Adoption

Department of Human Services (DHS), through Oregon’s Adoption Search and Registry Program has a record of all adoptions that have finalized in Oregon since 1920.

Oregon adoption registries have three components:

  1. Consent for mutual contact (or Identifying Information)
  2. Non-identifying health and social information
  3. Assisted search

Private adoption agencies maintain their own registries. If you are not sure if your adoption was through a private adoption agency, contact the DHS Adoption Search and Registry program.

Oregon statute allows many people involved in an adoption to receive a copy of documents from the Oregon court where the adoption finalized. The Oregon court website gives contact information for each of the Oregon county courts. You will need to contact the court where the adoption finalized to ask how to release the records. If you don’t know the county, you can contact the registry.

1. Mutual Consent Registry (Identifying Information)

If you want to have contact with an adoptee or eligible family member send the following:

Both parties must independently register before information is released. Parties will be contacted immediately by the registry if a family member has registered. The registry will contact each person individually to see how they would like to initiate contact with the other person. The registry will only release information that you are comfortable releasing. At any time, you can request that your name be removed from the registry.

People who may register include:
  • An adult adoptee (aged 18 or older)
  • An adoptive parent or guardian of a minor adoptee
  • A birth parent
  • A putative (alleged) father
  • An adult genetic sibling of an adoptee
  • An adoptive parent of a deceased adoptee
  • A parent of guardian of a minor genetic sibling of an adoptee
  • A parent or adult sibling of a deceased birth parent

2. Non-Identifying Information

Although many parties to Oregon adoptions can request information from the court where the adoption finalized, there may be additional social and health information in the files of the agency than is available through the court.

The following people can ask the registry for non-identifying information about the adoptee and the birth family that was gathered at the time of the adoption.

  • An adult adoptee
  • An adoptive parent of a minor adoptee
  • A guardian of a minor adoptee
  • A birth parent of an adoptee
  • Adult offspring of a deceased adoptee
  • A spouse of a deceased adoptee, if the spouse is the birth parent or guardian of any child of the adoptee

To request Non-Identifying Information please send the following:

  • The non-identifying information form
  • A copy of the applicants birth certificate or photo identification
  • A check or money order made payable to DHS Adoption Registry in the amount of $45.

3. Assisted Search Program

The registry can assist in locating parties involved in an adoption that was finalized in Oregon. An assisted search may be requested by using the Assisted Search Application.

The following people may request an assisted search:

An adoptee or the adoptive parent of a minor adoptee or the adoptive parent of deceased adoptee may search for:
  • A birth parent
  • An adult genetic sibling of the adoptee
  • A putative father who is named in the records
The following people can search for an adult adoptee:
  • A birth parent
  • An adult genetic sibling of the adoptee
  • A parent or adult sibling of a deceased birth parent 

The process involved in an Assisted Search

The registry contracts with a searcher who attempts to locate the party to let them know that someone is looking for them and would like to have contact. If they want to have contact, the searcher will notify the Registry and forms will be sent to the located party to register, at no charge.

Information will not be released to either party until both parties have completed the Affidavit for Release of Identifying Information form.
If the person being sought does not wish to make contact, the registry will close the search file. The requesting party will be told that the person has been located and does not wish to have contact, but no other information about them will be released. The requestor’s registration remains open until such time as a written request is received indicating otherwise.  

To request an assisted search please send the following:

Laws and Rules

Oregon Revised Statute

109.425 – 109.507
https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors109.html

Oregon Administrative Rules

413-130-0300 – 413-130-0365
http://www.dhs.state.or.us/policy/childwelfare/manual_1/division_130.pdf

For more information contact:

Adoption Search and Registry Program

Patty Wilhite  
503-945-6643 
patty.wilhite@state.or.us