Partners for Our Children

Sponsored by Representative Orwall, HB 1525 states that the Department of Health will provide any adoptee 18 years of age or older with a noncertified copy of his or her original birth certificate upon request, unless the birth parent has filed a valid affidavit of nondisclosure. Any birth parent may file such an affidavit, regardless of when the adoption was finalized, and the affidavit is valid for ten years for cases finalized prior to October 1, 1993 and for five years for cases finalized on or after that date. A birth parent may renew the affidavit, but if he or she does not do so, it is deemed expired and is no longer valid. Birth parents may also file a contact preference form, which indicates whether he or she desires contact with the adoptee. If a birth parent does file an affidavit or a contact preference form, he or she must also file a non-identifying medical history form, which will be provided to the adoptee upon request. If a birth parent has filed an affidavit, the adoptee may request, no more than once per year, that the Department of Health attempt to determine if the birth parent is deceased. The bill also replaces the words “mother” and “father” with “parent”.

Substitute bill:  As amended, HB 1525 makes disclosure of non-identifying information of a birth parent, adoptee, or adoptive parent mandatory, upon request; Allows an adult adoptee to obtain an uncertified copy of the original birth certificate, regardless of when the adoption was finalized, unless the birth parent has filed an affidavit of nondisclosure; Requires the Department of Health to conduct a search to determine if a birthparent who signed an affidavit of nondisclosure is deceased, upon request of the adoptee.  Further, the substitute amends some provisions of the statutes relating to birth certificates to include gender-neutral terms. 

As amended by the HSC Committee:  The public records search provision from the House bill was included, and the Senate bill process for releasing birth certificates to adoptees was adopted. The options that a birth parent may select on the contact preference form include language about whether the birth parent consents to the release of the original birth certificate. The term adopted person is changed to adoptee to better match the rest of the chapter. The provision requiring DOH to place the contact preference form and updated medical history form in a secure file until it can be placed in the sealed file is removed.