Gov. Pence Friday signed into law a bill that opens previously closed adoption records from the period of 1941 to 1993.
The bill gives birth mothers four options: they can tell the state to allow their children to contact them; they can bar contact entirely; they can allow contact, but only through a third party; or, they can just allow their children to access the mother’s medical records.
If a birth mother doesn’t reach out to the state – and the state doesn’t find them – the records are automatically opened.
In a statement, Governor Pence says the measure ensures privacy is protected while allowing Hoosiers to seek more information on their health and heritage.
The group Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records, which has long fought to open the records, praised the bill signing as a tremendous victory.
The records won’t be opened until 2018, allowing the state and adoption advocates to inform as many birth mothers as possible of the change.