November is set aside to promote the awareness of adoption throughout the country. In genealogical research, adoption can put up some roadblocks because of legal obligations to privacy of all parties. Adoption laws vary from state to state. Laws at the time of your ancestor’s birth have to be taken into consideration. RootsWeb’s Guide to Tracing Family Trees provides some explanations and links to online resources. The New York State Library has a page devoted to books and organizations that could be of assistance for New York adoptions.
The Grosvenor Room, in the Central Library, has a few items that could help your search for ancestors who were adopted:
Erie County Records, Adoptions 1857-1876 (not a comprehensive set of records)
WNYGS Microfilm ML 139 Book 3
Jewitt, Allen E.
Adoption’s [sic] Recorded in Erie County Hall, Buffalo, 1874-1900
GRO Ref *F127 .E6 J48 1984, 2 vols.
Coppola, Mrs. R. Donald et al., comp.
Records of the Evangelical Lutheran St. John’s Orphan Home
Buffalo Collection *F129 .B8 C763
What if you were adopted in New York state and you’d like to find your birth parents? Adoption records in New York are sealed. However, the New York State Health Deparment has several registeries that adoptees, their biological siblings and their birth parents may sign up for inclusion and the possibility of finding their relatives.