Perkins Children’s Services.

22 thoughts on “Background Search Guidelines for New York State Adoptees

  1. My father James Snoke was adopted as an infant at Spence Chapin in Manhattan Ny, and was born January 4th 1964 in Manhattan NY. I have wondered about what my fathers side is like both personality and medical HX. I want nothing more to find out information for when my son gets older and wants to know more about his family, including the medical HX that is very important.
    The only information we have is that his birth name was Douglas Kanehl, his mothers name was (we think) Stephanie and was 18 years old at the time of his birth.
    If anyone can help me with any information that would bring joy and peace it would be appreciated!

    Thank you in advance!

    Nichole Snoke-Bell

  2. I would like to get any non identifying information on my birth parents. Also, I would like to register with NYSAIR. How do I go about this?

  3. I was born 2/3/1962 and was adopted though Talbot Perkins and would like to see if a birth parent Hajek has ever come forward
    Thank you
    Stan Vansant
    805 405 2823

  4. You took my mailing address and I am waiting to fill out any application i need to get more info on my parents. Have not heard back so please advise on what I need to do to obtain info from Perkins . Thank you . phone # 615-315-1592.

  5. I had been told by my adoption parents that I had been adopted from Spence Chapin in 1949. If this is the case, could you please tell me how I go about requesting the narrative of non-identifying information mentioned above?

  6. Seeking non-identifying information as an adult adoptee of Talbot Perkins adoption agency. Have already registered 1/2015 with NY registry but have not heard back.

  7. I was given minimal information from Louise Wise- family background, parental education etc.
    There was an article in the NY Times that many of these “histories” were fabricated out of whole cloth- I was told I was 50 Askanazi and 50 Northern Italian – a 23andme genetic screen came up 97% Askanazi-
    I would think that Louise Wise would have benefited more from the 97% Ashkanazi designation as it was a Jewish institution-
    So someone is lying- how do I sort this out.

  8. My birth name was Joan Meyer I was born Aug. 8 1951 in NYC and adopted by Max and Ruth Weitz. I need help to find any living biological family. Please help me to find the way to go about finding these records.

  9. I am looking for any siblings who went through Talbot Perkins please call me 540 3978772 or 540-397-7252

  10. i was adopted, from your agency, back in 1962, i would like to find out, as much info on my biological parents, how do i go about doing that, thanks

  11. I am searching for the birth mother of my foster sister, Michelle Martin, now 49 years old, and/or her father and/or siblings. I firmly believe that her birth mother, who is of West Indian decent deliberately lied about not having any other children and my sister’s father may have been a married man at the time. For my sister’s own benefit she needs to at least to know her siblings especially during the stress in our family at this time. Her biological mother would be about the same age as our own mother now, 85 years old. Please contact me with any information.

  12. Looking for Christopher Lee kindu Simpson born September 5th 1982 .. adopted. .. lowise wise agency in nyc.. siblings etta Simpson and Lakiesha Simpson. . Mother is Aida Velasquez.

  13. Gary Michael Kapcinski. Born 2-14-1967 at Booth Memorial Hospital at 6:12 pm, weighting 8lbs 2 oz, in Flushing Queens. Adoption handled by Talbot Perkins whom have since closed down.How do we find him if he’s looking for us. We have registered with NYS. Please help.

  14. I was born / adopted in 1956 ,not sure if my brother or I were adopted through your agency . would like to find out more . Thank you !

  15. I am looking for the descendants of 4 or 5 children of Leonilda Pestana (Nee Nobrega) and Joseph Pestana. Leonilda died giving birth to her fifth child. Leonilda and Joseph were married in 1925. After Leonilda’s death, their children were given up for adoption by their father, Joseph Pestana. My father, Oscar Nobrega, is Leonilda’s brother. Leonilda was born in 1907 and Joseph was born in 1902. I do not know the names of the children. The Nobrega family is having a reunion later this summer and long story short, Leonilda’s existence was recently discovered by the descendants of Oscar Nobrega. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  16. One thing I left out above, is that the children were born between 1925 and 1935, but I do not know the specific years, nor the names of the children.

  17. Initial effort for George Robert Beckett born in Yonkers, New York on 12/8/54 adopted by Edward and Caroline Beckett and brought home in March 1954 to Staten Island, NY.

  18. George Robert Beckett born 12/8/54 in Yonkers, NY; given name at birth was Dennis; may have been a twin separated at birth

  19. My name is Kim A. Butler and I was born Nov 5th 1972. My real name is Kim White. My brother David White (born Dec 2, 1971) and I were placed with the Butler family in 1978 after being in foster care. Our parents were both aged 21 when we were born and had a third child, a daughter in 1974. I’d like to find her. I know this because of the information that was sent to me back in 2001. I would like to sign up for the registry so I can find out if anyone is looking for me. i remember speaking with a nice lady from your agency back in 2001, by the name of Judith Link. Is she still in your employ? Please respond. I look forward to hearing from someone.
    Thank You,

    Kim A Butler

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