Colorado Adoption Law – Pertaining To Open Records
Here is new information about Colorado Adoption Law pertaining to open records from Rich Uhrlaub, director of Adoptees In Search:
“The Colorado State Board of Human Services has approved a new rule in compliance with the recent Court of Appeals ruling which opened records to those whose adoptions were finalized between Julyl 1, 1951 and July 1, 1967. This means that, along with original birth certificates which are available through the Colorado Department of Publice Health and Environment (CDPHE), adoption records as defined by statute which are under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) are now available as well! Here’s the wording of the new rule:
12 CCR 2509-4
CHILD WELFARE SERVICES 7.306.35 – Concl.
7.306.35 Release of Information from Closed Records
Rev. eff. A. Pursuant to statute (SECTION 19-1-103(9), C.R.S.), the State Department or
3/1/03 the county department shall release directly or select licensed child placement agencies to release non-identifying background information from closed records to adoptees 21 eighteen (18) years of age and over or their legal representative or adoptive parents. The criteria for selecting such child placement agencies are outlined in Section 7.710.8.
B. Identifying information may be released from a closed adoption record only by court order, with the exception of item C. This includes identifying information, records, and papers (as defined in 19-1-103(6.5), C.R.S.) from adoptions occurring between July 2, 1967 and July 1, 1999, contained in the state department’s files.
C. records, as defined in Section 19-1-103(6.5) and (6.7), c.R.S., from adoptions that occurred in Colorado between July 1, 1951 and July 1, 1967, maintained at the State department shall be released only to the adult adoptee or legal representative from a closed adoption record. Reasonable fees shall be charged to the adoptee for the process and the copies made.
The exact process for obtaining these records may vary, depending on where they are housed. In theory, this rule should apply to all state and county agencies, licensed child placement agencies (whether open or closed), and maternity homes. However, each entity will likely respond to the rule based upon advice from their legal counsel. Some may decide to release records directly to those requesting them. Since the state currently contracts with a licensed child placement agency to provide non-identifying information to adoptees, it is likely that other organizations will fall under this contract. This means prices could vary from very reasonable up to $150 for the time involved for a third party to locate the file, sort through which documents fall under the rule and provide copies of those documents.
For those interested in requesting records through the courts, a new form is being developed by the State Court Administrator’s office which should make the process less confusing. Until now, people seeking records have modified the JDF 343 form, which was designed for the Confidential Intermediary process. This has resulted in misrouted requests and much wasted time and energy.
For more details, see the AIS/CTC website at www.aisctc.org. See the story on the top slideshow banner accompanied by the photo of a gavel. Also, click on our FAQ link for more detailed information about how to apply for records and who to contact.
Best wishes for a great holiday season and Happy New Year!
Please be aware that you may still need the assistance of a company such as OmniTrace to find your birth family once you obtain your open Colorado records. Names change, families move and much research may still be necessary to locate all of your birth family members.
For assistance, call us at 1-888-965-6696 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org