Closed Adoption Searches
Q: What is a Confidential Intermediary (CI)?
A: Confidential Intermediaries (CIs) are post-adoption liaisons between birth
parents, adopted children and their siblings. CIs help facilitate contact
between parties of an adoption (adoption triad members) or siblings
separated as a result of a dependency action.
Confidential Intermediaries are individual's, certified by the Arizona
Supreme Court's, Certification and Licensing Division and the Confidential
Intermediary Program (CIP) to perform closed adoption searches.
For adoptions finalized in Arizona and pursuant to Arizona Revised
Statute (A.R.S. §8-134), any of the following parties can may use the services
of a CI:
Adoptive parents of an adoptee who is at least 18 years of age, or if the adoptive parents are deceased, the adoptee's guardian
An adoptee who is at least 18 years of age
If any adoptee is deceased, the adoptee's spouse, if the spouse is the legal parent or guardian of any child of the adoptee
If any adoptee is deceased, any progeny of the adoptee who is at least 18 years of age
Either of the birth parents of an adoptee
If the birth parent of an adoptee is deceased, the parent of the birth parent
A biological sibling of an adoptee if the sibling is at least 18 years of age
A CI CANNOT contact those under 21 years of age without a court order
Q: Is information about me confidential?
A: Yes, all information about you in the dependency case and contact information after your case is dismissed is confidential. Only the court may release this information. The Confidential Intermediary may review your information but must keep all information confidential. Whether you are our client or the one being searched for, you have the right at any time to refuse information sharing, decline contact and our CIs will keep you information confidential and not share it with anyone.
Why Should I use a Confidential Intermediary?
In closed adoption searches, consent is required by both parties before any identifying information can be shared. If one party refuses to consent to share information, no information can be shared. In some cases, we may be able to disclose non-identifying information, i.e. healthy female. Though this can be frustrating, please note that the law is very specific on what information can be shared and confidentiality is paramount to this program.
Covert's CIs are authorized to inspect sealed court records, state "division agency" records, maternity home and adoption agency records not otherwise available to the public. Additionally, our CIs have a variety of investigative tools, resources and databases we utilize to develop current address and contact information.
With a written statement from a physician, a court may order non-identifying medical information to be provided, regardless of an adoptee's age.
SENSITIVITY & PROFESSIONALISM
Covert's CIs are trained to handle sensitive situations in a discrete and objective manner.
SIX - Sibling Exchange Program
Q: What is the Sibling Information Exchange Program?
A: SIX provides an opportunity for former dependent children to stay in touch and exchange information with their siblings (brothers and sisters). It includes adopted children and those in foster care, group homes or residential treatment centers.
Q: Who may participate in SIX?
A: You may participate in SIX if you are one of the following:
18 years or older and a former dependent child.
17 or under and a former dependent child. If under 18, your participation must include your adoptive parent, guardian or biological parent if he or she has legal custody and is not involved in a current juvenile court dependency case.
Over 18 and you are the sibling of a former dependent child.
Q: Is information about me confidential?
A: Yes, all information about you in the dependency case and contact information after your case is dismissed
is confidential. Only the court may release this information. The Confidential Intermediary may review your information but must keep all information confidential. It is only to be used to arrange contact between you and your siblings or for sharing information between siblings. Whether you are our client or the one being searched for, you have the right at any time to refuse information sharing, decline contact and our CIs will keep you information confidential and not share it with anyone.
The CIs at Covert Business Solutions are aware and sensitive to the extreme emotional journey the process of hiring a CI is and searching out family members can be. You may experience excitement, doubt, frustration, anger and sadness. The search process can be long and frustrating, as we (CIs) are not able to share any detail with you along the way. Most of the updates we give clients along the way must only consist of non-specific verbiage such as: we are still working on it and we are waiting on records.
CI searches, or [more formally] closed adoption searches can be labor and time intensive and we are unable to predict how fast a search may be completed. Due to the unpredictable nature and availability of records, some searches can be completed within days, others may take months.
The State of Arizona regulates what fees can be charged for Confidential Intermediary searches. We work off of a retainer and our standard initial retainer for a closed adoption search is $1500. This fee encompasses approximately 12 hours of investigative time and additional funds for travel, record searches and ancillary expenses. Any retainer / fees collected but not earned will be returned to the client at the conclusion of the investigation.
Below is a breakdown of the various billable rates:
$100.00 - Initial File Set-Up
$100.00 - Investigative Hourly Rate
$50.00 - Bookkeeping / Travel Hourly Rate
$0.62 - Per Mile
Direct Costs and Expenses Billed at Actual Cost
$Varies - Investigative Database Searches
Clients will be required to sign our standard Confidential Intermediary Retainer Agreement and pay the retainer before any work begins. The next step will include a detailed intake interview to collect any relevant and pertinent information necessary to begin our search efforts.
Contact us today to begin your journey.