Washington Adoption Information Laws
Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.340; 26.33.343
Nonidentifying information is available to:
- An adoptive parent
- An adopted person
- A birth parent
Identifying information may be accessed by:
- An adopted person who is age 21 or older, or under 21 with the permission of the adoptive parent
- A birth parent or member of the birth parent’s family after the adopted person has reached age 21
These family members shall be limited to the birth grandparents, a brother or sister of a birth parent, or the child of a birth parent. The court, for good cause shown, may allow a relative more distant in degree to petition for disclosure.
Access to Nonidentifying Information Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.340; 26.33.380
Reasonably available nonidentifying information may be disclosed upon a written request to the persons listed above. If the adoption facilitator refuses to disclose such information, the individual may petition the superior court.
The prospective adoptive parent shall be given a family background and child and family social history report about the child. The report shall include a chronological history of the circumstances surrounding the adoptive placement and any available psychiatric reports, psychological reports, court reports pertaining to dependency or custody, or school reports. Such reports or information shall not reveal the identity of the birth parents of the child but shall contain reasonably available nonidentifying information.
Mutual Access to Identifying Information Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.343; 26.33.347
Any person listed above may petition the court to appoint a confidential intermediary. The intermediary shall search for and discreetly contact the birth parent or adopted person, or if they are not alive or cannot be located within 1 year, the intermediary may attempt to locate members of the birth parent’s or adopted person’s family.
If the person is located, the intermediary will ask whether the person consents to a disclosure of identifying information. If the person refuses to consent, the intermediary shall report the refusal to the court and shall refrain from further inquiry without judicial approval. If the person being sought consents to disclosure of his or her identity, the court may then order that the identifying information be released. If the person being sought is deceased, the court may order disclosure of the identity of the deceased to the petitioner.
An adopted person over the age of 18 may file with the department of health a certified statement declaring any one or more of the following:
- The adopted person refuses to consent to the release of any identifying information to a birth parent, birth sibling, or other birth relative and does not wish to be contacted by a confidential intermediary except in the case of a medical need.
- The adopted person consents to the release of identifying information to a confidential intermediary, a birth parent, birth sibling, or other birth relative.
- The adopted person desires to be contacted by his or her birth parents, birth siblings, other birth relatives, or a confidential intermediary.
An adopted person who files a certified statement may subsequently file another statement requesting to rescind or amend the prior statement.
Access to Original Birth Certificate Citation: Rev. Code § 26.33.345
A noncertified copy of the original birth certificate is available to the birth parent upon request.
For adoptions finalized after 10-1-1993, a noncertified copy is available to the adopted person who is age 18 or older, unless the birth parent has filed an affidavit of nondisclosure.
Where the Information Can Be Located
State Adoption Department, Department of Social and Health Services, Adoption Archives
Wyoming Adoption Information Laws page will be updated as needed.