Access to Adoption Records - North Dakota

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Who May Access Information

Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-16

Nonidentifying information must be provided to the following:

  • The adoptive parents
  • The adult adoptee
  • The birth parent

Identifying information may be provided to the following:

  • The birth parents
  • The adoptive parents
  • The adoptee
  • Adult birth siblings
  • The adult child of an adoptee

Access to Nonidentifying Information

Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-16; 14-15-01(13)

Nonidentifying information, if known, concerning undisclosed birth parents must be furnished upon written request to the individuals listed above. The term 'nonidentifying adoptive information' includes the following:

  • The age of the birth parent at the time of the child's birth
  • The heritage and religion of the birth parent
  • The education completed by the birth parent at the time of the child's birth
  • The general physical appearance of birth parent at the time of the child's birth, including the height, weight, color of hair, eyes, skin, and other information of a similar nature
  • The talents, hobbies, and special interests of the birth parents
  • The existence of any other children born to either birth parent
  • The reasons for the child being placed for adoption
  • The vocation of the birth parent in general terms
  • The health history of the birth parents and blood relatives

Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-16

Before the child reaches adulthood, exchanges of identifying information may take place between the birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptee. Disclosure of a party's identifying information may not occur unless the party consents to disclosure. If one parent objects, the identifying information disclosed by the agency may only relate to the consenting parent or parents.

An adoptee who is age 18 or older may request the department to initiate the disclosure of information identifying his or her birth parents or adult birth sibling. A birth parent or adult birth sibling may request the department to initiate the disclosure of information identifying that individual. An adult child of an adoptee may request the department to initiate the disclosure of information identifying the adoptee's birth parents.

Within 90 days after receiving a request, the child-placing agency shall make complete and reasonable efforts to notify the individual or individuals that a disclosure of identifying information has been requested. An adoptee, birth parent, or birth sibling may authorize disclosure, refuse to authorize disclosure, or take no action. If no action is taken in response to a request, the child-placing agency must treat that as a refusal to authorize disclosure, except that it does not preclude disclosure after the person's death.

Upon application to the department by an adult adoptee or the parent or guardian of a minor adoptee, the department may investigate to determine the adoptee's eligibility for enrollment as a member of an Indian Tribe.

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Cent. Code § 23-02.1-18

The original birth record is available only upon order of a court or as provided by rules and regulations.

Where the Information Can Be Located

North Dakota Adoption Search/Disclosure