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Adoption Reform


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Oregon Adoption Laws - Access to Records

      Measure 58 Update and Anniversary Report

(Pre-adoption Birth Record, Contact Preference, Medical History)


  • Must be the adoptee or their legal representative - not other family members
  • Adoptee must be 21 years of age
  • Adoptee must be born in Oregon
  • Must be for a birth record where we have received an adoption report which sealed the original record and created a new record.

HOW SHOULD APPLICANTS ORDER? Applicants who request records should clearly identify themselves as an "ADOPTEE SEEKING A PRE-ADOPTION BIRTH RECORD." Without this information we will send the current legal record.

  1. Enclose a $20 non-refundable search fee payable to DHS Vital Records. 
  2. Include your current legal birth record information:
    • Full legal name (after adoption)
    • Date of birth
    • Place of birth
    • Adopted mother's full maiden name
    • Adopted father's full name

Each order should show the adoptee's mailing address and daytime telephone number. Our office will call if we find the applicant has not given us correct and complete record information that matches the legal birth certificate. Pre-adoption birth records may only be ordered by the adoptee and will only be mailed to the adoptee or their legal representative. Attorneys should include a written statement of whom they represent and the current legal birth record information listed above. Anyone else ordering needs a permission note with a notarized signature of the adoptee to show they are representing the adoptee.


Applicants may order by mail, in person or by phone or fax. However, due to the special processing steps, copies cannot be issued the same day or the following day. Fax and telephone orders billed to credit cards include an extra $12.50 fee for expedited service. However, due to the extra processing steps, orders cannot be expedited by the next day. We recommend that you order in person, or by mail and pay by check or money order to avoid the extra charge. Orders for pre-adoption records will always take several weeks to process.



  • Reviewing orders for completeness of current legal record information and enclosure of a $20 fee. Orders with missing information or fees will receive follow-up correspondence requesting additional information or fees.
  • Locating the current full legal birth certificates and creating a matching list of sealed file numbers for these records.
  • Requesting retrieval of sealed files by number from an off-site storage facility.
  • Once sealed files are received, we will match records using the sealed file number and make certified copies. We will also check for a contact preference form from the biological parent. If a match is found, a copy of the contact preference form will be included with the pre-adoption birth record. Records will then be mailed to adoptees or their legal representatives

HOW QUICKLY WILL I GET MY RECORD? Processing of orders for preadoption birth records will normally take from four to six weeks. In a few cases where the sealed file is not easily identified or found, additional time may be needed to research and locate the file. In these cases the adoptee will be notified of the results of the search and the specific problem in locating the preadoption record.



  1. There is a small chance that the sealed file will be opened and no original birth certificate will be found.


  2. If found, the certified copy of the original record will be clearly marked as a pre-adoption record from a sealed file. It will not be accepted by government agencies as a legal birth certificate for purposes of identification.

    The information on this pre-adoption birth certificate was provided by the birth parent(s) at the time of your birth. The information may or may not be accurate. At the time of a child's birth, a birth parent may give a child any name they want or they may not name the child. The mother's name and the father's name on this document, may or may not be accurate. After the adoption was finalized, the birth parent(s) could not make any changes to the birth record.

    If you want more information about locating birth parent(s), you may want to contact an Oregon volunteer adoption registry. If you know what adoption agency handled your adoption, you should contact that adoption agency directly. If you do not know that information, you should contact Adoption Services/Registry at (503) 945-6643.



Ballot Measure 58 applies only to the release of the original birth certificate in the sealed file maintained by the Center for Health Statistics. We must receive a copy of a certified court order to release an adoption report. The Center for Health Statistics' sealed file does not usually contain any medical records.


An Oregon adoption agency may have some medical information. You should contact the adoption agency that was involved with your adoption. If you do not know what adoption agency was involved, you may call Adoption Services/Registry at 503/945-6643.




The Voluntary Adoption Registry was created in 1983 to assist adoptees, birth parents, biological siblings, and other eligible persons who wish to learn more about an adoption that was completed in the State of Oregon. The registry is maintained by the State Children, Adults and Families and creates a method of communicating information if both parties consent.


If you were party to an adoption completed in Oregon and would like more information, contact:

Department of Human Services
Adoption Services/Registry, 2nd Floor South
500 Summer Street NE, E71
Salem, OR 97301-1068

If the adoption was arranged by Albertina Kerr, Boys and Girls Aid Society, or Waverly, contact that agency directly. Many other private agencies in the state maintain their own mutual consent registries.


COUNSELING REFERRALS If you would like to speak with a counselor about meeting a biological parent, you can obtain a list of counselors from any adoption agency, including the Children, Adults and Families office






The 1999 Oregon Legislature passed HB 39194 to provide a way for birth parents to file a form with the Oregon Center for Health Statistics (CHS) stating their preference about personal contact with the adoptee. The completed preference form will be filed in the CHS sealed file. Contact preference forms are mailed to adoptees when the birth records are released. If the preference form is filed within six months of issuance of the preadoption birth certificate, Vital Records will forward the contact preference form to the address of the adoptee listed on the order form.


If the birth parent wants contact, he/she may complete the CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM (available below) and mail it directly to:

Oregon Center for Health Statistics
Certification Unit
PO Box 14050
Portland OR 97293-0050

If the birth parent does not want contact, a Birth Parent Updated Medical History form (available below) must be filed either with the adoption agency involved, or with

Department of Human Services
Adoption Services/Registry, 2nd Floor South
500 Summer Street NE, E71
Salem, OR 97301-1068

Once the medical history form has been received, a certification statement will be forwarded to the Oregon Center for Health Statistics office. Without this certification document, CHS cannot file and release the contact preference form for birth parents who do not want contact.


You may send both the Contract Preference Form and the Birth Parent Updated Medical History to the adoption agency or Adoption Services/Registry. They will forward the Contact Preference Form along with the Certificate to the Oregon Center for Health Statistics.


If you have any questions about the forms or the filing of these forms, you may call either the Oregon Center for Health Statistics at 971/673-1190 or Adoption Services/Registry at 503/945-6643.


Download Order Forms (pdf)






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