Access to Adoption Records - Montana

Date:

Who May Access Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 42-6-102

The Department of Public Health and Human Services or an authorized person or agency may disclose the following:

  • Nonidentifying information to an adoptee, an adoptive or birth parent, or an extended family member of an adoptee or birth parent
  • Identifying information to a court-appointed confidential intermediary upon order of the court or as provided in §§ 50-15-121 and 50-15-122
  • Identifying information limited to the specific information required to assist an adoptee to become enrolled in or a member of an Indian Tribe
  • Identifying information to authorized personnel during a Federal Child and Family Services Review
  • An original birth certificate as provided for in § 42-6-109

Access to Nonidentifying Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 42-6-102

Upon request, all nonidentifying information will be provided to any person listed above.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 42-6-102; 42-6-103; 42-6-104

Information may be disclosed to any person who consents in writing to the release of confidential information to other interested persons who also have consented. Identifying information pertaining to an adoption involving an adoptee who is still a child may not be disclosed based upon a consensual exchange of information, unless the adoptee's adoptive parent consents in writing.

An adult adoptee, an adoptive or birth parent, or an adult extended family member may petition the court for disclosure of identifying information regarding the adoptee, a birth child, a birth parent, or an extended family member.

After a petition has been filed, the court shall appoint a confidential intermediary who shall conduct a confidential search for the person being sought. If the intermediary locates the person being sought, a confidential inquiry must be made as to whether the located person consents to having his or her present identity disclosed to the petitioner. If the person being sought does not consent, identifying information regarding that person may be disclosed only upon order of the court for good cause shown. If the person being sought is found to be deceased, the court may order disclosure of identifying information to the petitioner.

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code § 42-6-109

In addition to any copy of an adoptee's original birth certificate authorized for release by a court order issued pursuant to § 50-15-121 or 50-15-122, the department shall furnish a copy of the original birth certificate of an adoptee as follows:

  • Upon the written request of a person who was adopted before October 1, 1985, or 30 years or more ago, whichever date is later
  • Upon a court order for a person adopted on or after October 1, 1985, and before October 1, 1997
  • For a person adopted on or after October 1, 1997, upon either of the following:
    • The written request of an adoptee who has reached age 18, unless the birth parent has requested in writing that the original birth certificate not be automatically released
    • A court order

A birth parent may request in writing to the Vital Statistics Bureau that the birth certificate for an adoptee not be released without a court order. The birth parent may change the request at any time by notifying the bureau in writing of the change.

The department may release a copy of the adoptee's original birth certificate if release of this document is required to assist an adoptee to become enrolled in or a member of an Indian Tribe.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Montana Adoption Registry