Delaware sealed original birth certiticates to adoptees in 1943
- Delaware Sealed Records Law: History & Updates— Mary Lee Lutz (1997)
- Delaware Disclosure Veto (1999)
- History and Lessons of the Delaware Collaboration, BN Exe. Committee and Mary Lee Lutz
Current Access Law
Delaware adoptees can receive their OBC unless a birthparent has filed a disclosure veto.
a) Except as provided in subchapter III of this chapter, all information regarding any adoption which is furnished to any State Registrar shall be confidential and not open to public inspection. The names of the biological or previous legal parent or parents or the former name of the child shall not be furnished to the adoptive parents, nor shall the name of the adoptive parents be furnished to the biological or previous legal parent or parents and, after the entry of the decree of adoption, the original record of birth shall be impounded and all birth certificates shall be issued in the adoptive name only, if a new name has been assumed, and shall contain no reference to the former name or background or the fact of adoption.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision in the Delaware Code to the contrary, an adoptee 21 years of age or older may obtain a copy of his or her original record of birth from the State Registrar pursuant to § 3110(b) of Title 16, even if that record has been impounded. This section shall not apply if the birth parent has, within the most recent 3-year period, filed a written notarized statement with the Department of Health and Social Services Office of Vital Statistics denying the release of any identifying information.
(c) If an adoptee 21 years of age or older seeks vital records about any event occurring before January 18, 1999, the Office of Vital Statistics shall consult Family Court to determine whether there is an affidavit on file expressing a desire by either birthparent to keep information about the adoption confidential.
(1) If there is an affidavit on file with Family Court authorizing the release of information, the Office of Vital Statistics shall request a copy of the affidavit and, upon receipt of the affidavit, release the authorized records.
(2) If there is an affidavit on file with Family Court denying the release of information, or if there is no affidavit on file with Family Court, the Office of Vital Statistics shall send notice, as described below, by United States mail to the birthparent or birthparents.
a. The Office of Vital Statistics shall search a computerized telephone or address database, as well as Delaware’s Division of Motor Vehicles and voter records in order to determine the most likely address of the birthparent. Such notice shall be sent to that address. If no current address is available, then notice shall be sent to the last known address for the birthparent or birthparents. Such notification shall be mailed within 30 days from when the adoptee requested release of the records.
b. The Office of Vital Statistics shall notify the birthparent or birthparents of the legal requirements for maintaining confidentiality and shall provide them with the appropriate forms. The Office of Vital Statistics shall also advise the birthparent or birthparents that in the event that a written notarized statement denying the release of information is not received within 35 days from the date of the mailing of the notification required in paragraph (c)(1)a. of this section then the Office of Vital Statistics will release the records to the adoptee.
1. If the Office of Vital Statistics receives a written notarized statement denying the release of information, then it shall not release the records.
2. If no such written statement is received within 35 days from the date of the mailing of the notification required in paragraph (c)(1)a. of this section or if the birthparent or birthparents specifically authorizes release, then the Office of Vital Statistics shall release the records to the adoptee. (Code 1935, § 3551M; 48 Del. Laws, c. 134, § 3; 13 Del. C. 1953, § 923; 68 Del. Laws, c. 259, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 433, § 3; 71 Del. Laws, c. 481, § 5; 72 Del. Laws, c. 1, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, §