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Receiving a Certified Copy of a Judgment Order or Adoption Decree

There are times when it is necessary to provide an institution with proof of an adoption.  These events most often occur when a petitioner is attempting to:
  • Enroll a minor in school
  • Receive a Social Security number
  • Add a minor to the petitioner's insurance
  • Obtain a passport
  • As a retiring adult, obtain proof of his/her birth name or age

The Clerk's Office works with the judiciary to provide the necessary documentation for the adoptee or the petitioner.  All adoption matters are impounded and a court order is required to receive any information from the file.
The procedure is as follows:

The petitioner or adoptee should file a written petition with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Division.  In the body of the letter, s/he is to address what is needed and why it is needed (i.e., enrolling a child in school, etc.).  The case number should be provided, but if it is unknown, the requestor should provide the adopting parent(s) name and the year that the adoption occurred so that we may locate the file.
  • Enclose a notarized photocopy of a current picture identification with a check or money order made payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the cost of the search fee, if applicable, and the certification of the court order.  There is a certification fee of $9.00 per order.   (Fee Schedule)
  • Mail your correspondence to the Clerk's Office at the following address:
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County
50 West Washington, Room 1202-County Division
Chicago, IL 60602
Attention:  Adoption Unit
  • When the letter has been received by the Clerk's Office, the file will be located and sent for review to the County Division Presiding Judge. The Presiding Judge's Office will follow up with any additional correspondence.  If we cannot find your adoption records, we will send you correspondence to that effect. Once approved, the Clerk's Office will certify the Judgment Order and send it to the requestor by first class mail.