The Probate Office maintains the adoption records for proceedings held in Polk County.   There are stepparent adoptions, domestic adoptions, foreign adoptions and adult adoptions.  All adoption records are permanent and are confidential.  They are not open records.


Request Adoption Record
The adoption parent or adoptee can request copies of documents such as the adoption order by completing the Adoptions Records Request form. 

Review the request guideline then complete the form and submit it to the Register in Probate office.

All adoptions are confidential records and the request for release of any and all adoption records must be approved by a judge before the record can be released. 

Stepparent Adoption
To file for step-parent adoption, you can access the guidelines and attachments below.  The guideline explains the steps to take to file for a step-parent adoption, the forms required, and provides general information.  You must keep in mind that a termination of parental rights proceeding for the biological parent must be commenced as well before the court will grant a step-parent adoption.  If the biological parent has died, a certified copy of the death certificate must accompany the petition.

There is the statutory requirement for a step-parent screening report to be filed as part of the step-parent adoption.  It will be the petitioner’s responsibility to contract with an agency to complete the screening.  Information and a list of agencies is included with the guideline.

Stepparent Adoption Packet
Foreign and Domestic Adoption
Petitioners for a foreign or domestic adoption can use the same guideline and forms as listed above. A licensed adoption agency will conduct an investigation of the petitioners for the adoption process. That licensed adoption agency must file their report with the court prior to the adoption hearing.
Adoption Fees
There is no filing fee when filing for adoption.  There are fees, however, that the petitioners are responsible for in order to complete the process.  A fee schedule can be obtained below or from the Probate Office.

Can I obtain adoption records?
No.  Adoption records are confidential.  All search requests must go through the Adoption Record Search Program, PO Box 8916, Madison WI 53708-8916, phone number (608) 266-7163.   Additional information is available online at: