Colorado: Access to OBCs and Non-ID
UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO OBC (Age 18 and older)
Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-304(1)(b); 19-5-305(2)(b)(I)
A qualified confidential intermediary is authorized to inspect confidential relinquishment and adoption records,
post-adoption records, and dependency and neglect records, including but not limited to court files, for the purpose
of arranging contact, within 45 days after a motion to the court is filed by the following persons:
•An adult adopted person
•An adoptive parent, custodial grandparent, or legal guardian of a minor adopted person
•A biological parent or an adult biological sibling or half-sibling of an adult adopted person
•An adult descendant, spouse of an adopted person, adult stepchild, or adopted adult sibling of an adopted person with the notarized written consent of the adult adopted person
•A biological grandparent of an adopted with the notarized written consent of the biological parent (no written consent required if the biological parent is deceased)
•The legal representative of any of the individuals listed above
•A former foster child who may or may not have been adopted, who is age 18 or older, and who is searching for a birth sibling who also is age 18 or older, who may or may not have been adopted, and who may or may not have been in the foster care system.
Upon request, the custodian of records shall provide direct access, without redaction, to all adoption records for inspection and copying by an adult adopted person, an adoptive parent of a minor adopted person, a custodial grandparent of a minor adopted person, or the legal representative of any such individual. In addition, the custodian of records shall provide direct access to adoption records for inspection and copying by a spouse, an adult descendant, an adult sibling or half-sibling, an adoptive parent or grandparent of an adult adopted person, or the legal representative of any such individual, if the individual requesting access has the notarized written consent of the adult adopted person or if the adopted person is deceased.
Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-5-305
The option on the contact preference form that allows a birth parent to authorize or not authorize the release of the original birth certificate to eligible parties expires on January 1, 2016. On and after January 1, 2016, contact preference forms shall only address a birth parent’s preferences regarding contact and to submit or update medical history. On and after July 1, 2014, the State registrar shall post a notice on its website stating that the contact preference form will be revised to eliminate that option and that birth parents may exercise this option prior to January 1, 2016. [Allegedly, no birth parents filed a request prior to the January 1, 2016 deadline. As such, it is believed that no enforceable redaction or disclosure vetoes currently exist in Colorado. Despite that the law is not written to grant unrestricted access for adult adoptees, Colorado adoptees have unrestricted access by virtue of the fact that not birth parents filed requests before the deadline. ]
Prior to allowing access to an original birth certificate, the State registrar must search for a contact preference form executed prior to January 1, 2016 to ascertain if either birth parent had stated a preference authorizing or not authorizing the release of the original birth certificate. If both birth parents have filed a contact preference form executed prior to January 1, 2016, authorizing the release of the original birth certificate, then the State registrar must release the original birth certificate to the eligible party. If there is no contact preference form on file, or if a contact preference form executed prior to January 1, 2016, is on file stating that the original birth certificate not be released, then the State registrar may not release the original birth certificate prior to January 1, 2016, unless the birth parent rescinds the contact preference form, upon mutual consent of two or more reunited parties, the birth parent is deceased, or the eligible party obtains a court order pursuant to § 19-1-309. When one birth parent has authorized the release of the birth certificate and the other birth parent has filed a contact preference form, prior to January 1, 2016, not authorizing release, the State registrar shall issue the original birth certificate to the eligible party with the name of the non-consenting parent redacted.
Access to Non-identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-402; 19-1-103(80)
Any adult adopted person or any adoptive parent may request non-identifying information about the adopted person or the birth parents of the adopted person from the Department of Human Services. The department shall provide the non-identifying information that is available to the department directly to the inquiring adult adopted person, adoptive parent, or to a qualified, licensed child-placing agency. The term ‘non-identifying information’ means information that does not disclose the name, address, place of employment, or any other material information that would lead to the identification of the birth parents, including, but not limited to, the following:
•The physical description of the birth parents
•The educational background of the birth parents
•The occupation of the birth parents•Genetic information about the birth family
•Medical information about the adult adopted person’s birth
•Social information about the birth parents
•The placement history of the adopted person
Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-304; 19-5-305; 19-1-103(6.5)(a.5)
An eligible person may petition the court to appoint a confidential intermediary to search adoption records in an effort to find a birth relative. When a sought-after birth relative is located, the intermediary shall obtain consent from both parties that they wish to personally communicate with one another. Contact shall be made between the parties involved in the investigation only when consent for such contact has been received by the court.
All confidential intermediaries shall inform both the requesting birth relative and the sought-after birth relative of the existence of the voluntary adoption registry set forth in § 25-2-113.5.
The State registrar shall provide a birth parent with a contact preference form on which the birth parent may indicate a preference regarding contact by the adult adopted person or the adopted person’s descendant. The form may include an updated medical history about the birth parent or other biological relatives. The State registrar shall maintain the contact preference form and the medical history statements, if any, and make them accessible to a person who is eligible to receive adoption records.
The ‘adoption record’ includes the following documents and information, without redaction:
•The adopted person’s original birth certificate and amended birth certificate
•The final decree of adoption
•Any identifying information, including:
»The name of the adopted person before placement for adoption
»The name and address of each birth parent as they appear in the birth records
»The name, address, and any contact information of the adult adopted person
»The current name, address, and contact information of each birth parent, if known
»Other information that might personally identify a birth parent
•An non-identifying information
Where the Information Can Be Located
•Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
•Colorado Intermediary Services•The child-placing agency involved in the adoption