Adoption records in Tennessee are private and not open to the general public. Adoption records are, however, available to eligible persons.

Persons Eligible to Receive Adoption Records:
  • Adult individuals, age 21 or older, surrendered for the purpose of adoption.
  • An adopted individual’s birth, adoptive, step- or legal parent older than 21-years of age.
  • An adopted individual’s birth or adoptive siblings, age 21 and older.
  • An adopted individual’s lineal descendants or lineal ancestors, age 21 and older.

Note: The adopted person must consent to the release of any identifying information contained in the sealed record.

Individuals Who Cannot Receive Access to Adoption Records Include:

  • A parent or pre-adoptive guardian whose rights were involuntarily terminated for cause.
  • A sibling, lineal ancestor, spouse or attorney of the person whose rights were involuntarily terminated for cause.
  • A person guilty of a crime of violence or neglect against the adopted person.
  • Alleged parent or relatives.

Eligible persons may download a request form and instructions from TN Department of Children's Services.
There is a $150 fee for this service.

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