The DCP&P (formerly DYFS) Adoption Registry facilitates contact between birth family members and adoptees whose adoptions were processed by DCP&P or by its predecessor agencies: the Division of Youth and Family Services, the Bureau of Children's Services, the State Board of Child Welfare or the State Board of Children's Guardians. Registry services are not available to members of the adoption community whose adoptions were processed independently (through attorneys) or through private adoption agencies.
The Registry provides the following services:
- Non-identifying Background Information
- Limited Search Services
- Information and Referral
RegistrationAdult adoptees, adoptive parents of minor adoptees and birth parents who wish to register must complete an application form that includes identifying information about themselves and the person(s) they wish to contact. Once an application is processed, the information is entered into the Registry. The Registry will not release this information but will notify the registered persons if the family member they are seeking applies to the Registry.
Registrants may also send cards or letters to be attached to their Registry application forms. This material remains in the Registry and can be forwarded when the intended family members contact the Registry.
Applications can be obtained from the Registry and should be updated when last names, current address or phone numbers change. Registrants may withdraw their application at any time.
Non-identifying Background InformationThe Registry can provide non-identifying information to adult adoptees and adoptive parents of minor adoptees. Nonidentifying information obtained from case records includes adoptees' birth statistics and placement history.
It may also include:
The Registry can provide birth family members with information about events leading to the adoptee's adoptive placement. Identifying or current information about the adoptee or the adoptive family cannot be released.
- Medical and social characteristics of birth family members
- Family health histories
- Certain facts and circumstances related to adoptive placement
- Summaries of case record material. Actual copies of case records cannot be released.
Limited Search ServicesUpon request of adult adoptees and of minor adoptees who have the written permission of their adoptive parents, Registry staff will conduct limited searches to locate birth relatives, based on information in the case record. In-depth private investigative services are not available.
Searches are not conducted on behalf of birth family members. Any birth family member located by a search must provide identification and written permission before Registry staff can honor requests to release identifying information or arrange contact with the adoptee.
Information and ReferralAdoption Registry staff members are available to discuss various aspects of the adoption and search experiences. Information on support groups, agencies, reading materials and search techniques is also provided upon request.
How Long Will It Take and How Much Does It Cost?The time needed to process requests for Registry application forms and non-identifying background reports varies based on the demand for services and the ability to access case records. On average, it takes two to three weeks to verify whether or not the applicant is eligible to register or to receive non-identifying information. It takes approximately 90 days to obtain non-identifying information.
Searching usually takes several months, depending on material available in the case record and the cooperation of agencies, individuals and other contacts.
There is no charge for services provided by the DCP&P Adoption Registry.
For more information contact:
NJ Department of Children and Families
Division of Child Protection and Permanency
Adoption Registry Coordinator
PO Box 717
Trenton, NJ 08625-0717