How to Obtain File Copies

If you were adopted through Holt International Children’s Services in the United States, Holt can provide copies of your child materials and other adoption-related documents. Adult adoptees may request copies of their child materials from their U.S. file, which are generally the same documents that were provided to your adoptive parents before you came home.

Occasionally, adoptive parents may receive additional information or documents during the adoption process that were not provided to Holt, especially if the family traveled to India. This can include anecdotal stories or photos from the foster family, case worker or orphanage. As these are sometimes provided directly to the parents, we’re unable to replace lost items or contact these individuals directly.

Please remember that in general the agencies in India will not search for an unwed mother.  If you would like to discuss your background further, do contact a Holt staff member.

This is the typical process for requesting file copies. Not every case is the same, and requesting file copies is completely optional:

What you do:

  • Complete the Request for Services online form and submit it (click the red button below).
  • Receive an email in 2-5 business days that confirms Holt assisted with your adoption and a link to the request for services form(s).  If your adoption was not through Holt, you’ll receive an email explaining this.
  • To request a copy of your U.S. child materials:
    • Print, complete, and return the Request for Post Adoption Services form by mail only.
    • Include a check payable to Holt International in the amount of $25.
  • To request an assessment of your file to determine if a search for birth family is possible:
    • Print, complete, and return the Request for Post Adoption Services form by mail only.
  • To request information to continue the search on your own:
    • Print, complete, and return the Request for Post Adoption Services form by mail only.
  • In approximately 4-6 weeks, you’ll receive an email with your U.S. child material, assessment, and/or search resources attached.  The assessment and resources request may be combined with the file copy for a single $25 file copy fee.  If you don’t wish a copy of your file, the assessment and resources are free.

NOTE: All forms must be mailed; no faxed or scanned copies of the forms will be accepted. Mailing instructions are included on the Post Adoption Services Request form.

What Holt will do:

  • Confirm that Holt facilitated your adoption, and that you are age 18 or over.
  • Email you the link to the request forms noted above.  If your adoption was not facilitated by Holt, you’ll receive an email explaining this.
  • Wait for your request forms and applicable fee to arrive by standard mail.
  • Retrieve your file from our off-site file storage, usually within 2-3 weeks of receipt of completed request forms.
  • Scan your U.S. child material and forward it to you via email if requested, and/or the assessment and resource list, usually within 3-4 weeks of file retrieval. Time frames may vary.

Due to the very high volume of services we provide to adoptees, adoptive families, and birth families, response times can vary and may be longer than expected.  Files are not stored on-site and do take time to retrieve and review.  With limited staffing we are unable to update you when the request is received, or when the file arrives at our office.


What is in my U.S. file?:

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Generally, your U.S. file will contain photocopies of your Indian legal documents, child progress reports from when you were in care in India, and the photo that was taken when you were admitted to the Holt program. All of these documents are referred to as your “child material.” Not all files are the same: some have more information, and some have less; every file is as unique as adoptees themselves. Holt’s files do not contain original adoption documents, copies of original passports, or other immigration related documents.

Why is there a fee?:

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We request a $25 copy fee for each file to assist in defraying the costs of providing all post-adoption services to our adoptees, families, and birth families. If this fee poses a financial hardship, please notify the Post Adoption Services department. While we appreciate your support for our services, we don’t want the fees to be an obstacle, and will be happy to reduce or waive fees when needed.

Why does the form have to be notarized?:

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The Request for Post Adoption Services form requires you to sign the form in the presence of a Notary Public who will confirm your photo identification and witness your signature. We require this to ensure that the person requesting these sensitive documents is actually you. Most banks offer free or low cost notarization to their customers. You can also check with your employer as many businesses have a Notary Public in their personnel or financial departments. Please let us know if you have any questions about this process.

To request a copy of your file, we must first confirm that Holt International facilitated your adoption. Once this has been verified, you’ll receive an email and further instructions enabling you to request your file copies. File copies are scanned in color (in most cases) and forwarded via email unless instructed otherwise.