Alabama law gives adult adoptees unrestricted access to their own original birth certificates, beginning at age 19. Upon request for a sealed OBC, an adoptee—as well as any person who had an original birth certificate removed from the registrar’s files due to legitimation or a paternity determination—will receive a non-certified copy of the OBC as well as “any evidence of the adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination held with the original record.”
A birth parent may file a contact preference form that sets forth the parent’s preference for any contact. The form provides only the parent’s preference for contact, whether directly, through an intermediary, or no contact at all. The contact preference form does not operate as a disclosure veto or tool for redacting identifying information.
Relevant Alabama Law: Original Birth Certificate
New birth certificate upon adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination; availability of original certificate; contact preference form.
(a) The State Registrar shall establish a new certificate of birth for a person born in this state upon receipt of any of the following:
(1) A report of adoption as provided in Section 22-9A-11 or a report of adoption prepared and filed in accordance with the laws of another state, the District of Columbia, a territory of the United States, or a foreign country, or a certified copy of the decree of adoption, together with the information necessary to identify the original certificate of birth and to establish a new certificate of birth. A new certificate of birth shall not be established if so requested by the court decreeing the adoption.
(2) A request that a new certificate be established upon completion of the legitimation procedure specified in Sections 26-11-2 and 26-17-6. If the name of another man is shown as the father of the child on the original certificate, a new certificate may be prepared only when a determination of paternity is made by a court of competent jurisdiction or following adoption.
(3) A certified copy of a valid court determination of paternity that establishes the name of the father and decrees the name the child is to bear together with the information necessary to identify the original certificate of birth.
(b) The new certificate of birth prepared as a result of subsection (a) shall be on the form in use at the time of its preparation and shall include all of the following items and other information necessary to complete the certificate:
(1) The name of the child.
(2) The actual place and date of birth as shown on the original certificate.
(3) The names and personal particulars of the adoptive parents or of the natural parents, whichever is appropriate.
(4) The name of the attendant.
(5) The birth number assigned to the original birth certificate.
(6) The original filing date.
(c) The new certificate shall be substituted for the original certificate of birth in the files, and the original certificate of birth and the evidence of adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any person 19 years of age or older who was born in the State of Alabama and who has had an original birth certificate removed from the files due to an adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination may, upon written request, receive a copy of that birth certificate and any evidence of the adoption, legitimation, or paternity determination held with the original record. The copy of the original birth certificate shall be in a form that clearly indicates it is not a certified copy and that it may not be used for legal purposes. All procedures, fees, and waiting periods applicable to non-adopted citizens born in the State of Alabama seeking copies of certificates of birth shall apply.
(d) A birth parent may at any time request from the State Registrar of Vital Statistics a contact preference form that shall accompany a birth certificate issued under subsection (c).
The contact preference form shall provide the following information to be completed at the option of the birth parent:
(1) I would like to be contacted.
(2) I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary.
(3) I prefer not to be contacted at this time. If I decide later that I would like to be contacted, I will submit an updated contact preference form to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. I have completed an updated medical history form and have filed it with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
The medical history form shall be in a form prescribed by the Department of Vital Statistics and shall be supplied to the birth parent upon request of a contact preference form from the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
Only those persons who are authorized to process applications made under subsection (c) may process contact preference and medical history forms.
The medical history form and contact preference form are confidential communications from the birth parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and shall be placed in a sealed envelope upon receipt from the birth parent. The sealed envelope shall be matched with and placed in the file containing the sealed birth certificate.
The sealed envelope containing the contact preference form and medical history form shall be released to a person requesting his or her own original birth certificate under subsection (c). The contact preference form and medical history form are a private communication from the birth parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and no copies of the forms shall be retained by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.