Who May Access Information Citation: Fam. Code § 9203
Identifying information is available to: • The adopted person who is age 21 or older. • The birth parent of an adult adopted person. • The adoptive parent of an adopted child who is under age 21.
Access to Nonidentifying Information Citation: Fam. Code §§ 8706; 8817
Nonidentifying information about the birth parents and adopted person, such as medical history, scholastic information, psychological evaluations, and developmental history, is provided to the adopting parents.
Mutual Access to Identifying Information Citation: Fam. Code § § 9201; 9203; 9205; 9206
The adopted person who is 21 or older may request the release of the identity of his or her birth parents and their most current address shown in the records of the department or licensed adoption agency if the birth parent or parents have indicated consent to the disclosure in writing.The birth parent may request disclosure of the name and most current address of the adopted person if the adopted person is 21 or older and has indicated in writing that he or she wishes his or her name and address to be disclosed. The adoptive parent of an adopted child under age 21 may request disclosure of the identity of a birth parent and the birth parent’s most current address shown in the records if the department or licensed adoption agency finds that a medical necessity or other extraordinary circumstances justify the disclosure. If an adult adopted person and the birth parents have each filed a written consent with the department or licensed adoption agency, the department or agency may arrange for contact between those persons. Information about a birth sibling may be released to another sibling provided both are age 21 or older and have provided a written waiver. Photos or letters and other personal property may be released upon request if the adopted person is age 18 or older and other conditions have been met.
Access to Original Birth Certificate Citation: Health & Safety Code § 102705
The original birth certificate is available only by order of the court.
Where the Information Can Be Located:
California Department of Social Services, Adoption Branch
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS), or the licensed public or private adoption agency that handled the adoption can provide non identifying background information on birth parents to adoptees. The information provided includes general facts about the birth parents and their medical history. This service is available only for adoptions that were finalized in California. Some licensed private adoption agencies may charge a fee for this service. You must request this information by writing directly to the licensed adoption agency, if known, or to the CDSS at the following address: California Department of Social Services Adoptions Support Unit
744 P Street, MS 3-31
Sacramento, CA 95814
If you do not know the name of the licensed adoption agency, you can request the name from the CDSS. Your letter must include your name, birth date, and the full names of both of your adoptive parents. Also, your signature must be notarized by a Notary Public. This service is not available through e-mail.
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