(ABC4) – A new law that went into effect Nov. 1, 2021, will now allow Utah-born adoptees to a get a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate without having to go to court if the birth parents give permission.

If an adoptee knows their birth parents are deceased, they can still obtain a copy of their original birth certificate.

Why should an adult adoptee be able to have access to their birth certificate? It grants them access to their medical history, family history, and overall identity.

So why would people want to keep these kinds of records closed? Open records could cause people to become more hesitant about adoption and likely increase the rates of abortion, some people claim.

McKenzie Dyer spoke with ABC4 about how she was adopted and how she feels about this complicated issue.

“I have an open adoption which means I’ve had contact with my birth mother for most of my life, while I have all that medical information from her, that’s only half the information,” Dyer said.

Dyer explained how important it is to know family medical history as well as the history of mental illness. “I don’t have contact with my birth father which can make it difficult at times trying to obtain information about who I am and basically my past.”

The rights of the adoptee versus the rights of birth mothers is a tricky situation for all states. Each state is different with rights for adoptees. In Utah, adoptees have the right to open their records at the age of 18 but restrictions apply. Often these steps are tricky to navigate and make it difficult to get records open.

Currently, 17 states keep their adoption documents completely sealed meaning very limited or no access without a court order.

One way adoptees have been getting information without having to contact birth parents is through programs like ancestry DNA and 23andME DNA testing.

“I think it’s a great tool for people to use,” Dyer said. “It’s definitely gotten more popular which lets people maybe meet siblings or half-siblings.”

While some adoptees may feel in the dark about who they are, laws and technology are continuously being updated to allow people more access to their overall identity.