History of Connecticut Access Law
At all times before 1975, every adult adoptee in Connecticut had the unrestricted right to obtain their original birth certificate. Any adoption agency who told a birth mother otherwise was misinforming her about her rights under the law. (Note: To our knowledge, only one adoption agency in Connecticut – Catholic Charities – claimed to have done so, though many birth mothers who went through Catholic Charities report they were actually correctly advised of the law by the attorney representing them. See actual signed agreements between Connecticut birthmothers and Catholic Charities attached to a collective testimony this year from the Catholic Mothers for Truth & Transparency.)
In 1975, the legislature retroactively changed the law (clandestinely, without a public hearing) and required a court order for the adoptee to obtain their original birth certificate. In 1977, the right was made subject to birth parent consent.
In subsequent years, the pendulum swung back. Starting in 1983, every relinquishing birth parent signed an Affidavit stating that the adult adoptee might learn the birth parent’s identity. In 1987 the law changed again, allowing all adoptees to get their original birth certificate after their birth parents had died. Finally in 2014, post-1983 adult adoptees regained the unrestricted right to obtain their original birth certificate.
HB 6105 would restore equality right to all Connecticut adoptees by allowing them to obtain their original birth certificate, without regard to date of birth or whether their birth parents are living or deceased.
Image of C.G.S. Sec. 7-53 (1972) – State Library
TIMELINE OF CONNECTICUT STATUTES
Adoption information is public.
— 1944-1975 —
Unrestricted right of access to original birth certificates by all adult adoptees and parents of minor adoptees. CGS Sec. 7-53.
Retroactive and prospective removal of unrestricted right to access. PA 75-170.
(No public hearing was held before this was done by the legislature.)
Probate Court Affidavit Form JD-JM-60 implemented on October 1, 1983. Affidavit is required in all voluntary termination of parental rights cases. Affidavit contains a notice provision that informs all biological parents that their identity, and the identity of other blood relatives, may be disclosed to adult adoptee when he or she reaches the age of 18. www.ctprobate.gov/Forms
Retroactive restoration of the unrestricted right of all adult adoptees to obtain identifying information regarding a deceased biological parent. PA 87-555.
CGS Sec. 45a-751b(2)(e). CGS 45a-753(e).
Retroactive restoration of the unrestricted right of adult adoptees born and adopted on or after October 1, 1983 to obtain original birth certificate. PA 14-133. CGS 7-53.
Adult adoptees born and adopted on or after October 1, 1983 have unrestricted right to obtain original birth certificate. All adult adoptees have an unrestricted right to obtain identifying information regarding a deceased biological parent. All adoptees have restricted right to obtain court order releasing original birth certificate.
PA 14-133. CGS 7-53. CGS Sec. 45a-751b(2)(e). CGS 45a-753(e).