Utah Adoption Registry

The Utah Adoption Registry is a voluntary, mutual consent registry that helps adult adoptees born in Utah and their birth parents and birth siblings reunite with one another.

What the Utah Adoption Registry Offers You

Original Records

The Utah Adoption Registry is the only adoption registry with all original pre-adoption birth certificate records for Utah births. No other adoption registry has access to all of the Utah original pre-adoption birth certificate records.

VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION

The Utah Adoption Registry is a mutual consent registry, meaning that each person in the registry voluntarily registered and is willing to be known to their birth family. Whether you are an adult adoptee born in Utah or a birth parent or birth sibling of someone born in Utah, you can join the registry with confidence that you will only be matched with a birth family member who is seeking to find you.

ACCURATE MATCHES

Each match between a birth parent and an adult adoptee in the Utah Adoption Registry is 100% accurate because matches are done using information found on original pre-adoption birth certificate records.

Register Now

Join the Utah Adoption Registry

Joining the Utah Adoption Registry is easy! There are two simple steps:

Step One:

Start the application process by completing an application online. You may also complete a paper application form.

Step Two:

Mail the following information to the Utah Department of Health Office of Vital Records and Statistics:

  • A completed application form that is notarized by a public notary
  • $25 check or money order payable to “Vital Records”
  • A certified birth certificate (*If you do not have a certified birth certificate and you were born in the State of Utah, for an additional $20 fee, the Utah Department of Health will print one for you and add it in your file.)
  • A copy of your driver's license

Mail these items to:

Utah Department of Health

Office of Vital Records & Statistics, Utah Adoption Registry

P.O. Box 141012

Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Testimonials

"Without the registry, I would not have known my biological grandmother. The registry brings families together."

- Chantelle Phelps, granddaughter

"I was on the registry for less than a week when I got a phone call that there was a match."

- Meagan Smith, adult adoptee

"I am glad there is a way to get the information we need as birth parents and adoptees."

- Deneal Dooley, birth mother

"Our reunion has been an absolute gift and we have grown very close. I couldn’t have asked for a better turn out. If only we had known sooner, my mom could’ve met her biological son but she passed just a few months before our reunion."

- Sonia Morgan, adult adoptee’s biological sister

"I registered and it was very fast. We had a match and were meeting each other in no time. It's been one of the best and happiest experiences of my life."

- Megan Wolf, birth mother

"Without the registry, I would not have known my biological grandmother. The registry brings families together."

- Chantelle Phelps, granddaughter

"I was on the registry for less than a week when I got a phone call that there was a match."

- Meagan Smith, adult adoptee

"I am glad there is a way to get the information we need as birth parents and adoptees."

- Deneal Dooley, birth mother

"Our reunion has been an absolute gift and we have grown very close. I couldn’t have asked for a better turn out. If only we had known sooner, my mom could’ve met her biological son but she passed just a few months before our reunion."

- Sonia Morgan, adult adoptee’s biological sister

"I registered and it was very fast. We had a match and were meeting each other in no time. It's been one of the best and happiest experiences of my life."

- Megan Wolf, birth mother

FAQ

What is the Utah Adoption Registry?

The Utah State Legislature established the Utah Adoption Registry in 1987. It is a valuable resource for adult adoptees born in Utah, their birth parents, and their birth siblings who are searching for one another. Pursuant to Utah Code 78B-6-144, it is set up to release identifying information to an adult adoptee born in Utah, their birth parent, or birth sibling only when both the adoptee and their adoptee birth parent consent to join the registry.

Who is eligible to join the Utah Adoption Registry?

To join the registry, you must be an adult adoptee born in Utah, a birth parent of an adoptee, or a birth sibling of an adoptee. Adoptees must be 18 years or older to join the registry.

How can I join the Utah Adoption Registry?

Joining the Utah Adoption Registry is easy! There are two simple steps:

  • Step 1: Start the application process by completing an application online. You may also complete a paper application form.
  • Step 2: Mail the following information to the Utah Department of Health Office of Vital Records and Statistics:
    • A completed application form that is notarized by a public notary
    • $25 check or money order payable to “Vital Records”
    • A certified birth certificate (*If you do not have a certified birth certificate and you were born in the State of Utah, for an additional $20 fee, the Utah Department of Health will print one for you.)
    • A copy your driver license

Mail these items to:

Utah Department of Health
Office of Vital Records & Statistics, Utah Adoption Registry
P.O. Box 141012
Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Who runs the Utah Adoption Registry?

Pursuant to Utah Code 78B-6-144, the Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics administers the Utah Adoption Registry.

What distinguishes the Utah Adoption Registry from other adoption registries and other methods used to find adult adoptees and birth parents?

The Utah Adoption Registry is the only official adoption registry administered by the Utah Department of Health, Office of Vital Records and Statistics (OVRS). The OVRS is the only entity other than a Utah court authorized to access sealed adoption information and it is the only place where pre-adoption birth certificate records for all Utah births can be found. With consent from both parties, our staff can make a 100% positive match between an adult adoptee and a birth parent without the expense of DNA testing or hiring a private investigator.

As a birth parent or adult adoptee, am I required to join the Utah Adoption Registry?

No. Joining the Utah Adoption Registry is voluntary and no identifying information is released unless both an adult adoptee and a birth parent consent to join. Choosing to connect with an adult adoptee or birth family is a personal choice and we do not try to influence this decision. Our staff only act as a resource to those who have already decided that they would like to connect with members of their birth family.

How do I update my contact information in the Utah Adoption Registry?

If your contact information has changed, mail the following to the Utah Department of Health Office of Vital Records and Statistics :

  • A letter which states your old contact information and your new contact information. Be sure to specify what information should be updated.
  • $10 check or money order made payable to “Vital Records”
  • A copy of your driver license
  • Mail these items to:
    • Utah Department of Health
      Office of Vital Records & Statistics, Utah Adoption Registry
      P.O. Box 141012
      Salt Lake City, UT 84114

What if I joined the registry in the past but change my mind and no longer want to be on it?

It is possible to remove your name from the registry. Just submit a signed statement requesting that that your name be removed from the Utah Adoption Registry. There is no fee for removing your name from registry.

If there is a match, what information from the sealed adoption file can be shared with the birth parent and the adult adoptee?

If an adult adoptee and at least one birth parent give consent and join the Utah Adoption Registry, our staff can share identifying information from documents stored in the sealed adoption file with both parties. These documents may include a black and white copy of the original pre-adoption birth certificate, court documents related to the adoption, and any other documents provided to our office.

What if an adult adoptee wants to obtain information about the medical or health history of their birth parents? Is it possible to obtain this information without joining the registry?

Yes. You may obtain medical or health history information by completing an application for non-identifying information. There is a $25 fee associated with this request. This fee is separate from the $25 adoption registry fee.

Is it possible for a birth parent to not identify who they are to their birth child but to share non-identifying information or a letter with them?

Yes. Birth parents can provide non-identifying medical or health history information or a letter to our staff at any time after an adoption by completing an adoption registry application and specifying that they DO NOT want to be identified to their birth child. This non-identifying information can then be shared with their birth child after they reach the age of 18 years, if the birth child joins the registry.

What limitations are there in the Utah Adoption Registry?

One limitation of the Utah Adoption Registry is that it only has information related to Utah births. If an adoptee was born outside of Utah, the Utah Adoption Registry will not have information for them or their birth parents. Another limitation is that although matches between consenting adoptees and birth parents do happen, it is common for someone to join the registry and never be matched with their birth family. The Utah Adoption Registry is voluntary and both an adoptee and a birth parent must join before our staff can share identifying information. For this reason, it is likely that one party may never consent or they may never know about the registry. Other factors that make it difficult to match are if a father’s name never appears on the original birth certificate or if a birth mother chooses to not disclose her actual name at a hospital at the time of birth. It is also possible that a birth parent forgets the actual date or location of the birth. These factors all can reduce the likelihood of a match being made.

Why is it important that I provide as much information as possible in my application?

The more information someone provides in the application, the quicker a match can be made and the more likely a match between an adoptee and birth parent is to be made at all.

What happens if I start the application process online but never pay a fee and never complete the additional step required to register?

The application process can begin online, but you never actually join the registry if you fail to mail the required $25 fee and mail in the other required documentation (certified birth certificate and copy of your driver license) within 30 days.

How often does the Utah Adoption Registry make matches between a consenting birth parent or birth sibling and a consenting adult adoptee?

On average, the Utah Adoption Registry makes between two and eight matches per month.

How many birth parents, birth siblings, and adult adoptees are in the Utah Adoption Registry?

As of August 17, 2017, there were 2,469 individuals in the Utah Adoption Registry. This includes 1,639 adoptees born in Utah, 731 birth parents, and 99 birth siblings.

Once I complete the application process and pay the registry fee, how long will it take before I find out if there is a match?

It could take up to two weeks, depending on whether or not a match is found. If a match is found, it could take up to two weeks for our staff to request documents from Utah State Archives. If there is not a match, we will mail you a letter indicating that there is not match at this time. You will be contacted if there is a match in the future.

Can a birth sibling of an adult adoptee join the registry?

Yes, a birth sibling of an adult adoptee born in Utah is able to join the registry with the written approval of at least one of the birth parents.

If a match is found, how is contact information exchanged between a birth parent and an adult adoptee and where do they meet?

If the Utah Adoption Registry finds a match between consenting parties, we will contact the adult adoptee born in Utah and the birth parent or birth sibling by phone to let them know. Our staff will also mail a letter to both parties, providing copies of documents from the sealed adoption file. In these cases, our staff facilitates the exchange of contact information between the parties so they can contact one another if they choose to do so. Some parties choose to meet one another at our office but that is optional.

What happens if no match is made?

If a match is not found, we will mail you a letter indicating that there is not match at this time. We will contact you if there is a match in the future. The registry cannot help you find a member of your birth family if they have not yet registered with the Utah Adoption Registry.

Who do I contact with questions about the Utah Adoption Registry?

We may be contacted by email at adoptions@utah.gov or by calling (801) 538-6363 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

View More FAQs +