Saturday, January 1, 2000

California OBCs

California Birth Certificates

How to Get a Original Birth Certificate in California if You Were Adopted

California Birth CertificatesCalifornia OBC Access Status: Sealed Adoption Records with Mutual Consent Registry

California is a “closed record” state.

Get Involved in the Fight for Birth Certificate Access in California with California Open

California OPen the fight to free adoption records in californiaCalifornia Open is a state level group fighting for unrestricted access to original birth certificates in California.   Please refer to the California Open Website for more information. E-mail to: info@calopen.org
California Adoptee Rights Email Lists
Join the California Open List Yahoo email group: This listserves as a meeting place for those interested in affirming the identity rights of adult adoptees bornand/or adopted in California. Specifically, California Open seeks to restore unconditional access to birth records by adult adoptees. California Open will also monitor adoption related bills in the California State Legislature and take position on those bills which forward our mission. We believe truth and dignity are GOOD for adoption.
Join the California Open Action Alert List Yahoo email Activist group: This receive only list is an adjunct to California Open membership and  Coalition Partner organizations. It provides periodic alerts for those  whose activism time is more limited. Here you will receive California  Open leadership’s posts of important news that requires immediate action  by supporters of adoptee rights.
California Open has a private Facebook Group and the page below to LIKE and watch for updates!.

Who May Access Original Birth Certificate Information in California

Under California Citation: Health & Safety Code § 102705 The original birth certificate is available only by order of the court.

I was adopted in California. How do I obtain a copy of my birth certificate?

Adoption records are sealed at the time of adoption. If there is no birth  record in the county where you were born, you must contact the California  State Office of Vital Records for a copy of your amended birth certificate.  For information on how to order a copy from the state, you may call their  information line at (916) 445-2684. If you wish to obtain a copy of your  original birth certificate, you must obtain a court order. You may be  able to obtain a copy of your original birth certificate by filing a petition  under Health and Safety Code Section 102705 in the county clerk’s office  of the Superior Court in the county where you reside or the county where  your adoption was finalized. In your petition, you must show good and compelling cause for the granting of the order. It is at the sole discretion of the court as to whether the original birth certificate will be unsealed. ( Do NOT expect this to happen!)
You may also file a petition under Family  Code Section 9200 in the Superior Court of the county where your adoption  was granted, for access to documents contained in the adoption file that  is maintained by the Superior Court. Again, it is at the sole discretion  of the court as to whether any documents are released to you. For further information on how to obtain that court order, you should contact your  legal advisor. Please contact the County Clerk’s office of the Superior  Court for information on petitioning the court for information.

I was adopted in California. How can I get Information about my adoption and my Birthparents?

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 8-12-31 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.

How Can an California Adoptee Contact their Birth Parents?

California has a Mutual Consent Program that is administered by either the  CDSS or the licensed public or private adoption agency that handled the adoption. In addition to the Mutual Consent Program, the Adoptions Information  Act applies to adoptions in which birth parents signed the relinquishment  for adoption or consent to adoption, or in which the birth parents’ rights  were involuntarily terminated by court action on or after January 1, 1984.
  • Mutual Consent Program: An adoptee may complete Consent for Contact form (AD 904) and submit it to the CDSS or the licensed adoption agency that handled the adoption, if known. If the CDSS or the licensed adoption agency receives a consent form from the adult adoptee (18 years of age or older) and one from his/her birth parent(s), names and addresses can be disclosed to both parties so they may contact one another. The law prohibits the CDSS and the licensed adoption agencies from soliciting consents and providing search services for adoptees or birth parents.
  • Adoptions Information Act: An adoptee may complete an Adoptions Information Act Statement (AD 908A) requesting disclosure of the name and address of his or her birth parent(s). The CDSS or the licensed adoption agency which handled the adoption can disclose the name and address of the
    birth parent(s), if the birth parent signed a relinquishment or consent for adoption, or the parent’s rights were involuntarily terminated by court action on or after January 1, 1984, and the birth parent signed an Adoptions Information Act Statement (AD 908) granting permission for such disclosure. The adoptee must be 21 years of age or older in order to complete the AD 908A.

How About Contact with Siblings Separated by Adoption?

Through the Mutual Consent Program, adoptees and siblings may submit a Waiver of Rights to Confidentiality for Siblings form. Please see below for the appropriate form you should complete.
  • For Adoptees or Siblings 18 Years of Age or Older: If the CDSS or the licensed adoption agency receives a Waiver of Rights to Confidentiality for Siblings form (AD 904A) from the adult adoptee (18 years of age or older), and one from his/her sibling, names and addresses can be disclosed to both parties so they may contact one another. The law prohibits the CDSS and licensed adoption agencies from soliciting waivers.
  • For Adoptees or Siblings Under 18 Years of Age: If the CDSS or the licensed adoption agency receives a Waiver of Rights to Confidentiality for Siblings – Under 18 Years of Age form (AD904B) from the adoptee and one from his/her sibling, names, addresses, and phone numbers can  be disclosed to both parties so they may contact one another. The law prohibits the CDSS and licensed adoption agencies from soliciting waivers.

Can I petition the Court for the Appointment of a Confidential Intermediary?

If you have knowledge of a sibling and wish to seek contact with him or her, you must first submit a waiver to the CDSS or the California licensed agency who handled the adoption. If your sibling has not submitted a form to the CDSS or the California licensed adoption agency, you may petition the county superior court where the adoption was granted under Family Code 9205 to request that a confidential intermediary be appointed to locate the sibling. The confidential intermediary will attempt to contact the sibling and ask if he or she would be interested in completing a waiver form. An adoptee or sibling who seeks contact with the other for whom no waiver is on file with the CDSS or the licensed adoption agency, may petition the California Superior Court where the adoption was granted under Family Code 9205 to request that a confidential intermediary be appointed to locate the sibling. The confidential intermediary will attempt to contact the sibling and ask if he or she would be interested in completing a waiver form. Please contact the County Clerk’s office of the Superior Court for information on petitioning the court for information.

I am a Birthparent. What Can of Information Can I Have on My Adopted Child?

The CDSS or the licensed public or private adoption agency that handled the adoption can give birth parents’ information on the status of the adoption and general non identifying background information regarding the adoptive parents, including information on the progress of the child at the time of the adoption. 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,
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 the name you used at the time of the adoption, the child’s name (if named) and date of birth. Also, your signature must be notarized by a Notary Public. This service is not available through e-mail.

How to Make Contact with Adoptees in California

California has a Mutual Consent Program that is administered by either the CDSS or the licensed public or private adoption agency that handled the adoption. A birth parent may complete a Consent for Contact form (AD 904) and submit it to the CDSS or licensed adoption agency. If the CDSS or the licensed adoption agency receives a consent form from the adult adoptee (18 years of age or older) and one from his/her birth parent(s), names and addresses can be disclosed to both parties so they may contact one another. The law prohibits the CDSS and the licensed adoption agencies from soliciting consents and providing search services for adoptees or birth parents.

Official California Adoption Forms:

Forms may be obtained by contacting the CDSS at (916) 651-8088, by writing to the address below, by contacting the licensed public or private adoption agency that handled the adoption, or by clicking here:
California Department of Social Services
Adoptions Support Unit
744 P Street, MS 8-12-31
Sacramento, CA 95814

Help for Adoption Searching in California

California maternity hospital codes
Birth Index searchable by FIRST four letters of last name only ( although that may be changing in the future for the better!! ) 

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