Adoption Laws in Hawaii

I’m in Hawaii right now, sitting in my hotel bed, thinking and googling (which sometimes go very nicely together.)

Here’s how it is if you are an adoptee in the state of Hawaii: The comments in red are mine.

access to adoption records

Obtaining Non-Identifying Information:

Adoptive parents and adopted adults may receive ethnic and medical history.  Keep in mind that the medical history they are most likely referring to is the information they gathered from the birthparents at the time of the birth.  A lot of medical stuff develops later in life.

Obtaining Identifying Information:
For adoptions finalized before January 1, 1991,
so these adoptees would be 18 or older adopted adults or adoptive parents must petition the court for information. The court will send a notice to the last known address of the birth parents. If no response is received, the adopted adult can access his or her information.This is good news for the adoptee, I guess.  But it leaves the birthmother out of the loop unless she hasn’t moved since the adoption. For adoptions finalized after December 31, 1990, the adopted adult or adoptive parents can receive information if there is no affidavit on file requesting confidentiality. A young birthmother who is facing the shame of an unplanned pregnacny or who has kept her pregnancy a secret from key people in her life is likely, I think, to request an affidavit of confidentiality.  My question:  What happens a few years down the road when she’s found she can’t forget her baby, move on, etc. etc.  Does she have information on how to undo the affidavit? 

Using the Adoption Registry:

Adopted adults and birth parents may register. 


Family Court Registry
Court Management Services
777 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96811

Obtaining an Original Birth Certificate: 
An adoptee must petition the court in which the adoption was finalized.
There are situations I can imagine where the adoptee might not know this.

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