New Adoption Law in Washington State

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Good news for Washington State adoptees! The State of Washington’s new adoption law (SHB1525) became effective on July 28, 2013, changing the requirements for adoptees to obtain their original non-certified birth certificates.  The law also requires birth parents to notify the State Health Department before July 1, 2014, if they prefer to remain anonymous.

According to Washington State Dept. of Health’s website, beginning July 1, 2014, all adoptees 18 and older will have access to their original non-certified birth certificates unless the birth parent files a “Contact Preference Form” with the State’s Center for Health Statistics. Currently, original non-certified birth certificates are available to adoptees 18 and older if the adoption occurred after October 1, 1993, and a “Contact Preference Form” has not been filed by the birth parent  (see “Adoptions” website).  The new law will make it easier for adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificates. You can review the new rules on the State’s “New Adoption Law” website.

Find other State information about obtaining birth certificates on our “Birth Records Resources” website. The website provides links for all 50 states and all counties within each state. Rules regarding adoption records can generally be found within a State’s main vital records website. The following links are some of the available State sites regarding adoption birth certificates.

Alabama’s adoption website explains its 2000 amendment to its vital records law allowing adult adoptees to obtain non-certified copies of birth certificates. In Colorado, access to sealed adoption records is based on the adoption date which is explained on Colorado’s adoption page.

New York Dept. of Health’s “Adoption Information Registry” page explains three types of available information including “Non-Identifying Information,” “Identifying Information,” and “Medical Information.” The site explains who can register and how to register with the Adoption Registry. You can go to New York’s website for more information. The Texas adoption website explains how adoptees can obtain a copy of their original birth certificate including an order form which can be completed and mailed to the Texas Dept. of Health Services.

There are a variety of ways to obtain birth records whether you are an adoptee or not; however obtaining birth records directly from the State or County where you were born is generally the simplest. In addition to finding birth records, you can also find death and marriage records on our “Death Records Resources” and “Marriage Records Resources” websites. Our “Free Public Records Search Directory” website provides links to a variety of public records which can be searched by state, county, city or type of record.

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