Local Information for the State of Maryland:
Information on Maryland adoption records is available at the
Maryland State Archives. Please note that there are laws limiting access to these
records. When a person is adopted in Maryland the original birth certificate and entry are removed from the files of the Division of
Vital Records. The certificate is filed with the adoption file and becomes part of a closed record. A new birth certificate is created
showing the adoptive parents as the parents of the child. Most adoption files before June 1, 1947 are open and available to anyone.
You need to contact the circuit court which granted the adoption and request the file or case number.
The Maryland State Archives can provide birth records from before 1925. Birth records after 1924 are available from the
Maryland Division of Vital Records. Some birth and death records from the archives date back to 1649.
The Maryland State Archives has a wide variety of criminal records from all 23 counties and Baltimore City. Access to these records
varies according to jurisdiction, court and time period.
Divorce records from the Archives vary considerably by date depending on the jurisdiction. In order to locate a divorce file it is necessary to know; the county,
case number, names of parties, approximate divorce date.
The Archives have a variety of marriage records dating back to 1640. Rules on recording marriage varied widely in the past and were dependent on religion and
race of the mother. In 1865 Maryland required the recording of births, deaths, and marriages at the county level, with further reporting
to the Secretary of the Senate. The secretary furnished standardized marriage record books to the court clerks.
Division of Vital Records of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issues certified copies of birth, death, fetal
death, and marriage certificates for events that occur in Maryland. The Division also provides divorce verifications. The Division
provides information on procedures to follow for registering an adoption.
Most birth certificates for individuals born in Maryland after 1939 are also available at local health departments in all jurisdictions
except Montgomery County, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County.
Maryland Division of Vital Records
6550 Reisterstown Road
Baltimore, MD 21215-2299