Adoptee & birth parent search

The search and release of confidential information in adoption

There are three ways that an adoptee or birth parent can access identifying information on the other party.

  1. A Judge in a District or Juvenile Court can release the information for what the statute states in the Colorado Children’s Code, 19-1-309 as "good cause shown."  You should contact the District Court or Juvenile Court where your adoption was finalized, if you are an adoptee. Contact the court where you relinquished, if you are a birth parent. The courts vary in their willingness to release information and many do not release information except for serious medical problems.
     
  2. The Colorado Voluntary Adoption Registry, located at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, will release information if both parties register. The adoptee must be 18 years of age. Siblings can now register. 
     
  3. The Adoption Confidential Intermediary Program was enacted by the legislature in 1989 and establishes a process for trained confidential intermediaries, appointed by the court, to arrange contact among consenting adult adoptees (age 18), adoptive parents, birth parents and siblings. You should petition the court where the adoption was finalized, if you are an adoptee or adoptive parent. You should petition the court of relinquishment, if you are a birth parent or sibling to initiate the procedure. 
     

Resources

Adoptees In Search 
An information and support group for adult adoptees who are searching for their birth parents. An information registry, monthly meetings an post-reunion discussion group available.

CUB (Concerned United Birthparents)
A national nonprofit support group not limited to birth parents but all members of the adoption circle.

Colorado Voluntary Adoption Registry 
Facilitates voluntary contact between adoptees 18 and older who were born in Colorado and their birth parents.

ALMA (Adoptees Liberation Movement Association)
Computerized matching service of adoptees with birth parents who are registered.

International Soundex Reunion Registry
Computerized matching service of adoptees with birth parents or siblings who are registered. Must be at least 18 years old to register. 
 

COLORADO CONFIDENTIAL INTERMEDIARY SERVICE 

  1. Any adoptee, adoptive parent, biological parent, biological sibling, adoptive grandparent*, biological grandparent*, adult descendant of the adoptee*, legal guardian of the adoptee*, spouse of the adoptee*, adult stepchild of the adoptee*, and adopted adult sibling of the adoptee* who is 18 years of age or older may file a Motion, with Supporting Affidavit, in the court where the adoption took place. You need not personally appear to file a petition. Petitions are obtained by getting on the website. Click on Self Help/Forms at the top; click on All Forms & Instructions; click Adoption; click All Adoption Forms; and then click Order of Appointment of Confidential Intermediary to download the form. The Petitions are also available to fill out and print directly from the Colorado Investigative Resource Services (COIRS) website in the "Confidential Intermediary Appointment Process" section.
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  2. The Motion and Supporting Affidavit will request the court to appoint the chief confidential intermediary, which in turn will assign a trained intermediary to determine the location of the sought for relative. (No one shall seek to determine the whereabouts of a relative who is younger than age 18.) No court filing fee is required and the court may rule and appoint the chief confidential intermediary without a hearing. If no confidential intermediary is available for assignment, the court and the petitioner will be notified that the case is pending and an approximate date of assignment will be given. 
     
  3. The statute concerning the adoption intermediary program specifically states that no public funds can be used; therefore the actual intermediary training and search is provided by an approved private organization, Colorado Investigative Resource Services (CORIS). This organization charges a fee, which may vary from case to case. Visit the CORIS website for more information.
     
  4. If the Petition is filed in the Court of relinquishment and adoption took place in another court, the relinquishment court should transfer the matter to the adoption court by Minute Order. The petitioner should be notified by the court that the matter has been transferred but will not reveal the name of the adoption court to the birth relative.
     
  5. Only the trained confidential intermediary, including the trained chief confidential intermediary, on the current State Judicial Department list may inspect adoption, relinquishment and termination records. The information obtained by the confidential intermediary during the course of his or her investigation is strictly confidential and shall be utilized only for the purpose of arranging a contact between the searching individual and the sought-after party.  At the conclusion of a case, depending on the result of the search, the chief confidential intermediary may be able to separately attach items from the adoption record that will be requested by the petitioner from the court.
     
  6. Once a sought-after party is located, the confidential intermediary shall obtain a "voluntary, informed written consent" from the sought after party that he or she wishes to personally communicate with the Petitioner. C.R.S. § 19-5-302 (8). The confidential intermediary shall then present to the court the consent received from the sought after party prior to any contact being made between the parties.  If the sought-after party does not consent to contact, the case is closed. At the conclusion of any search, all relinquishment and adoption records and any information obtained by the confidential intermediary will be returned to the court and will remain confidential.
     
  7. Confidential intermediaries are required to inform the Petitioner and the sought after biological relative of the existence of the Colorado Voluntary Adoption Registry set forth in C.R.S. § 25-2-113.5.
     
  8. It is a criminal violation if a confidential intermediary fails to comply with C.R.S. § 19-5-3O4 (3) and (4). It is a Class 2 Petty Offense.
Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437)
Available 24 hours a day, every day. Don't hesitate to call and get help. 
Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.