Original Birth Certificates. Wyoming is a Restricted State. It takes a court order to release an adopted person’s own original birth certificate. Wyoming does not provide specific standards or procedures for seeking such an order to release the original birth record, though the vital records office has information and a form to use if a court order is granted.
Court Records. Court records are sealed and are not available for copying or inspection except by court order, which requires a showing of good cause to release the information.
Confidential Intermediaries. Wyoming maintains a court-supervised confidential intermediary service, governed by a five-member commission, 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.
Descendant Rights. Wyoming law does not provide any specific rights of descendants or other relatives of the adopted person to obtain the adoptees original birth record or identifying information, other than use of the confidential intermediary process. That process is limited to participation by adoptive parents, biological parents, biological siblings or biological grandparents.
Adult Adoption. Wyoming law provides for the adoption of adults, though the process is a bit unusual. The person wishing to adopt and adult must file and serve a petition and summons for adoption on the adult. If the prospective adopted person objects to the adoption the case is dismissed. If the prospective adopted person consents to the adoption it may then be granted.
Wyoming Law: Vital Records and Birth Certificates
Relevant parts of Wyoming vital records law. The entire Wyoming vital records statute is available here, though links may break due to the link format.
35-1-410. Birth registration
(a) A certificate of birth for each live birth which occurs in this state shall be filed with the local registrar of the district in which the birth occurs within ten (10) days after such birth and shall be registered by the registrar if it has been completed in accordance with this section. When a birth occurs on a moving conveyance a birth certificate shall be filed in the district in which the child was first removed from the conveyance.
(b) When a birth occurs in an institution, or en route thereto, the person in charge of the institution or a designated representative shall obtain the personal data, prepare the certificate, secure the signatures required by the certificate and file it with the local registrar. The person in attendance will certify to the facts of the birth and provide the medical information required by the certificate within seven (7) days after birth. If the attendant has not signed the certificate within seven (7) days of the date of the birth, the person in charge of the institution or a designated representative shall complete and sign the certificate.
(c) When a birth occurs outside an institution, the certificate shall be prepared and filed by one (1) of the following in the indicated order of priority:
(i) The physician in attendance at or immediately after the birth, or in the absence of such a person;
(ii) Any other person in attendance at or immediately after the birth; or
(iii) The father, the mother, or in the absence of the father and the inability of the mother, the person in charge of the premises where the birth occurred.
(d) For purposes of birth registration, unless a court of competent jurisdiction orders otherwise at any time or except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, the woman who gives birth to the child shall be deemed the mother.
(e) Upon the birth of a child under a gestational agreement, the intended parents of the child born under the gestational agreement shall be deemed to be the mother and father of the child, including for purposes of birth registration and the birth certificate, upon satisfying the following conditions:
(i) Submission of a complete application by the intended parents as the state office of vital records services prescribes; and
(ii) Verification by the state office of vital records services that the gestational agreement complies with the requirements of W.S. 35-1-401(a)(xiv).
35-1-412. Report required of person assuming custody of foundlings; information to be shown; report to constitute birth certificate; subsequent identification and certificate.
(a) Whoever assumes the custody of a living child of unknown parentage shall report within seven (7) days on a form to be approved by the state registrar, to the local registrar of the registration district in which custody is assumed, the following information:
(i) Date of finding or assumption of custody;
(ii) Place of finding or assumption of custody;
(v) Approximate age;
(vi) Name and address of the person or institution with whom the child has been placed for care, if any;
(vii) Name given to the child by the finder or custodian; and
(viii) Other data required by the state registrar.
(b) The place where the child was found, or custody has been assumed shall be known as the place of birth, and the date of birth shall be determined by approximation. The foundling report shall constitute the certificate of birth for such foundling child and the provisions of this act relating to certificates of birth shall apply in the same manner and with the same effect to such report. If a foundling child shall later be identified and a regular certificate of birth be found or obtained, any report registered under this section shall be sealed and placed in a special file and may be opened only upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction or as provided by regulation.
35-1-416. Court reports of adoption
(a) For each adoption of a child born in this state that is decreed by any court in this state, the court shall require the preparation of a report of adoption on a form prescribed and furnished by the state registrar of vital records. The report shall include such facts as are necessary to locate and identify the certificate of birth of the person adopted, provide information necessary to establish new certificate of birth of the person adopted, and shall identify the order of adoption and be certified by the clerk of the court. The report of adoption as well as a certified copy of adoption decree shall be furnished to the state registrar as specified in subsection (c) of this section.
(b) Whenever an adoption decree is amended or annulled, the clerk of the court shall prepare a report thereof which shall include such facts as are necessary to identify the original adoption report and the facts amended in the adoption decree as necessary to properly amend the birth record. The report of the amended or annulled adoption decree shall be furnished to the state registrar as specified in subsection (c) of this section.
(c) Not later than the fifth day of each calendar month the clerk of court shall forward to the state registrar of vital records the report of adoption, records of decrees of adoption, and any annulment or amendment thereof entered in the preceding month together with such related reports as the state registrar shall require.
(d) When the state registrar receives a record of adoption, or annulment, or amendment thereof, from a court for a person born outside this state, the record shall be forwarded to the appropriate registration authority in the state of birth. For an adoption of a child born in a foreign country, the record of adoption shall be forwarded to the U.S. immigration and naturalization service, U.S. department of justice, or such other office as the federal government may designate.
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.
35-1-426. Disclosure of records
(a) To protect the integrity of vital records, to insure their proper use, and to insure the efficient and proper administration of the vital records system, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record except as authorized by regulations.
(b) The department of health may authorize the disclosure of data contained in vital records for research purposes.
(c) Information in vital records indicating that a birth occurred out of wedlock shall not be disclosed except as provided by regulations or upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(d) The department of health is authorized to provide the necessary information in death records to the secretary of state for the maintenance of the voter registration system by removing names of voters who are deceased from the voter registration list. This disclosure of death records shall be conducted in accordance with the terms agreed upon by the secretary of state and the director of the department of health.
Wyoming Law: Court-Supervised Confidential Intermediary Services
Relevant parts of Wyoming adoption law related to confidential intermediary services. The entire Wyoming adoption statute is available here, though the link’s format may cause it to break.
(a) As used in this act:
(i) “Adoptee” means a person who, as a minor, was adopted pursuant to a final decree of adoption entered by a court;
(ii) “Adoptive parent” means an adult who has become a parent of a minor through the legal process of adoption;
(iii) “Adult” means a person eighteen (18) years of age or older;
(iv) “Biological grandparent” means a parent, by birth or adoption, of a biological parent;
(v) “Biological parent” means a parent, by birth, of an adopted person;
(vi) “Biological sibling” means a sibling, by birth, of an adopted person;
(vii) “Chief justice” means the chief justice of the Wyoming supreme court;
(viii) “Confidential intermediary” means a person twenty-one (21) years of age or older who has completed a training program for confidential intermediaries which meets the standards set forth by the commission pursuant to W.S. 1-22-202(b) and who is authorized to inspect confidential relinquishment and adoption records at the request of an adult adoptee, adoptive parent, biological parent, biological sibling or biological grandparent;
(ix) “Consent” means voluntary, informed, written consent. Consent always shall be preceded by an explanation that the consent permits the confidential intermediary to arrange a personal contact among biological relatives;
(x) “Court” means any court of record with jurisdiction over the matter at issue;
(xi) “This act” means W.S. 1-22-201 through 1-22-203.
1-22-202. Commission created; powers; duties
(a) There is hereby created within the department of family services, an adoption intermediary commission of five (5) members. Representation and appointment of the members shall be as follows:
(i) One (1) member shall represent the judicial branch and shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the chief justice;
(ii) One (1) member shall represent the department of family services and shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the director of the department;
(iii) One (1) member shall represent private adoption agencies and shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the director of the department of family services;
(iv) One (1) member shall represent programs which provide confidential intermediary services and shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the director of the department of family services;
(v) One (1) member shall be an adult adoptee, adoptive parent or biological parent appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the director of the department of family services.
(b) The commission shall have the responsibility for:
(i) Drafting a manual of standards for training confidential intermediaries;
(ii) Monitoring confidential intermediary training programs to ensure compliance with the standards set forth in the manual with authority to approve or deny such programs based upon compliance with such standards;
(iii) Maintaining an up-to-date list of persons who have completed training as confidential intermediaries and communicating that list to the judicial branch.
(c) The commission shall adopt rules for its own procedure. The commission shall select a chairman, a vice-chairman, and such other officers as it deems necessary, and shall keep a record of its proceedings. The commission shall meet as often as necessary to carry out its duties, but in no instance shall it meet less than semiannually. The commission may seek input from confidential intermediary organizations in carrying out its duties.
(d) The commission shall be voluntary and no state funds or personnel, except members of the commission appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, shall be used in its operation. The commission may accept gifts and grants and expend funds received to carry out its duties.
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.
Wyoming Law: Court Records and Information
Relevant parts of Wyoming adoption law related to court records and information. The entire Wyoming adoption statute is available here, though the link’s format may cause it to break.
1-22-105. Hearings to be closed; attendance of parties
(a) Unless the court orders a hearing in open court, all hearings in adoption proceedings shall be confidential and held in closed court or court chambers. No person shall be admitted except court officials, parties to the proceeding, counsel, nonconsenting parents, the nonconsenting putative father of the child and witnesses.
1-22-104(d-e). Petition for adoption of minor; by whom filed; requisites; confidential nature; inspection; separate journal to be kept [subdivisions d-e]
(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.
1-22-116. Medical history of natural parents and adoptive child
To the extent available, the medical history of a child subject to adoption and his natural parents, with information identifying the natural parents eliminated, shall be provided by an authorized agency or may be provided by order of a court to the child’s adoptive parent any time after the adoption decree or to the child after he attains the age of majority. The history shall include but not be limited to all available information regarding conditions or diseases believed to be hereditary, any drugs or medication taken during pregnancy by the child’s natural mother and any other information which may be a factor influencing the child’s present or future health. The department of family services shall promulgate rules governing the release of medical histories under this section.
Wyoming Law: Adoption Generally
Relevant excerpts from Wyoming’s adoption law. The entire Wyoming adoption statute is available here, though the link’s format may cause it to break.
1-22-102. Persons subject to adoption
(a) Any child may be adopted who is within this state when the petition for adoption is filed.
(b) Any adult may be adopted, regardless of his residence within or outside of this state at the time the petition is filed, provided:
(i) The adopting parent was a stepparent, grandparent or other blood relative, foster parent or legal guardian who participated in the raising of the adult when the adult was a child; and
1-22-103. Adopting parties
Any adult person who has resided in this state during the sixty (60) days immediately preceding the filing of the petition for adoption and who is determined by the court to be fit and competent to be a parent may adopt in accordance with this act.
1-22-109. Consent to adoption
(a) A written relinquishment of custody of the child to be adopted and written consent to adoption shall be filed with the petition to adopt and shall be signed by:
(i) Both parents, if living; or
(ii) The surviving parent; or
(iii) The mother and putative father of the child if the name of the putative father is known; or
(iv) The mother alone if she does not know the name of the putative father, in which case she shall sign and file an affidavit so stating and the court shall determine whether the putative father has registered under W.S. 1-22-117 and if so, shall require notice to be given to the putative father; or
(v) The legal guardian of the person of the child if neither parent is living or if parental rights have been judicially terminated; or
(vi) The executive head of the agency to whom the child has been relinquished for adoption; or
(vii) The person having exclusive legal custody of the child by court order; or
(viii) The legally appointed guardian of any parent or putative father who has been adjudged mentally incompetent.
(b) If the child to be adopted is over the age of fourteen (14) years his written consent to adoption shall also be filed with the petition to adopt.
(c) The consent to adoption shall be signed any time after the birth of the child. The consent shall be acknowledged or may be approved in the following manner:
(i) The consent shall be acknowledged by a:
(A) Person authorized to take acknowledgments;
(B) Representative of the department of family services; or
(C) Representative of a certified agency to whom the custody of the child is being relinquished for adoption.
(ii) If not acknowledged as provided in paragraph (i) of this subsection, the consent to adoption may be approved by the court after:
(A) The person giving the consent has appeared before the court in an informal hearing in court chambers; and
(B) The court finds that the consent is knowingly and voluntarily given.
(d) Consent to adoption and the relinquishment of a child for adoption are irrevocable unless obtained by fraud or duress, except that if the court should deny the adoption on account of a claim or objection of the putative father of the child, the court may also allow the mother of the child to withdraw her consent and relinquishment. The consent or relinquishment by a parent who is a minor is valid and may not be revoked solely because of minority.
1-22-110. When adoption permitted without consent
(a) In addition to the exceptions contained in W.S. 1-22-108, the adoption of a child may be ordered without the written consent of a parent or the putative father if the court finds that the nonconsenting parent or putative father is unknown and that the putative father has not registered under W.S. 1-22-117 and the affidavit required by W.S. 1-22-109(a)(iv) has been filed with the petition to adopt or if the court finds that the putative father or the nonconsenting parent or parents have:
(i) Been given notice of the hearing as provided in W.S. 1-22-107 and has failed to answer or appear at the hearing; or
(ii) Been judicially deprived of parental rights of the child for any reason; or
(iii) Willfully abandoned or deserted the child; or
(iv) Willfully failed to contribute to the support of the child for a period of one (1) year immediately prior to the filing of the petition to adopt and has failed to bring the support obligation current within sixty (60) days after service of the petition to adopt; or
(v) Willfully permitted the child to be maintained in or by a public or private institution or by the department of family services for a period of one (1) year immediately prior to the filing of the petition without substantially contributing to the support of the child; or
(vi) Failed, within thirty (30) days after receiving notice of the pending birth or birth of the child, to advise or notify the agency which gave the putative father the notice of pending birth or birth of his interest in or responsibility for the child or his declaration of paternity; or
(vii) Been adjudged by a court to be guilty of cruelty, abuse, neglect or mistreatment of the child; or
(viii) Caused the conception of the child born out of wedlock as a result of sexual assault or incest for which he has been convicted; or
(ix) Willfully failed to pay a total dollar amount of at least seventy percent (70%) of the court ordered support for a period of two (2) years or more and has failed to bring the support obligation one hundred percent (100%) current within sixty (60) days after service of the petition to adopt.
(b) Any petition filed pursuant to paragraphs (a)(iv) or (ix) of this section shall contain a clear statement of the consequences of the respondent’s failure to bring the support obligation current.
1-22-113. Petition for adoption of an adult; consent required
When a petition to adopt an adult is filed a copy of the petition together with a summons issued as in other civil actions shall be served on the adult. If the adult objects to adoption by the petitioner the petition shall be dismissed. When the consent of the adult is given, the petition shall be granted and a final decree of adoption made and entered. The decree may change the name of the adopted person.
1-22-114. Effect of adoption
(a) Upon the entry of a final decree of adoption the former parent, guardian or putative father of the child shall have no right to the control or custody of the child. The adopting persons shall have all of the rights and obligations respecting the child as if they were natural parents.
(b) Adopted persons may assume the surname of the adoptive parent. They are entitled to the same rights of person and property as children and heirs at law of the persons who adopted them.