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Adoption Law

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-304; 19-5-305

The following persons may have access to adoption records:
• The adopted person who is age 18 or older.
• The birth parents.
• The adoptive parent, custodial grandparent, or legal guardian of a minor adopted person.
• An adult descendant of an adopted person or the adoptive parent, with the written consent of the adopted person.
• The adopted person’s spouse, adult stepchild, or adopted adult sibling, with the consent of the adopted person.
• The birth grandparent with the consent of the birth parent.
• The legal representative of any of the above listed persons.

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-5-305

For adoptions finalized prior to 9-1-1999: Access to the adoption record is available through a confidential intermediary who must obtain consent from the parties before release of information. For adoptions finalized on or after 9-1-1999, all adoption records shall be open to inspection by persons listed above. Adoption records, as defined by § 19-1-103, include:
• The adopted person’s original birth certificate and amended birth certificate.
• The final decree of adoption.
• Any nonidentifying information.
• The final order of relinquishment.
• The order of termination of parental rights.

Nonidentifying information 

Means information that does not disclose the name, address, place of employment, or any other material information that would lead to the identification of the birth parents and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• The physical description of the birth parents.
• The educational background and occupation of the birth parents.
• Genetic information about the birth family.
• Medical information about the adopted person’s birth.
• Social information about the birth parents.
• The placement history of the adopted person.

The State registrar shall prescribe an updated medical history statement that a birth parent may submit with the completed contact preference form. The medical history statement shall be a brief narrative statement written by the birth parent indicating medical information about the birth parent or other biological relatives.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-304; 19-5-305

Any of the parties listed above may file a motion with the court to appoint a confidential intermediary to determine the whereabouts of such individual’s unknown relative or relatives. No one shall seek to determine the whereabouts of a relative who is younger than age 18.The State registrar shall make available to any birth parent named on an original birth certificate a contact preference form on which the birth parent may state a preference regarding contact by an adult adopted person, an adult descendant of an adopted person, or a legal representative of the adopted person or descendant. The contact preference form shall allow the birth parent to voluntarily include his or her contact information in the adoption record and shall provide him or her with options to indicate a preference regarding whether he or she would prefer or not prefer future contact with the adopted person or adult descendant of the adopted person and, if contact is preferred, whether the birth parent would prefer contact directly or through a confidential intermediary or a child placement agency. The contact preference form shall also indicate that the birth parent can change his or her contact preference form by notifying the State registrar in writing.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-5-305

The contact preference form provided by the State registrar shall include an option for the birth parent to authorize the release of the original birth certificate. An authorization to release may be exercised and submitted to the State registrar at any time after 1-1-2006.

Where the Information Can Be Located:

Colorado Voluntary Adoption Registry, Colorado Department of Public Health
Colorado Confidential Intermediary Services
Child Placement Agency Involved In The Adoption
Colorado Vital Records Information

The adoption laws in Colorado were revised 

1.  Effective 7-1-2014,  use Form JDF 532 to request adoption records from the court handling the adoption.  Be sure to read and follow all instructions on Form JDF 494.

2.  Use the Application to Access Original Birth Certificate form to request your original birth certificate. (Note: Those whose adoptions were finalized prior to 7-1-1951 and between 7-1-1967 and 9-1-1999 can apply for their OBC starting 1-1-2016.)  

3. Reunited parties from all time periods can mutually consent to the release of the OBC by filing a  Consent to Release Original Birth Certificate from a Sealed Adoption File


4. Original birth certificates will be open to all eligible parties regardless the date the adoption was finalized.


5. Changes in the law will eliminate the option to authorize or object to the release of the original birth certificate. 

SB 14-051 (Tochtrop / Saine) -  Adult adoptee and certain other family member access to adoption records as defined in statute. Signed by governor 5-22-2014. 

HB 14-1042 (Saine / Tochtrop) - Access to relinquishment records for birth parents.  Signed by governor 5-22-2014.

HB 15-1106 (Saine / Sonnenberg) -  Clean up measure clarifying access to adoption records without redaction. Signed by governor 3-30-2015. Any eligible party who applied for court records using form JDF 532 prior to 3-30-2015 and received a refusal or redacted records should resubmit form JDF 532.  

HB 15-1355 (Saine and Singer / Marble and Newell) - (aka "The Heritage Act")  Allows former residents of the state home for dependent and neglected children and their descendants to have access to records in the possession of CDHS.  Also allows a sibling to obtain a non-certified copy of the original and amended birth certificates of an adult sibling who was adopted by a different family, upon proof of at least one shared birth / first parent.  Signed by governor 6-5-2015.