2015 ORS § 109.503¹
Access to adoption records for search
  • duties of searcher

(1) When the Department of Human Services, an Oregon licensed adoption agency or a third party individual or entity to whom the department or agency has delegated, or with whom the department or agency has contracted, to conduct searches under ORS 109.502 (Search for birth parents, putative father, genetic siblings or county where adoption finalized) is requested to conduct a search under ORS 109.502 (Search for birth parents, putative father, genetic siblings or county where adoption finalized), the department, agency or third party individual or entity may examine adoption records maintained by the department and by private adoption agencies under ORS 109.435 (Adoption records to be permanently maintained). However, the department, agency or third party individual or entity may examine the adoption records of a private adoption agency only if the private adoption agency allows the examination. The department, agency or third party individual or entity shall keep the records and information located in the records confidential.

(2) If the department, agency or third party individual or entity is able to identify and locate the person being sought, the department, agency or third party individual or entity shall make a confidential inquiry of that person to determine whether the person wishes to make contact with the person requesting the search. If the reason the person is requesting the search is because there is a serious medical condition in the persons immediate family that is, or may be, an inheritable condition and the person being sought is biologically related to the ill person, the department, agency or third party individual or entity shall inform the person being sought of that fact.

(3) If the department, agency or third party individual or entity is able to identify the county in which an adoption was finalized, in the discretion of the department, agency or third party individual or entity, the identity of the county may be disclosed to an adult adoptee, the parent or guardian of a minor adoptee, or to a birth parent.

(4)(a) If the person being sought wishes to make contact with the person requesting the search, the department, agency or third party individual or entity shall:

(A) Tell the person about the voluntary adoption registry under ORS 109.425 (Definitions for ORS 109.425 to 109.507) to 109.507 (Access to Department of Human Services records required) and that any contact will be made through the registry and its provisions and shall give the person any information and forms necessary to register;

(B) Notify the voluntary adoption registry that the person being sought has been identified and located and has indicated that the person wishes to make contact; and

(C) Return all materials and information obtained during the search to the department or agency responsible for maintaining the information.

(b) If the person being sought has indicated a wish to make contact and has not registered with the voluntary adoption registry within 90 days after the confidential inquiry was made, the department, agency or third party individual or entity, where practicable, shall contact the person to offer forms and materials to register and to determine if the person still intends to register.

(5) If the person being sought does not wish to make contact with the person requesting the search, the department, agency or third party individual or entity shall:

(a) Tell the person about the voluntary adoption registry under ORS 109.425 (Definitions for ORS 109.425 to 109.507) to 109.507 (Access to Department of Human Services records required);

(b) Notify the voluntary adoption registry that the person being sought has been identified, located and has indicated that the person does not wish to make contact; and

(c) Return all materials and information obtained during the search to the department or agency responsible for maintaining the information.

(6) If the department, agency or third party individual or entity is unable to identify and locate the person being sought, the department, agency or third party individual or entity shall notify the voluntary adoption registry of that fact.

(7) Upon receiving notice under subsection (4)(a)(B), (5)(b) or (6) of this section, the voluntary adoption registry shall:

(a) Enter the information into its records; and

(b) Notify the person requesting the search only that the person being sought has or has not been located, and either:

(A) Has indicated a wish to make contact and has been given information and forms necessary to register; or

(B) Has indicated a wish not to make contact. [1993 c.410 §4; 1995 c.79 §43; 1995 c.730 §13; 1997 c.442 §10; 2015 c.200 §11]

Note: See note under 109.425 (Definitions for ORS 109.425 to 109.507).