Access to Adoption Records - Utah

Date: December 2019

Who May Access Information

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-143; 78B-6-144

Nonidentifying information is available to the following persons:

  • The adoptive parents
  • The adoptee's legal guardian if the adoptive parents are deceased
  • The adoptee
  • If the adoptee is deceased, the adoptee's spouse, if the spouse is the parent or guardian of the adoptee's child
  • The adoptee's child or descendant
  • The adoptee's birth parent or adult birth sibling

Identifying information is accessible to the following:

  • The adult adoptee
  • Birth parents
  • A birth sibling who is age 18 or older

Access to Nonidentifying Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-143

Upon finalization of an adoption in this State, the person who proceeded on behalf of the petitioner for adoption or a child-placing agency, if an agency is involved in the adoption, shall file a report with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics, in the form established by the office. The report shall include a detailed health history and a genetic and social history of the adoptee but may not contain identifying information or any information that identifies the adoptee's birth parents or members of their families.

A child-placing agency may provide a copy of the report and information in the child-placing agency's files, except identifying information, to an adult adoptee, a birth parent, or an adoptive parent.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-143; 78B-6-144

Identifying information may be released to the extent that the individual who is the subject of the information provides written authorization of the information's release.

The adult adoptee and birth parents, upon presentation of positive identification, may request identifying information from the adoption registry maintained by the office. The office may release identifying information only when it receives requests from both the adoptee and the birth parent. After matching the request of an adult adoptee with that of at least one birth parent, the office shall notify both the adoptee and the birth parent that the requests have been matched and disclose the identifying information to those parties. However, if the adult adoptee has a sibling of the same birth parent who is under age 18, and who was raised in the same family setting as the adult adoptee, the office may not disclose the requested identifying information to that adult adoptee or the birth parent.

Adult adoptees and adult siblings, upon presentation of positive identification, may request identifying information from the registry, following the same procedure outlined above.

Information registered with the office is available only to a registered adult adoptee, and his or her registered birth parent or registered adult sibling. The office may not disclose information regarding a birth parent who has not registered a request with the office.

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-103(3); 78B-6-141

An 'adoption document' is an adoption-related document filed with the office, a petition for adoption, a decree of adoption, an original birth certificate, or evidence submitted in support of a supplementary birth certificate.

An adoption document is sealed and may only be open to inspection and copying as follows:

  • By a party to the adoption proceeding while the proceeding is pending or within 6 months after the adoption decree is entered
  • When a court enters an order permitting access to the documents by a person who has appealed the denial of that person's motion to intervene
  • Upon order of the court expressly permitting inspection or copying, after good cause has been shown
  • As provided under § 78B-6-144
  • When the adoption document becomes public on the 100th anniversary of the date the final decree of adoption was entered
  • When the birth certificate becomes public on the 100th anniversary of the date of birth
  • To a mature adoptee or a parent who adopted the mature adoptee without a court order, unless the final decree of adoption is entered by the juvenile court under § 78B-6-115(3)(b)
  • To an adult adoptee, to the extent permitted below

For an adoption finalized on or after January 1, 2016, a birth parent may elect, on a written consent form provided by the office, to permit identifying information about the birth parent to be made available for inspection by an adult adoptee. A birth parent may, at any time, change the election or elect to make other information about the birth parent, including an updated medical history, available for inspection by an adult adoptee.

A birth parent may not access any identifying information or an adoption document under this subsection.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Utah Adoption Reunion Registry