2017 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 25 - Public Health and Environment
Vital Statistics
Article 2 - Vital Statistics
§ 25-2-113.5. Limited access to information upon consent of all parties - voluntary adoption registry

(1) Adoption is based upon the legal termination of parental rights and responsibilities of birth parents and the creation of the legal relationship of parent and child between an adoptee and his or her adoptive parents. Under current laws and the social premises underlying adoption, the general assembly has been charged with the duty to preserve the right to privacy and confidentiality of birth parents whose children were adopted, the adoptees, and the adoptive parents. The general assembly recognizes, however, that some adults who were adopted as children, their siblings who may or may not have been adopted, and some birth parents whose children were surrendered for adoption have a strong desire to obtain information about each other. The purpose of this section is to set up a voluntary adoption registry where qualified persons may register their willingness to the release of information to each other and to provide for the disclosure of such information.

(2) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Adoptive parent" means an adult who has become a parent of a child through the legal process of adoption.

(b) "Consent" means a verified written statement which has been notarized.

(c) "Identifying information" includes the following information:

(I) The name of the qualified adoptee before placement in adoption;

(II) The name and address of each qualified birth parent as it appears in birth records;

(III) The current name, address, and telephone number of the qualified adult adoptee; and

(IV) The current name, address, and telephone number of each qualified birth parent.

(d) "Qualified adult adoptee" means an adopted person eighteen years of age or older who was born in Colorado and who meets the requirements of this section.

(e) "Qualified birth parent" means a genetic, biological, or natural parent whose rights were voluntarily or involuntarily terminated by a court or otherwise and who meets the requirements of this section. "Birth parent" includes a man who is the parent of a child as established in accordance with the provisions of the "Uniform Parentage Act", article 4 of title 19, C.R.S., prior to the termination of parental rights and who meets the requirements of this section.

(f) "Registrar" means the state registrar of vital statistics or his designated representative.

(g) "Relative" includes an individual's spouse, birth parent, adoptive parent, sibling, or child who is twenty-one years of age or older.

(g.5) "Sibling" shall have the same meaning as "biological sibling", section 19-1-103 (14), C.R.S.

(h) "Voluntary adoption registry" or "registry" means a place where eligible persons, as described in this section, may indicate their willingness to have their identities and whereabouts disclosed to each other under conditions specified in this section.

(3) The registrar shall maintain a confidential list of qualified adult adoptees who have presented a consent regarding the release of identifying information about themselves. Any consent by a qualified adult adoptee shall be accompanied by the adoptee's desired method of notification in the event that a match occurs; however, the state shall not incur costs of notification in excess of that part of the fee charged to the applicant for the purpose of notification. Any consent shall also indicate whether the qualified adult adoptee desires release of his identifying information if a match occurs after his death. The qualified adult adoptee may revise his consent with respect to change of address or method of notification. Any name and accompanying information shall be removed from the list upon the verified written request of the listed adoptee. The registrar shall maintain a closed record of such list and accompanying information, except as provided in accordance with this section.

(4) The registrar shall maintain a confidential list of qualified birth parents who have presented a consent regarding the release of identifying information about themselves. Any consent by a qualified birth parent shall be accompanied by the birth parent's desired method of notification in the event that a match occurs; however, the state shall not incur costs of notification in excess of that part of the fee charged to the applicant for the purpose of notification. Any consent shall also indicate whether the qualified birth parent desires release of his identifying information if a match occurs after his death. The qualified birth parent may revise his consent with respect to change of address or method of notification. Any name and accompanying information shall be removed from the list upon the verified written request of the listed birth parent. The registrar shall maintain a closed record of such list and accompanying information, except as provided in accordance with this section. Any birth parent who in terminating his parental rights used an alias, and this alias is listed in the original sealed birth certificate, may also file a consent with the registry. A birth parent shall not be matched with the qualified adult adoptee without the consent of the other birth parent unless:

(a) There is only one birth parent listed on the birth certificate; or

(b) The other birth parent is deceased; or

(c) The other birth parent is unable to be located by the department of public health and environment after an exhaustive search, the cost of said search to be fully funded by the birth parent seeking a match, said search to be in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the department.

(5) The registrar shall maintain a confidential list of relatives of deceased qualified adult adoptees and relatives of deceased qualified birth parents who have presented a consent regarding the release of identifying information about themselves. Any consent by such relative shall be accompanied by the person's desired method of notification in the event that a match occurs; however, the state shall not incur costs of notification in excess of that part of the fee charged to the applicant for the purpose of notification. Such relative may revise his consent with respect to change of address or method of notification. Any name and accompanying information shall be removed from the list upon the verified written request of the listed relative. The registrar shall maintain a closed record of such list and accompanying information, except as provided in accordance with this section.

(5.5) The registrar shall maintain a confidential list of former foster children who may or may not have been adopted, who are eighteen years of age or older, who have presented a consent regarding the release of identifying information about themselves and who are searching for a sibling who is also eighteen years of age or older, who may or may not have been adopted, and who may or may not have been in the foster care system. Any consent by such sibling shall be accompanied by the sibling's desired method of notification in the event that a match occurs. However, the state shall not incur costs of notification in excess of that part of the fee charged to the applicant for the purpose of notification. A sibling may revise his or her consent with respect to change of address or method of notification. Any name and accompanying information shall be removed from the list upon the verified written request of the listed sibling. The registrar shall maintain a closed record of the list and accompanying information except as provided for pursuant to this section.

(6) The registrar shall regularly review the lists provided for in subsections (3), (4), (5), and (5.5) of this section and any other nonsealed administrative files or records within his or her office to determine if there is a match. If it appears that a match has occurred, then and only then is the registrar authorized to proceed to confirm the match through recourse to sealed documents on file in the office of the registrar. When a match is confirmed, the registrar shall notify each party, by his or her designated method only, prior to an exchange of identifying information. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow any state or local governmental department, agency, or institution, or any employee thereof, to solicit any consent for the release of identifying information.

(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow the registrar to issue a copy of the original birth certificate to any registrant.

(8) Any person who knowingly uses, publishes, or divulges information obtained through operation of the registry to any person in a manner not authorized by this section commits a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of five hundred dollars.

(9) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the information acquired by the registry shall not be disclosed under any public records law, sunshine or freedom of information legislation, rules, or practice.

(10) (a) The executive director of the department of public health and environment shall establish fees to be charged each person requesting that his name be placed on the list provided for in subsection (3), (4), or (5) of this section and for the services provided by the registrar in establishing and implementing the registry pursuant to this section. It is the intent of the general assembly that the fees shall cover all direct and indirect costs incurred pursuant to this section.

(b) The fees collected pursuant to this section shall be transmitted to the state treasurer, who shall credit the same to the general fund. The general assembly shall annually appropriate from the general fund to the department of public health and environment an amount sufficient to meet expenses incurred pursuant to this section.

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