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SALT LAKE CITY — A new law will allow Utah-born adoptees, with permission from the birth parents or who know their birth parents are deceased, to get a copy of their birth certificate without going to court, the Utah Department of Health announced Tuesday.
The non-certified copies can be accessed through the Utah Adoption Registry, a voluntary, mutual consent registry that allows Utah-born adoptees over age 18 to reconnect with their birth parents and blood-related siblings. The registry, first created in 1987, is the only one that can access original, pre-adoption birth records for Utah births, as the original certificates are sealed during adoption.
The new law, passed by the Utah Legislature in 2020 and goes into effect Nov. 1, will establish a new records system that allows users to log in any time to review their information and the status of their search for their birth parents, update what information they want to share and receive and download their non-certified original birth certificate once the match is verified.
Birth parents can, if they choose, use an intermediary to share their information, register their consent to release the birth certificate copy and upload non-identifying health and social history without sharing contact information. One parent on the certificate can also refrain from giving permission and their information will be redacted.
Both the adoptee and the birth parents need to create a user account with the Utah Adoption Registry in order to officially request or give permission to access these records. There is a registration fee of $25.
"The registry has been updated to allow adoptees access to these records, according to the law, as well as for birth parents to update important information like health histories and to give permission to share records with their adopted children when they turn 18," said Linda Wininger, director of the health department's Office of Vital Records and Statistics. "If both parties are registered and provide the necessary information, these records will be available to adoptees beginning on Nov. 1."
Wininger encourages people to create their accounts now, before the law goes into effect, to cut down on the time it takes to ensure the records are correctly matched and the required consent is given.