If you are thinking about searching for birth relatives, Catholic Charities can help.
The staff at Catholic Charities is aware of the significance of this step. You will be assisted by professionals who will advise you of Nebraska state statutes regarding search and reunion, and will act as sensitive intermediaries. Family Services staff is available to provide ongoing support through what is often a complex and emotional journey.
Services provided include:
- Researching records for social and medical background
- Searches of public records and databases to locate birth relatives
- Reaching out to birth parents/birth families for updated medical history
- Intermediary services
- Passport information
- Providing baptismal certificates for persons who were baptized at St. James Orphanage
- Facilitating reunions
- Post-adoption counseling services
Services to Adopted Persons
Catholic Charities adoption staff will assist you in learning as much non-identifying information about your birth parents as our records hold. In some cases, there is considerable medical and social information in our records, but more often, there is just basic information, such as birth parent's name, age, nationality, occupation, and perhaps some details about their family.
Services to Birth Parents
Catholic Charities adoption staff can assist birth parents in locating children who have been placed for adoptions.
Services to Siblings of Adopted Persons
If your mother or father placed a child in adoption through Catholic Charities, and you wish to pursue contact, our staff will assist you.
Requirements of Nebraska Law Governing Adoption Reunions
Nebraska law (section 43-124. revised in 1994) mandates that the Bureau of Vital Statistics shall provide forms to birth parents by which consent can be given to allow the Bureau to release the adopted person's original birth certificate.
This law also mandates that an Adopted Person can file with the Bureau a "Request for Access to Birth Information." If a consent from birth parents has been filed with the Bureau, the Bureau will release the adopted person's original birth certificate, and the address or addresses of the birth parent(s). (Often, birth fathers are not listed on original birth certificates; however, if a birth father's name is on the certificate, he also must sign a consent.)
The statute requires that a $12.00 fee must accompany the request as well as a copy of the requestor’s photo ID. The check must be made out to the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Nebraska law states that, if birth parents have not filed a consent, the agency which placed the adopted person may make a reasonable search for the birth parent and inquire regarding his/her openness to signing the consent.
Nebraska law (section 43-124 revised statutes) provides for biological sibling reunions. If siblings, or half siblings, file a consent for Release of Information, the Bureau of Vital Statistics can release the names of their sibling, provided the adopted sibling is 25 years of age.
In some cases, birth parents are very difficult to locate. Birth mothers often marry and have new names. If a birth parent is married in Nebraska, and the adopted person's Request for Access is filed, the Bureau of Vital Statistics, for a fee, will provide the agency with a copy of the marriage license; the Bureau will also make a search for divorce or death records. Your caseworker will inform you if this is warranted and will ask you to send a check for $11.00, again made out to the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
For adopted persons relinquished after September 1, 1988, the law allows the release of the original birth certificate when the adopted person reaches age 21, unless the birth parents sign a non-consent form.