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Frequently Asked Questions - Adoption

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Adult adoptees and birth parents who have been previously matched may obtain the adoptees’ original birth certificate due to a new law, Colorado Revised Statute §19-5-305. Procedures for implementing this new statute have been developed. Complete the consent form to release an original birth certificate from a sealed file.

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To have your original birth certificate issued, you will need to contact the district or juvenile court that decreed your adoption or a court of competent jurisdiction. You will need to request a good cause hearing from the court and ask that court to order the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Vital Records, to open your sealed adoption file and issue a certified copy of your original birth certificate. Persons who have been previously matched may be able to obtain an original birth certificate for their personal records.

 

If you were adopted July 1, 1951 through June 30, 1967, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled adoptees can access their adoption records.

 

If you were adopted September 1, 1999 to present, records are open to adult adoptees 18 years of age and older.

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You will need to obtain a court order for Vital Records to release this information. Other options include the Colorado Voluntary Adoption Registry and the Colorado Confidential Intermediary Service.

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You will need to contact the court where your adoption was decreed for a good cause hearing (or a court of competent jurisdiction). We have found that the courts usually act favorably on these petitions.

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We will require a certified copy of the order, a $20.00 processing fee and a photocopy of your driver's license, state ID or passport. The fee to issue a certified copy of the original birth certificate is $17.75 for the first copy and $10.00 for each additional copy if ordered at the same time.

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Typically, the District or Juvenile court should have decreed the adoption in the county where your adopted parents were residing at the time of your adoption.

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If you were a ward of the Colorado State Home for Dependent and Neglected Children prior to being adopted, you can contact Division of Youth Corrections, Closed Records, 4143 South Julian Way, Bldg 23, Denver CO 80236; phone (303) 866-7346;

 

The adoptee must write a letter asking for non-identifying information. Include your birth name (if known), date of birth, adopted parents’ names, your current name, address, city, state, zip code and phone number. Include all information that you know regarding your birth parents. If the information is correct, the agency will not eliminate that information from the documents they will mail to you. Any identifying information that you do not provide will be eliminated. They have records for the years 1895-1960. The letter must be notarized and mailed with a copy of your driver’s license. There is a charge of $.50 per page. Do not mail any money, as you will be billed for the copy charge plus postage. If you are not sure that you were a ward of the State Home, call prior to writing the letter. A birth parent or sibling can be given only the county and the year the adoption was final.

 

If you were in the custody of a county human services agency prior to your adoption, contact Colorado Department of Human Services, 1575 Sherman St., 2nd Fl., Adoption Unit, Denver CO 80203-1714; phone (303) 866-3228. This agency has records on file for birth years 1950 to present. Few records available prior to 1950.

 

If you were in the custody of Catholic Community Services, contact Catholic Charities, 2525 West Alameda Avenue, Denver CO 80219; phone (303) 742-0828; www.catholiccharitiesdenver.org; e-mail (for birth years 1949 to present)

 

If you were in the custody of Lutheran Family Services contact Lutheran Family Services of Colorado:
3800 Automation Way, Suite 200
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-266-1788 ext. 159
fax 970.266.1799
1-866-361-6758 ext. 159 (toll free)

 

If a private attorney handled the adoption, the above agencies would not have non-identifying information.

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Contact the court that decreed your adoption, or the Colorado Department of Human Services, Adoption Unit at (303) 866-3228, or the adoption agency that handled your adoption.

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You must be at least 18 years of age. Please see the Colorado Voluntary Adoption Registry page for more information.

 

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In this situation Colorado Vital Records would not have your original birth certificate. You will need to contact the state vital records office where you were born to find out the procedure for obtaining your original birth certificate. Each state has different laws and regulations.