Vital Records


 

 

 

**New Medical History Form Available Below**

 

 

PRE-ADOPTION BIRTH RECORDS

 

move down to this section of the pageWhat is Senate Bill 335 and how did it affect access to the original adoption
   
record?

  Who is eligible to order a preadoption record?

move down to this section of the pageHow should applicants order?

move down to this section of the pageHow will applications be processed?

move down to this section of the pageHow quickly will I get my record?

move down to this section of the pageWhat will the applicant receive?

move down to this section of the pageAre there other adoption records that an adoptee may order?

move down to this section of the pageHow can I get help in locating my birth parents?

move down to this section of the pageHow can birth parents state their preference about personal contact with the
   
adoptee?

move down to this section of the pageDownload order forms
move down to this section of the pageTrack the Numbers of Requests and Download a Progress Report

(Pre-adoption Birth Record, Contact Preference, Medical History)

  What is SB335?

  • Must be for a birth record where we have received an adoption report that sealed the original record and created a new record. On May 12, 2004, Senate Bill 335 became New Hampshire law with an effective date of January 1, 2005.

  • The law is based on a similar Oregon law that was passed in 1998.  Here is a link to the status of the Oregon’s law, Ballot Measure 58.

  • Adoptee must be born in New Hampshire.

  • SB335 modifies the Vital Records access law (RSA 5-C:16) in the following manner:  “Upon written application by an adult adoptee, who was born in this state and who has had an original birth certificate removed from vital statistics records due to an adoption, the registrar shall issue to such applicant a non-certified copy of the unaltered, original certificate of birth of the adoptee, with procedures, filing fees and waiting periods identical to those imposed upon non-adopted citizens of the state.”

  • The law also set up the ability of the birth parents to fill out contact preference forms that describe how the adoptee may or may not contact them.

  • Even though the law goes into effect on January 1, 2005, we will still accept and process completed contact preference forms from birth mothers.

  • Additionally, we will accept orders submitted to us through the application form, but we will not fill them until January 1, 2005.  We will simply date them and maintain them sequentially until we can fill them in order of acceptance.

 Top of Page WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO ORDER?

  • Must be the adoptee or their legal representative, or the adoptee’s immediate family.  The immediate family would include the adult adoptee's spouse, adoptive parents, siblings, and children.  Legal representative is further defined by the statute (RSA 5-C:16) to include an attorney, physician, funeral director, or other authorized agent acting in behalf of the applicant or his or her family.

  • Adoptee must be 18 years of age.

  • Adoptee must be born in New Hampshire.

  • Must be for a birth record where we have received an adoption report that sealed the original record and created a new record.

 Top of Page HOW SHOULD APPLICANTS ORDER?

  • Applicants who request records should clearly identify themselves as an "ADOPTEE SEEKING A PRE-ADOPTION BIRTH RECORD" in the “PURPOSE OF WHICH RECORD IS REQUESTED” area of the APPLICATION FOR COPY OF NON-CERTIFIED PREADOPTION BIRTH RECORD.  Without this information we may incorrectly send the current legal record.

  • If mailed, enclose a $15 non-refundable search fee payable to the ‘Treasurer, State of New Hampshire’.

  • You will also need to include a photocopy of a government issued photo ID.

  • Include your current legal birth record information:

    • Full legal name (after adoption)

    • Date of birth

    • Place of birth

    • Adopted mother's full maiden name

    • Adopted father's full name

Each order should show the adoptee's mailing address and daytime telephone number.  Our office will call if we find the applicant has not given us correct and complete record information that matches the legal birth certificate.  Attorneys should include a written statement of whom they represent and the current legal birth record information listed above.  Anyone else ordering needs a permission note with a notarized signature of the adoptee to show they are representing the adoptee.

Applicants may order by mail or in person. However, due to the special processing steps, copies may not be issued the same day or even the following day.  Orders for pre-adoption records may take several weeks to process.

 Top of Page HOW WILL APPLICATIONS BE PROCESSED?

Processing steps include:

  • Reviewing orders for completeness of current legal record information and enclosure of a $15.00 fee. Orders with missing information or fees will receive follow-up correspondence requesting additional information or payment.

  • Locating the current full legal birth certificates and creating a matching list of sealed file numbers for these records.

  • Once sealed files are retrieved, we will match records using the sealed file number and make the non-certified copies. We will also check for a contact preference form from the biological parent.  If a match is found, a copy of the contact preference form will be included with the pre-adoption birth record.  Records will then be mailed to adoptees or their legal representatives.

 Top of Page HOW QUICKLY WILL I GET MY RECORD?

Processing of orders for preadoption birth records will normally take anywhere from one day to four to six weeks.  In a few cases where the sealed file is not easily identified or found, additional time may be needed to research and locate the file.  In these cases the adoptee will be notified of the results of the search and the specific problem in locating the preadoption record.

 Top of Page WHAT WILL THE APPLICANT RECEIVE?

  1. There is a small chance that the sealed file will be opened and no original birth certificate will be found, and the applicant will receive a “No Record Found” statement.

  2. If found, the non-certified copy of the original record will be clearly marked as a preadoption record from a sealed file.  It will not be accepted by government agencies as a legal birth certificate for purposes of identification.  Additionally, the applicant will receive a completed contact preference form and an updated medical history form – if available in the sealed file.

The information on this preadoption birth certificate was provided by the birth parent(s) at the time of your birth.  The information may or may not be accurate.  At the time of a child's birth, a birth parent may give a child any name they want or they may not name the child.  The mother's name and the father's name on this document may or may not be accurate.  After the adoption was finalized, the birth parent(s) could not make any changes to the birth record.

If you want more information about locating birth parent(s), you may want to contact the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families (formally known as the NH Division of Welfare).  They can be reached at 603-271-4702 or 800-852-3345 ext. 4702.  If you know what adoption agency handled your adoption, you should contact that adoption agency directly.

 Top of Page ARE THERE OTHER ADOPTION RECORDS
    THAT AN ADOPTEE MAY ORDER?

SB335 applies to the release of the original birth certificate, the contact preference form and the updated medical history file that are contained in the sealed file maintained by the Division of Vital Records Administration.  We must receive a copy of a certified court order to release any other adoption report contained in the sealed file.

A New Hampshire adoption agency may have additional medical information not contained in the Division’s file.  You should contact the adoption agency that was involved with your adoption for this information.  If you do not know what adoption agency was involved, you may call the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families at 603-271-4702 or 800-852-3345 ext. 4702.

 Top of Page GETTING HELP LOCATING BIRTH PARENTS

The DCYF Adoption Program is available to assist adoptees, birth parents, biological siblings, and other eligible persons who wish to learn more about an adoption that was completed in the State of New Hampshire and is an intermediary in communicating information if both parties consent.

If you were party to an adoption completed in New Hampshire and would like more information, contact New Hampshire DCYF at 603-271-4702 or 800-852-3345 ext. 4702.  Many other private agencies in the state maintain their own mutual consent registries.

Additional contact information is available in this document: Fact Sheet

 Top of Page HOW CAN BIRTH PARENTS STATE THEIR
    PREFERENCE ABOUT PERSONAL CONTACT
    WITH THE ADOPTEE?

BIRTH PARENTS MAY FILE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORMS

SB335 provides a way for birth parents to file a form with the New Hampshire Division of Vital Records Administration stating their preference about personal contact with the adoptee.  The completed preference form will be filed in the adoptee’s sealed file.  Contact preference forms are provided to adoptees when the birth records are released.

If the birth parent wants contact, he/she may complete the CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM (available below) and mail it directly to:

Division of Vital Records Administration
Attention: Adoption Coordinator
71 South Fruit Street
Concord, NH 03301-2410

If the birth parent does not want contact, a Birth Parent Updated Medical History form (available below) must be filed with the Division at the address above along with the Contact Preference Form.

The birth parent may invite contact, but only through an intermediary.  In this case, intermediary contact help for the adoptee may be obtained through the agencies listed in this document: Fact Sheet.

If you have any questions about the forms or the filing of these forms, you may call the Division of Vital Records Administration at 603-271-4650.

 Top of Page Download Order Forms

  Application for Copy of Non-certified Pre-adoption Birth Record (448kb)

 Contact Preference Form (29kb)

 Birth Parent Updated Medical History Form (37kb)

 Top of Page TRACK THE NUMBERS

Open and/or download the document below to see what effect the new law has had on the workload of our office.  This document provides up-to-date information on the numbers of preadoption records requested at our counter, along with the numbers of contact preference forms and medical history forms filed with our office. 

2012 Preadoption Stats (20kb)

2011 Preadoption Stats (12kb)

2010 Preadoption Stats (12kb)

2009 Preadoption Stats (52kb)

2008 Preadoption Stats (11kb)

2007 Preadoption Stats (11kb)

2006 Preadoption Stats (11kb)

2005 Preadoption Stats (11kb)

 

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