From our beginnings in 1882 through the 1970s, many children were adopted through Family & Children's Center and under our previous entity names: Children's Aid Society of Indiana, Northern Indiana Orphans Home and Orphan's Home Association of St. Joseph County.
During that time we adopted out residents of our facility and acted as an adoption agency. The following is a guide to assist those searching for information on their adoption.
1. Those who can request and get non-identifying information:
2. To Request information on an adoption: You need to submit a letter to:
Family & Children's Center
1411 Lincoln Way West
Mishawaka IN 46544
The letter must include the following information:
- Your name (if adopted child – need name of adopted parents)
- Date of birth
- What type of information you are requesting (non-identifying information, medical or both)
- The letter must be signed and include an ID with your signature such as a driver's license.
3. Once we receive the letter and retrieve your file the information you requested will be compiled and sent to you. We also include the State of Indiana Adoption Registry Forms for you to complete if you wish to be registered. The forms need only be completed if you wish to connect with your birth parents/child.
1. Orphanage files are considered confidential and we will not release any information from those files unless presented with a court order.
2. If you want history on someone who was in our orphanage and is deceased:
- Have to have court order
- Go to Indiana court…go to courthouse if you know county of birth
- If prior to 1941 – files are open at courthouse
3. To Petition the Courts to request release of adoption history information
4. For further adoption information – contact Elizabeth Waletzko at 574-968-9660 X:1213