Occasionally our library receives questions from adults who were adopted as children, and are looking for information on their birth parents, siblings, and origins. The state has laws concerning birth certificates and adoption information; you can find these laws on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)’s Access to Adoption Information website. CDPHE is the agency that oversees the state’s vital records, such as birth, death, and marriage certificates. Adult adoptees can order a copy of their birth certificate from the agency, and their website also provides helpful resources for researching family history.
For both adult adoptees looking for information on their birth families and for birth parents or siblings looking for a relative, CDPHE also offers the Colorado Voluntary Adoption Registry. This is a special program where individuals can register to connect with birth relatives.
The purpose of the voluntary registry is to facilitate contact between adult adoptees (who were born in Colorado), siblings/half-siblings, and their birth parent(s). We will also facilitate voluntary contact between a former foster child who may or may not have been adopted, who’s 18 or older, and who is searching for a birth sibling who is 18 or older, who may or may not have been adopted and who may or may not have been in the foster care system. Relatives of deceased adoptees and relatives of deceased birth parents also can register. Relatives include spouse, birth parent, adoptive parent, sibling, or a child who is 21 years or older.
If a match is found between a registered person and a relative, they will be contacted by CDPHE. For information and to apply for the registry, either as an adoptee or as a birth parent or sibling, visit the program website.
The Colorado Judicial Branch also has information for adoptees and birth parents on their Self Help website. Here you can find out about access to adoption records; learn about confidential intermediaries (persons who facilitate reuniting relatives); and find resources on Colorado’s adoption reporting process.