Utah Health Department announces changes to state adoption laws

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- The Utah Department of Health announced Tuesday that effective November 1, Utah-born adoptees can now get a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate without having to go to court, if the birth parents give permission.

The changes were made during the 2020 general session of the Utah State Legislature when House Bill (HB) 345 Personal Records Amendments, introduced by Representative Stewart Barlow, was passed. 

“The registry has been updated to allow adoptees access to these records according to the law,” said Linda Wininger, director of the Utah Department of Health Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

She said updates to the registry allow parents to update information like health histories. It also gives them the power to give permission to share those records with their adopted children when they turn 18.

“If both parties are registered and provide the necessary information, these records will be available to adoptees beginning on November 1,” Wininger said.

The health department outlined the benefits of the new system which are:

  • Logging in any time to review information and check the status of match search.
  • Update the contact information a person wishes to share with a match. 
  • Update the information a person wishes to receive from a match.
  • Birth parents may decide to use an intermediary instead of sharing their own information.
  • Birth parents may register their consent to release a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate to the adoptee with or without releasing any other contact information.
  • Birth parents may upload documents such as non-identifying health and social history or other information for the adoptee to access. These documents can be made available with or without sharing any other contact information. 
  • Adoptees may request a copy of their original non-certified birth certificate after birth parent consent or if their birth parents are deceased. 
  • Adoptees may login any time to download their non-certified original birth certificate or other documents submitted by their birth parents after their match is verified.

Individuals who are interested in finding their birth families or accessing records need to create a user account with the Utah Adoption Registry, even if they had previously registered with it. 

There is a $25 fee for those who haven’t registered before. Wininger encourages people to create their accounts now before the law goes into effect. 

“The system is set up and ready,” she said. “I would encourage anyone who is looking for information about their birth parents or adopted children to create their account as soon as possible. Matching these records to the right people and making sure everyone has given consent to share information takes time.”

To learn more about the Utah Adoption Registry or to create an account, visit https://adoptionregistry.utah.gov.

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