Requirements for gathering information for adoption records are different in each state. Information about the child being adopted or the family putting the child up for adoption in put together by the adoption agency or the local Division of Social Services. A home study is done to gatherer information about the family and the parents of the child being put up for adoption.
Information collected on the child being adopted for the adoption records are basically the same in most states, it includes: medical and genetic history, a family and social background, mental health history, religious background, ethnic and racial background, and education level attained. There are some states that require more information such as dental history, immunization records, developmental history, and of course school records. Some adoption Records also hold information on whether or not the child being put up for adoption is eligible for any state of federal adoption assistance. Those states include: Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont.
The adoption records also include information on the birth parents and the birth family of the child being put up for adoption. This information is gathered during a home study as well and it includes information such as the medical and genetic history of the family, the family and social background, a mental health history of the family, a religious background, and the level of education attained by the parents. Some states require also the physical appearance, talents, hobbies, field of occupation, and a list of any drugs the birth mother toke during her pregnancy with the child. There are a few states that if obtainable, will also provide the adoptive parents with the names, addresses and any other identifying information about the birth family. These states are Colorado, New York, and American Samoa.
You should of course also find information on the adoptive family in the adoption records. Once a family has been chosen for a child they do a check on the family to make sure that the home will be suitable for the child being adopted. The information that they collect is relatively simple. When they do the home study for the adoptive family they include such things as a criminal background check, and they also check with the local child abuse registry. They will also include the adoptive parents' physical health, emotional maturity, financial situation, and a family and social background.
Montana seems to be the hardest state to adopt from, they ask for Employment history, history of drug and alcohol abuse, racial ethnic background, and a history of domestic violence. Montana isn't the only state that asks for these, they are the only one that asks for all of them. Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Colorado, Illinois, Arizona, and the District of Columbia also ask for some of these items for the adoption records.
When the paper work for the adoption records is final and the judge has signed it, depending on what form of adoption they have done the adoption record is sealed and completely confidential, or is left open for all to see. If the adoption record is sealed it generally stays that way until the adopted child comes of age.