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26.33.343  <<  26.33.345 >>   26.33.347

RCW 26.33.345

Search for birth parent or adopted child — Limited release of information — Noncertified copies of original birth certificate — Contact preference form.

(1) The department of social and health services, adoption agencies, and independent adoption facilitators shall release the name and location of the court where a relinquishment of parental rights or finalization of an adoption took place to an adult adoptee, a birth parent of an adult adoptee, an adoptive parent, a birth or adoptive grandparent of an adult adoptee, or an adult sibling of an adult adoptee, or the legal guardian of any of these.

     (2) The department of health shall make available a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate of a child to the child's birth parents upon request.

     (3)(a) For adoptions finalized after October 1, 1993, the department of health shall provide a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate to an adoptee eighteen years of age or older upon request, unless the birth parent has filed an affidavit of nondisclosure before July 28, 2013, or a contact preference form that indicates he or she does not want the original birth certificate released: PROVIDED, That the affidavit of nondisclosure, the contact preference form, or both have not expired.

     (b) For adoptions finalized on or before October 1, 1993, the department of health may not provide a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate to the adoptee until after June 30, 2014. After June 30, 2014, the department of health shall provide a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate to an adoptee eighteen years of age or older upon request, unless the birth parent has filed a contact preference form that indicates he or she does not want the original birth certificate released: PROVIDED, That the contact preference form has not expired.

     (c) An affidavit of nondisclosure expires upon the death of the birth parent.

     (4)(a) Regardless of whether a birth parent has filed an affidavit of nondisclosure or when the adoption was finalized, a birth parent may at any time complete a contact preference form stating his or her preference about personal contact with the adoptee, which, if available, must accompany an original birth certificate provided to an adoptee under subsection (3) of this section.

     (b) The contact preference form must include the following options:

     (i) I would like to be contacted. I give the department of health consent to provide the adoptee with a noncertified copy of his or her original birth certificate;

     (ii) I would like to be contacted only through a confidential intermediary as described in RCW 26.33.343. I give the department of health consent to provide the adoptee with a noncertified copy of his or her original birth certificate;

     (iii) I prefer not to be contacted and have completed the birth parent updated medical history form. I give the department of health consent to provide the adoptee with a noncertified copy of his or her original birth certificate; and

     (iv) I prefer not to be contacted and have completed the birth parent updated medical history form. I do not want a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate released to the adoptee.

     (c) If the birth parent indicates he or she prefers not to be contacted, personally identifying information on the contact preference form must be kept confidential and may not be released.

     (d) Nothing in this section precludes a birth parent from subsequently filing another contact preference form to rescind the previous contact preference form and state a different preference.

     (e) A contact preference form expires upon the death of the birth parent.

     (5) If a birth parent files a contact preference form, the birth parent must also file an updated medical history form with the department of health. Upon request of the adoptee, the department of health must provide the adoptee with the updated medical history form filed by the adoptee's birth parent.

     (6) Both a completed contact preference form and birth parent updated medical history form are confidential and must be placed in the adoptee's sealed file.

     (7) If a birth parent files a contact preference form within six months after the first time an adoptee requests a copy of his or her original birth certificate as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the department of health must forward the contact preference form and the birth parent updated medical history form to the address of the adoptee.

     (8) The department of health may charge a fee not to exceed twenty dollars for providing a noncertified copy of a birth certificate to an adoptee.

     (9) The department of health must create the contact preference form and an updated medical history form. The contact preference form must provide a method to ensure personally identifying information can be kept confidential. The updated medical history form may not require the birth parent to disclose any identifying information about the birth parent.

     (10) If the department of health does not provide an adoptee with a noncertified copy of the original birth certificate because a valid affidavit of nondisclosure or contact preference form has been filed, the adoptee may request, no more than once per year, that the department of health attempt to determine if the birth parent is deceased. Upon request of the adoptee, the department of health must make a reasonable effort to search public records that are accessible and already available to the department of health to determine if the birth parent is deceased. The department of health may charge the adoptee a reasonable fee to cover the cost of conducting a search.

[2013 c 321 § 1; 1993 c 81 § 3; 1990 c 145 § 2.]