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Colorado

Original birth certificates were sealed to Colorado adoptees in 1942.

Read about current OBC access legislation  with links to bills and bill history at our Legislative Update pages:  2013, 2014, 2015

Colorado General Assembly

History:  Colorado sealed original birth certificates to adoptees in 1949.

Colorado Court of Appeals 08CA1935 ruling that expanded access for some Colorado adoptees

SB 14-051 was signed by the governor on 5/22/14. Previous to SB 14-051, Colorado had a tiered system of access whereby certain relatives and descendants of a deceased adoptee or birth parent; Adult adoptees whose adoptions were finalized between 7/1/51 and 6/30/67, or on or after 9/1/99; and those eligible under the Indian Child Welfare Act could access their original birth certificate upon request.

SB 14-051 provides access to original birth certificates upon request to adult adoptees regardless of adoption finalization date, but also enacted what is described as a “Contact Preference Form”. However, in addition to stating a contact preference, the forms contain an option for the birthparent “to authorize or not authorize the release of the original birth certificate to eligible parties.” (In other words, a disclosure veto).

The disclosure veto option on the CPF under SB 14-051 expires on January 1, 2016. Thereafter, CPFs will not be distributed that contain a disclosure veto option. However, this bill provides that any vetoes filed prior to January 1, 2016 remain in full force and effect.

Proponents have argued that any disclosure vetoes filed prior to January 1, 2016 will also expire or no longer be honored after January 1, 2016, however there is no clear indication that this is so. ON the face of it, it wouldn’t make sense for the state to collect disclosure vetoes up to January 1, 2016 only to say that none of them will be honored after that date. Moreover, one particular provision in the bill provides guidance that the intent is to honor all vetoes filed by January 1, 2016: “When one birth parent has authorized the release of the birth certificate and the other birth parent has filed a contact preference form prior to January 1, 2016, not authorizing release, the state registrar shall issue the original birth certificate to the eligible party with the name of the nonconsenting parent redacted.”
In a twist, however, SB 14-051 provided access to “all adoption records as defined in Section 19-1-103 (6.5) for inspection and copying by an adult adoptee, an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee, a custodial grandparent of a minor adoptee” and other individuals with the written notarized consent of the adult adoptee.

Discrepancies in the way this provision was being administered, including redactions not authorized by law, was the impetus for:HB 15-1106 – which was signed by the governor on 3/30/15. Described by proponents as a “clean up measure” to “clarify access,” this bill defines what “adoption records” are to be released and clarifies that they are to be released “without redaction.”

  • The adoptee’s original birth certificate and amended birth certificate
  • The final decree of adoption;
  • Non-identifying information, as defined in section 19-1-103 (80);
  • The final order of relinquishment; and
  • The order of termination of parental rights.

What remains to be seen is how these bills, now laws, are going to be interpreted and administered. On the face of it, HB 15-1106 seems to conflict with the clear directive of SB 14-051 which requires that effective 1/1/16, when an adult adoptee requests an OBC, the state registrar do a search to see if a CPF with a veto was filed prior to 1/1/16 and if so, does not release the OBC. HB 15-1106 however, does not provide for the withholding or redaction of an original birth certificate.

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Updated August 1, 2015
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See our state partners:

See our state partners:

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: CalOpen

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: CalOpen

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Indiana Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Indiana Open Access

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Michigan Open Access

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Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Missouri Open

Proud Bastard Nation Partner:  Missouri Open

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Equal Access Oklahoma

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Equal Access Oklahoma

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

Proud Bastard Nation Partner: Open Adoption Records in Quebec

SAMPLE STATE ORGANIZATION RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

SAMPLE STATE ORGANIZATION RESOLUTION AGAINST VETOES AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

Any political organization seeking to enact true open records legislation should be very clear with both their constituents and the legislators they work with about what the essential provisions of the proposed bill are. Any modification or deletion of the essential provisions of a bill should be immediate cause to have the bill killed.

Any political organization seeking the assistance of Bastard Nation to pass open records legislation must hold unconditional access by adult adoptees to the original record of their birth as an essential provision that cannot be modified or deleted. Read our Mission Statement.

Bastard Nation will not assist any political organization to pass open records legislation unless their governing board or other leadership

passes a written resolution such as the following that commits the board to a strategy of no compromise on key provisions
informs its constituents of this commitment and this strategy
informs the sponsoring legislators of this commitment and this strategy.

WHEREAS we recognize that disclosure and contact vetoes, redactions, mandatory intermediaries and registry provisions are an affront to the dignity of adopted persons everywhere and a violation of their right to due process and equal treatment under the law,

WHEREAS there has been a demonstrable negative effect on the ability to pass unconditional open records in states that have passed veto legislation and/or any provisions that are less than unconditional access on demand by the adult adoptee,

WHEREAS our primary goal is to restore the right of adult adoptees everywhere to be treated as full citizens under the law,

WE HEREBY DECLARE that under no circumstances will we accept the addition of veto, redaction, intermediary, or registry provisions, or any conditional provisions to our legislation that would be less than unconditional access for adult adoptees to the original record of their birth. All legislative sponsors and members of this organization will be informed of our policy on this matter to ensure that the bill is pulled promptly in the event of such revisions.

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