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New adoption law to open access to birth records in Washington state

Adoptees who were born in Washington state will be able to access their original birth records through a new law taking effect next July.

Children who were placed up for adoption on or before Oct. 1, 1993, may access the records. Birth parents who wish to remain anonymous must notify state health officials.

Senate House Bill 1525 provides adult adoptees with the opportunity to get information about their birth parents. A birth parent can choose to share personal information or maintain a confidential identity by filing a contact preference form with the state Department of Health. If they file the form, information about their family’s medical history, regardless of whether or not they choose to disclose their identity, must be provided.

Starting on July 1, 2014, people age 18 and older who were adopted on or before Oct. 1, 1993, will be able to request their original birth certificate. Until that time, the law only allows adults adopted after Oct. 1, 1993, to receive this document.

The change means that some adoptees will not have to go through the court system to get information about a birth parent. That option will remain available for birth parents and adoptees who prefer discreet contact.

More information about the new adoption law is available on the Department of Health's website at www.doh.wa.gov, Facebook or Twitter.

 

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