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GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH

CERTIFICATE

Washington:  Access to OBCs and Non-ID

WASHINGTON

DENIES UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO OBC (Access is subject to disclosure vetoes and contact preferences)

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.340; 26.33.343

Non-identifying information is available to:
• An adoptive parent
• An adopted person
• A birth parent


Identifying information may be accessed by:
• An adopted person who is age 21 or older, or under 21 with the permission of the adoptive parent
• A birth parent or member of the birth parent’s family after the adopted person has reached age 21
These family members shall be limited to the birth grandparents, a brother or sister of a birth parent, or the child of a birth parent.
The court, for good cause shown, may allow a relative more distant in degree to petition for disclosure.

 

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Rev. Code § 26.33.345

A non-certified copy of the original birth certificate is available to the birth parent upon request. For adoptions finalized after October 1, 1993, the Department of Health shall provide a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate upon request to an adopted person who is age 18 or older, unless the birth parent has filed an affidavit of non-disclosure before July 28, 2013, or a contact preference form that indicates he or she does not want the original birth certificate released,provided that the affidavit of nondisclosure, the contact preference form, or both have not expired.For adoptions finalized on or before October 1, 1993, the department may not provide a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate to the adopted person until after June 30, 2014. After June 30, 2014, the department shall provide a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate upon request to an adopted person age 18 or older, unless the birth parent has filed a contact preference form that indicates he or she does not want the original birth certificate released, provided that the contact preference form has not expired.  An affidavit of nondisclosure expires upon the death of the birth parent.

 

Access to Non-identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.340; 26.33.380

Reasonably available non-identifying information may be disclosed upon a written request to the persons listed above. If the
adoption facilitator refuses to disclose such information, the individual may petition the superior court.

The prospective adoptive parent shall be given a family background and child and family social history report about the child. The
report shall include a chronological history of the circumstances surrounding the adoptive placement and any available psychiatric
reports, psychological reports, court reports pertaining to dependency or custody, or school reports. Such reports or information
shall not reveal the identity of the birth parents of the child but shall contain reasonably available non-identifying information.

 

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.343; 26.33.347

Any person listed above may petition the court to appoint a confidential intermediary. The intermediary shall search for and
discreetly contact the birth parent or adopted person; or if they are not alive or cannot be located within 1 year, the intermediary may
attempt to locate members of the birth parents’ or adopted person’s family.
If the person is located, the intermediary will ask whether the person consents to a disclosure of identifying information. If the
person refuses to consent, the intermediary shall report the refusal to the court and shall refrain from further inquiry without judicial
approval. If the person being sought consents to disclosure of his or her identity, the court may then order that the identifying
information be released. If the person being sought is deceased, the court may order disclosure of the identity of the deceased to
the petitioner.
An adopted person age 18 or older may file with the Department of Health a certified statement declaring any one or more of the
following:
• The adopted person refuses to consent to the release of any identifying information to a birth parent, birth sibling, or other
birth relative and does not wish to be contacted by a confidential intermediary except in the case of a medical need.
• The adopted person consents to the release of identifying information to a confidential intermediary, a birth parent, birth
sibling, or other birth relative.
• The adopted person desires to be contacted by his or her birth parents, birth siblings, other birth relatives, or a confidential
intermediary.
An adopted person who files a certified statement may subsequently file another statement requesting to rescind or amend the prior
statement.


Where the Information Can Be Located
Washington State Department Health, Original Birth Certificate for an Adopted Person

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