SEATTLE — A new law that will take effect July 1, 2014, opens up access to birth records for all Washington-born adoptees. Parents who placed their child for adoption on or before Oct. 1, 1993, will need to notify state health officials if they want to remain anonymous.
Individuals who wish to obtain their original birth records must be at least 18 years old and have been adopted on or before Oct. 1, 1993; until July 1, adults adopted after Oct. 1, 1993, are able to receive their birth records.
Currently, any birth parent can choose to share their personal information or opt to remain anonymous. To remain anonymous, birth parents must file a contact preference form with the Department of Health. Anyone choosing to file the form is required to provide information about their family medical history.
If a birth parent does not file the form, the adoptee will be able to obtain their original birth certificate.
The new law allows adoptees to circumvent the courts in order to obtain their original birth certificates; however, that option will remain available for those parents and adoptees who wish to remain discreet in their request for records or anonymity.