Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation aimed at allowing adoptees and birth family members to learn more about their family histories.
The bill will help people gain information about their biological family history including obtaining original birth records when one of their grandparents was adopted as a child. It's sponsored by two Chicago Democrats, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz and Sen. Iris Martinez.
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In a Wednesday statement, Quinn says people have the right to know the first chapter of their lives. He says the information can be vital when determining inherited traits and medical history.
Department of Children and Family Services acting Director Bobbie Gregg notes nearly 17,000 children have been adopted in Illinois over the past decade.
The law takes effect in January 2015.