2015 ORS 109.319¹
Separate record of the case
  • sealing of adoption records
  • inspection, copying and disclosure
  • fees

Caution-flag-2-25x25
This section is amended
Effective April 4, 2016
Relating to child welfare; creating new provisions; amending ORS 30.260, 109.070, 109.319, 128.640, 278.322, 418.205, 418.210, 418.215, 418.240, 418.246, 418.250, 418.255, 418.260, 418.263, 418.265, 418.270, 418.275, 418.280, 418.285, 418.290, 418.295, 418.305, 418.306, 418.312, 418.325, 418.327, 418.475, 418.485, 418.495, 418.625, 418.647, 418.950, 418.990, 418.992, 418.993, 418.995, 418.998, 419A.004, 419B.005, 419B.371, 441.277, 443.830, 479.210, 479.217, 497.162, 609.652 and 657.060; and declaring an emergency.

(1) The clerk or court administrator of any court having jurisdiction over adoption proceedings shall keep a separate record of the case for each adoption proceeding filed with the court. Adoption proceedings shall not be entered upon the general records of the court.

(2) The clerk, court administrator and any other person having custody of the records, papers and files in the court’s record of an adoption case shall cause the records, papers and files, both prior to entry of judgment and after entry of judgment of adoption, to be sealed. The clerk, court administrator and any other person having custody of the records, papers and files shall not unseal or allow inspection or copying of or disclose any information in the records, papers and files to any person or entity, except as provided in this section or pursuant to ORS 109.305 (Interpretation of adoption laws) to 109.410 (Certificate of adoption) or 109.425 (Definitions for ORS 109.425 to 109.507) to 109.507 (Access to Department of Human Services records required).

(3) Prior to entry of judgment in an adoption proceeding, and after entry of judgment in an adoption proceeding but prior to the minor child who is the subject of the adoption proceeding attaining 18 years of age, the following may inspect and copy sealed records, papers and files that are maintained in the court’s record of an adoption case without a court order:

(a) Presiding judges and judges of the court operating under the Judicial Department, and court staff or other persons operating under the direction of the presiding judges or judges;

(b) Petitioners and their attorneys of record; and

(c) The Department of Human Services.

(4) After entry of judgment in an adoption proceeding and after the minor child who is the subject of the adoption proceeding has attained 18 years of age, the following may inspect and copy sealed records, papers and files that are maintained in the court’s record of the adoption case without a court order:

(a) Judges of the court operating under the Judicial Department and court staff or other persons operating under the direction of the judges;

(b) The person who was the minor child in the adoption proceeding, except that the person who was the minor child in the adoption proceeding may not inspect or copy the home study approved under ORS 109.309 (Petition for adoption) (7) except pursuant to a court order and with good cause;

(c) Petitioners and their attorneys of record; and

(d) The Department of Human Services.

(5)(a) After entry of judgment in an adoption proceeding and after the minor child who is the subject of the adoption proceeding has attained 18 years of age, an individual whose consent for the adoption is required under ORS 109.321 (Consent to adoption) may file a motion with the court to inspect and copy sealed records, papers and files that are maintained in the court’s record of the adoption case.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection, the court shall grant the motion except for good cause but must exclude from inspection and copying:

(A) For adoption cases filed on or after January 1, 2014:

(i) The Adoption Summary and Segregated Information Statement filed in accordance with ORS 109.317 (Adoption Summary and Segregated Information Statement); and

(ii) Exhibits described in ORS 109.317 (Adoption Summary and Segregated Information Statement) (2) that are contained in the court’s record of the adoption case.

(B) For adoption cases filed before January 1, 2014:

(i) Statements, exhibits and other documents provided for purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act pursuant to ORS 109.767 (Information to be submitted to court);

(ii) A home study;

(iii) A report of adoption on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics under ORS 432.223 (Reports of adoption) or a similar document in which the court has certified to the state registrar the facts of the live birth of the person adopted;

(iv) A medical history described in ORS 109.342 (Medical history of child and biological parents required) or a similar document provided to the court for the purpose of describing the medical history of the minor child or of the biological parents; and

(v) Addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers of persons or entities described in ORS 109.317 (Adoption Summary and Segregated Information Statement) (1)(a) to (d) that are contained in the court’s record of the adoption case.

(c) If the Department of Human Services consented or has the authority to consent to the adoption of a minor child under ORS 109.325 (Consent by Department of Human Services or approved child-caring agency of this state) or 419B.529 (Adoption after permanent commitment or surrender):

(A) A parent who has signed a release and surrender to the department under ORS 418.270 (Surrender of child to private child-caring agency), that was accepted by the department, or whose parental rights were terminated under ORS 419B.500 (Termination of parental rights generally) and 419B.502 (Termination upon finding of extreme conduct) to 419B.524 (Effect of termination order), may file a motion with the court to inspect or copy sealed records, papers and files that are maintained in the court’s record of the adoption case but may not be granted the right to inspect or copy:

(i) For adoption cases filed on or after January 1, 2014:

(I) The Adoption Summary and Segregated Information Statement filed in accordance with ORS 109.317 (Adoption Summary and Segregated Information Statement); and

(II) Exhibits described in ORS 109.317 (Adoption Summary and Segregated Information Statement) (2) that are contained in the court’s record of the adoption case.

(ii) For adoption cases filed before January 1, 2014:

(I) Statements, exhibits and other documents provided for purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act pursuant to ORS 109.767 (Information to be submitted to court);

(II) A home study;

(III) A report of adoption on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics under ORS 432.223 (Reports of adoption) or a similar document in which the court has certified to the state registrar the facts of the live birth of the person adopted; and

(IV) A medical history described in ORS 109.342 (Medical history of child and biological parents required) or a similar document provided to the court for the purpose of describing the medical history of the minor child or of the biological parents.

(B)(i) The court may grant the motion for good cause. The name, address, phone number, Social Security number or other identifying information of any individual or entity contained in the records, papers and files must be redacted and may not be disclosed as part of the inspection or copying allowed under this paragraph.

(ii) Notwithstanding sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph, the name of the parent filing the motion and the name, bar number and contact information for any attorney of record in the case may be disclosed as part of the inspection or copying allowed under this paragraph.

(d) The fee imposed and collected by the court for the filing of a motion under this subsection by the birth parent of an adult adoptee shall be in accordance with ORS 21.145 (Simple proceeding filing fee), except that a fee may not be imposed or collected for a motion filed under this subsection for adoptions where the Department of Human Services consented to the adoption under ORS 109.325 (Consent by Department of Human Services or approved child-caring agency of this state) or 419B.529 (Adoption after permanent commitment or surrender).

(6) Except as provided in subsection (5)(c) of this section, an individual or entity that signed a record, paper or document in a file contained in the court’s record of the adoption case is entitled to inspect and obtain a copy of that record, paper or document without a court order. The signature and name of any other individual or entity on the same record, paper or document must be redacted or otherwise not disclosed as part of the inspection and copying permitted under this subsection.

(7)(a) Any documents, writings, information and other records retained by the Department of Human Services or an Oregon licensed child-caring agency as defined in ORS 418.205 (Definitions for ORS 418.205 to 418.310 and 418.992 to 418.998) in the department’s or agency’s record of an adoption case that are not records, papers and files in the court’s record of the adoption case are confidential and must be sealed. Any records, documents or information, including records, papers and files in the court’s record of the adoption case, retained by the department or agency in its record of an adoption case may be accessed, used or disclosed only as provided in this section or ORS 109.305 (Interpretation of adoption laws) to 109.410 (Certificate of adoption) or 109.425 (Definitions for ORS 109.425 to 109.507) to 109.507 (Access to Department of Human Services records required), or pursuant to a court order for good cause.

(b) The department or agency may, without a court order, access, use or disclose any records, documents or information retained by the department or agency in its record of an adoption case, including records, papers and files in the court’s record of an adoption case that are in the possession of the department or the agency for the purpose of providing adoption services or the administration of child welfare services that the department or agency is authorized to provide under applicable federal or state law.

(8) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a court may grant a motion and enter an order allowing inspection, copying or other disclosure of records, papers and files that are maintained in the court’s record of an adoption case for good cause.

(9) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the clerk or court administrator from certifying or providing copies of a judgment of adoption to the petitioner in an adoption proceeding, to the petitioner’s attorney of record or to the Department of Human Services.

(10) The provisions of this section do not apply to the disclosure of information under ORS 109.425 (Definitions for ORS 109.425 to 109.507) to 109.507 (Access to Department of Human Services records required).

(11) Except as provided in subsection (5)(d) of this section, the court may impose and collect fees for copies and services provided under this section, including but not limited to filing, inspection and research fees.

(12) Unless good cause is shown, when the court grants a motion to inspect, copy or otherwise disclose records, papers and files in the court’s record of an adoption case, the court shall order a prohibition or limitation on redisclosure of the records, papers and files, or of information contained in the records, papers and files.

(13) When inspection, copying or disclosure is allowed under this section, the court may require appropriate and reasonable verification of the identity of the requesting person to the satisfaction of the court. [2013 c.346 §6; 2014 c.71 §7; 2015 c.511 §3; 2015 c.512 §3]

Note: Section 16 (2), chapter 346, Oregon Laws 2013, provides:

Sec. 16. (2) Section 6 of this 2013 Act [109.319 (Separate record of the case)] and the repeal of ORS 7.211 and 109.440 by section 7 of this 2013 Act apply to adoption cases commenced before, on or after the effective date of this 2013 Act [January 1, 2014]. [2013 c.346 §16(2)]

Note: See note under 109.315 (Petition for adoption).

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Under Former Similar Statute (Ors 7.211)

Use of division's client records by an­oth­er depart­mental division, (1974) Vol 37, p 186

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Change of name in public records, (1977) Vol 38, p 945

Chapter 109

Law Review Cita­tions

12 WLJ 569-589 (1976)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 109—Parent and Child Rights and Relationships, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors109.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 109, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano109.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.