Adult adopted people in Wyoming do not have an unrestricted right to request and obtain their own original birth certificates. It takes a court order for release of an OBC, and there are no specific standards or procedures outlined for seeking such an order.
Wyoming maintains a court-supervised confidential intermediary service, governed by a five-member board, which an adult adoptee may use to “find” a “sought-after relative.” Only confidential intermediaries may access adoption records and identifying information, and the only result of the service, if consent is obtained from the parties, is contact with a birth parent.
Relevant Wyoming Law: Original Birth Certificates
35-1-417. New certificate of birth following adoption; court determination of paternity; and paternity acknowledgment
(a) The state registrar of vital records shall establish a new certificate of birth for a person born in this state when he receives the following:
(i) An adoption report from the courts of this state, the several states of the United States or a foreign country, and 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; except that a new certificate of birth shall not be established unless so requested by the court decreeing the adoption , the adoptive parents or the adopted person;
(ii) A request that a new certificate be established and evidence as required by regulation proving that a court of competent jurisdiction has determined the paternity of the person, or that both parents have acknowledged the paternity of such person.
(b) When a new certificate of birth is established, the actual city and county and date of birth shall be shown. It shall be substituted for the original certificate of birth. If a new certificate of birth is issued under this section, and in the case of adoptions, the original certificate of birth and evidence of adoption shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) Upon receipt of a decree of annulment of adoption , the original certificate of birth shall be restored to its place in the file and the new certificate and evidence shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(d) Repealed By Laws 2003, Ch. 93, § 3.
(e) The state registrar of vital records shall establish a new certificate of birth, on a form he prescribes, for a person born in a foreign country upon receipt of a certified copy of the decree of adoption entered pursuant to W.S. 1-22-111(a)(iii) and a request for a new certificate by the court decreeing the adoption , the adoptive parents or the adopted person.
(f) If no certificate of birth is on file for the person for whom a new certificate is to be established under this section, a delayed certificate of birth shall be filed with the state registrar of vital records as provided by this act, before a new certificate of birth is established.
Relevant Wyoming Law: Court-Supervised Confidential Intermediary Services
1-22-203. Confidential intermediaries; confidential intermediary services
(a) Any person who has completed a confidential intermediary training program which meets the standards set forth by the commission shall be responsible for notifying the commission that his name should be included on the list of confidential intermediaries to be maintained by the commission and made available to the judicial branch. The commission’s rules shall specify when and under what conditions the name of a confidential intermediary shall be removed from the list available to the judicial branch. Once a person is included on such list, he shall be:
(i) Authorized to inspect confidential relinquishment and adoption records, as ordered by the court, upon motion to the court by an adult adoptee, adoptive parent, biological parent, biological sibling or biological grandparent;
(ii) Available, subject to time constraints, for appointment by the court to act as a confidential intermediary for an adult adoptee, adoptive parent, biological parent, biological sibling or biological grandparent.
(b) Any adult adoptee, adoptive parent, biological parent, biological sibling or biological grandparent who is eighteen (18) years of age or older may file a motion, with supporting affidavit, in the court where the adoption took place or in the court in which parental rights were terminated pursuant to W.S. 14-2-308 through 14-2-319, to appoint one (1) or more confidential intermediaries for the purpose of determining the whereabouts of the unknown biological relative or relatives, except that no one shall seek to determine the whereabouts of a relative who is a minor. The court may rule on the motion and affidavit without hearing and may appoint a confidential intermediary. Costs related to the proceeding and investigation shall be the responsibility of the party filing the motion for appointment and investigation.
(c) Any information obtained by the confidential intermediary during the course of his investigation shall be kept strictly confidential and shall be utilized only for the purpose of arranging a contact between the individual who initiated the search and the sought-after biological relative.
(d) When a sought-after biological relative is located by a confidential intermediary on behalf of the individual who initiated the search:
(i) Contact shall be made between the parties involved in the investigation only when written consent for such contact has been obtained from both parties and filed with the court;
(ii) If consent for personal communication is not obtained from both parties, all relinquishment and adoption records and any information obtained by any confidential intermediary during the course of his investigation shall be returned to the court and shall remain confidential.
(e) Any person acting as a confidential intermediary who knowingly fails to comply with the provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of this section shall be subject to citation and punishment for contempt as provided by Rule 42, Wyoming Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Relevant Wyoming Law: Adoption Court Records
1-22-104. Petition for adoption of minor; by whom filed; requisites; confidential nature; inspection; separate journal to be kept (subdivisions d-e only]
(d) The petition and documents filed pursuant to this section, and the interlocutory decree, if entered, and the final decree of adoption shall constitute a confidential file and shall be available for inspection only to the judge, or, by order of court, to the parties to the proceedings or their attorneys. Upon the entry of the final decree of adoption, all records in the proceedings shall be sealed and may be available for inspection only by order of court for good cause shown. The clerk of court shall maintain a separate journal for adoption proceedings to be confidential and available for inspection only by order of the court for good cause shown. The court may order inspection of all or part of the confidential file in adoption proceedings only if it appears to the court that the welfare and best interests of the child will be served by the inspection.
(e) The court may order inspection of all or any part of the confidential file upon a proper motion made pursuant to W.S. 1-22-203(b). Any order permitting inspection under this subsection shall preserve the anonymity of the natural parents, the adoptive parents and the child and shall provide that the inspection is subject to the provisions of W.S. 1-22-203. Documents filed pursuant to W.S. 1-22-203(b) or this subsection shall become part of the confidential file.