Opening a Court Adoption Record

Requesting a copy of an adoption decree

Some people can get a copy of an adoption decree by simply filling out a form and presenting identification to the court. This includes:

  • the adoptive parent, and
  • a mature adoptee - someone who was 18 years old or older at the time they were adopted (unless the adoption occurred in juvenile court)

If you are one of the above, you can request the adoption decree using this form:

  • 1178XX

If you are not the adoptive parent or a mature 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.

Utah Code 78B-6-141 and Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 107(a)  

Petition to open a court adoption record

You must be a party to the adoption proceeding to file a petition to open a court adoption record. The court must approve the petition before will be given access. 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.

You 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. You 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 court 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 court 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 court 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 court identifies in the court order. After you have accessed the records, the court will reseal the file.

 

Objecting to a petition open a court adoption record

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.

 

Forms

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 mature adoptee)

  • 1178XX

Forms to petition the court to open an adoption record

Forms to oppose a petition to the court to open an adoption record

  • Checklist - PDF | Word
  • 1005XX
  • 1111GE