OLYMPIA, Wash. - Next July, a new law will open access to original birth records for adults who were born in Washington state and adopted.
Birth parents who placed their child for adoption on or before October 1, 1993 must notify the state Department of Health if they want to remain anonymous.
Senate House Bill 1525 gives adult adoptees the chance to get information about their birth parents.
Any birth parent can choose to share personal information or keep their identity confidential by filing a contact preference form with the state Department of Health.
If they file a contact preference form, they must also provide information about their family's medical history, regardless of whether they choose to disclose their identity.
If a birth parent doesn't file a contact preference form, the adoptee will be able to get a copy of their original birth certificate.
Starting on July 1, 2014, people 18 and older who were adopted on or before October 1, 1993 will able to request their original birth certificate. Until that time, the law only allows adults adopted after October 1, 1993 to receive this document.
The change means some adoptees will not have to go through the court system to get information about a birth parent. That option will remain available for birth parents and adoptees who prefer discreet contact.