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. and international file. Your U.S. file generally contains the same documents that were provided to your adoptive parents at the time of your adoption. Your international file may or may not have additional documents depending on the circumstances surrounding your relinquishment, and the amount of information available to Holt at that time.

Effective November 2016, Korean regulations now require an adoptee to be age 19 to request copies of the Korean file, an assessment of the file, or a search for birth family. Adoptees age 18 may only request a copy of their U.S. file.

Step-by-Step

  • Complete the Request for Services online form and submit it.
  • Receive an email in 2-5 business days that confirms Holt facilitated your adoption and a link to the request for services form(s).
  • If your adoption was not facilitated by Holt, you'll receive an email explaining this, and a list of possible U.S. agencies that may have been your placing agency (see two different Holt agencies below).
  • In approximately 4-6 weeks, you'll receive an email with your U.S. child material attached.  Time frames may vary based on the number of service requests received and the time of year.  Your patience and understanding is appreciated.
  • 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.
  • Print, complete and return the notarized Request for Post Adoption Services by mail only.
  • Print, complete and return the notarized Request for Post Adoption Services form by mail only.
  • Print, complete the highlighted items, and return the Petition for Disclosure form by mail only.
  • Include a photocopy of either your U.S. passport or Certificate of Naturalization/ Citizenship. Color copies are preferred, if you are able to do so.
  • Print, complete and return the notarized Request for Post Adoption Services form by mail only.
  • Print, complete the highlighted items, and return the Petition for Disclosure form by mail only.
  • Include a photocopy of either your U.S. passport or Certificate of Naturalization/ Citizenship. Color copies are preferred, if you are able to do so.
  • Print, complete and return the notarized Request for Post Adoption Services form by mail only.
  • Print, complete the highlighted items, and return the Petition for Disclosure form by mail only.
  • Include a photocopy of either your U.S. passport or Certificate of Naturalization/ Citizenship. Color copies are preferred, if you are able to do so.

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers
  • Confirm that Holt facilitated your adoption and that you are age 18/19 or over.
  • Email you the link to the request forms noted above or information about Holt Korea’s other partner agencies (see Our History below).
  • Wait for your request forms and documents 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 (if requested) and forward it to you via email, usually within 3-4 weeks of file retrieval. Time frames may vary.
  • Request your international child material from Holt Korea (if requested). While we work cooperatively with our overseas partners, we cannot guarantee a specific response time frame. We appreciate your understanding.
  • Forward your international child material and/or assessment within 2-3 weeks of receipt from Holt Korea.

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.

Generally, your U.S. file will contain your Korean legal documents, child progress reports from when you were in care in Korea, 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.  Because birth parent identifying information is confidential and cannot be released to the adoptee, adoptive parent, or U.S. agency, files do not contain birth parent names.  Please see Birth Parent Search for additional information regarding the process of locating birth family.

Korean files, especially for our younger adoptees, may contain exactly the same documents as the U.S. file. Some files may have a few pages more or less, but are generally the same. Files in Korea may also contain intake documents, counseling notes or information identifying a birth family or foster family — it depends on how you came into care. Please understand that identifying information for anyone (including you) cannot be released to another party without that individual’s written permission. Birth parent counseling notes and other documents, such as the adoption agreement, are confidential and legally cannot be released to Holt International (U.S.), adoptive families or adoptees.  When you receive your file copy it will not contain your birth parent names.  However, the assessment of your file will tell you whether or not the Korean file contains enough information to search for your birth parents.

Adoptee files from the earliest days of our program, both U.S. and international, will contain less information, depending on the time period and technology of the time. For example, files from the 1950s may only have a few pages since the records were kept by hand, there were no copiers, and often very little information was provided to Holt when the children came into care. Files from the 1980s-present typically contain more information about the child after they came into care. For more information regarding record-keeping in Korea or descriptions of Korean legal documents, please click here.

There are many reasons why adult adoptees contact Holt to request a copy of their personal medical records for the time they were in Holt’s care, or to request medical records for their birth parents. For example, when an adoptee becomes a parent themselves, they would like to know of possible inherited conditions that could affect their children. No matter the reason, Holt  will provide whatever information is available.

Unfortunately, however, there is rarely any medical history related to the adoptee’s birth family in our files. The circumstances surrounding how the adoptee came into care, the services available to the birth family at the relinquishment site, and the cultural beliefs and social practices in the country of origin affect the amount of information available. Recognition and management of health and illness in the adoptee’s birth country also impact reasons for the lack of information for most adoptees; for instance, the differences in Eastern medical practices versus Western medicine