What exactly happens when a file gets sealed?

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I hear about it all the time- “all those files are sealed.” Is it an actual seal? Why can’t they be unsealed?

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What’s the context?

The files are just filed but they are “classified” in such a way that they are not available to the public.

Like your birth certificate and marriage license are public information. They’re filed in a place where anyone can look at them.

Your adoption records may be sealed. The court files them away, but no one is allowed to see them.

The same thing happens in government. Sensitive matters may be classified so that the public can’t see them.

Some states seal adoption records so that the kid can’t look them up. Its a control method for foster parents to take control of a life.