Indian Ancestry

How Native American Adoptees Can Unseal Their Birth Records in California?

Tribal enrollment criteria are defined by each tribe, but in almost all cases the tribe requires that the enrollment applicant demonstrate that they are a descendant of a person (living or deceased) who is enrolled or recognized as a member of the tribe. If you were adopted you may not know who your biological parents were or whether they were members of a tribe.

This Birth Records Self-Help Kit guide explains what you need to do if you were adopted and you think you are Native American and you live in California and/or were born in California and you want to enroll in your tribe.

How do I Trace my California Indian Ancestry?

Much of the information contained in this handout pertains solely to individuals tracing their ancestry to California tribal groups. This information is not meant as a guide for those tracing their ancestry from tribes outside of California. While the information is specific to California, the general scope of the information and your particular family’s history may not reflect the experience of the majority of California Native families.

The guide may be found at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s page on “Tracing Indian Ancestry”