A new law will open access to original, pre-adoption birth certificates for all Washington-born adult adoptees beginning in July, state officials announced Tuesday.
That means people who have wondered who their birth parents are may now find out without a lengthy court process. The state is taking pre-orders for original birth certificates now.
Though pre-ordering is available now, it could take several weeks after the July 1 start date to process a request because of the expected high volume. State officials also said each record must be located and retrieved from an off-site storage location, which could add to the processing time.
Department of Health officials said adoptees are encouraged to get a head start by completing the adoption certificate request form that’s on the Department of Health website.
"Birth parents are allowed to choose whether to release personal information or keep their identity confidential under the new law by filing a contact preference form,” Department of Health spokesman Marqise Allen said in a statement. “Parents who file a contact preference form must provide information about their family 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.”
Previously some adoptees had to go through the court system to get information about a birth parent.
The court process is still an option for birth parents and adoptees who prefer discreet contact.