Opening a Court Adoption Record
Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 107(a) says that certain people may request a copy of an adoption decree by making a written request and presenting the proper identification to the court. The people who are able to make this request are:
- the adoptive parent, or
- an adult adoptee - someone who is 18 years old or older and was adopted as a minor
Only these people can make the request. They can request only the adoption decree, using the request form below.
If you are not the adoptive parent or an adult adoptee, or if you want to ask for copies of documents other than the adoption decree, you must file a Petition to Open Court's Adoption Records.
Only a party to the adoption proceeding may file a petition to open a court adoption record. A judge must approve the petition before access will be granted. The court may allow access to the entire file or only to certain information. The decision will depend on the type of information that is requested and the privacy interests that must be protected.
The petitioner must show good cause for access to the records, and must show that the reasons for allowing access outweigh the reasons for keeping the records sealed. The petitioner must also specifically identify the information they are seeking.
If you are asking for health, genetic, or social information, you must show why the health history, genetic history, or social history that you can request from the Office of Vital Records and Statistics is not sufficient.
If you are asking for identifying information, you must show why the information from the mutual-consent voluntary adoption registry of the Office of Vital Records and Statistics is not sufficient.
The judge may order you to serve the petition on any person having an interest in the adoption file. This may include the placement agency, the attorney in the case, the birth parents or the adoptee. If the court orders you to serve the petition, you must follow Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 4. See our web page on serving papers for more information.
The judge may hold a hearing on the petition, or could make a decision based solely on the petition and other documents filed with the court by parties who have been served with the petition.
If the judge approves the petition, court staff will help you access the documents that may be inspected. You will only be able to access those records that the judge identifies in the court order. After you have accessed the records, the court will reseal the file.
If you were served with a petition to open a court adoption record and wish to object, you may file an objection using the form below. The court may schedule a hearing to consider your objection. The court will send you notice of the date and time for the hearing. The court may also make a decision without a hearing, based on the petition and your objection.
Some forms may not apply in all cases. Use the Checklist to help you understand and complete the forms. The Checklist is not filed with the court or served on the other party. You must complete a form before you file it.
Forms to ask the court to provide a certified copy of the adoption decree (To be used by an adoptive parent or a person who was adopted)
Forms to petition the court to open an adoption record
Forms to oppose a petition to the court to open an adoption record