Texas law is currently dominated by the use of centralized files to control the release of any identifying information, including an original birth certificate. This has not always been the case, and it’s time to restore a right that was first restricted in 1957. Join Us.
First Adoption Law
Shortly after becoming a state, Texas enacts a law in 1850 that provides for the adoption of “legal heirs.” The law relates primarily to inheritance rights of adoptees. Adoptions are treated and filed in the same manner as deed transfers for property.
Updated Adoption Law
Additional provisions for Texas adoption law are added but court involvement is not required other than to terminate an adoptive parent’s custody if the parent is deemed abusive. The new law in part also prohibits transracial adoptions.
Sealing of OBCs After Adoption
Texas seals the original birth certificate upon issuance of the supplementary certificate after an adoption, making the OBC available only by court order.
Central Records File
Establishment of the Central Records File, initially managed by the Department of Public Welfare, not by the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
A new law successfully enacted on account of the work of Texas Coalition for Reform and Education (TxCARE) allows adult adoptees who know the identity of birthparents to obtain a noncertified copy of their OBC upon request and without restriction.
Local and and national organizations join together to form the Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition.
The Texas Adoptee Rights Coalition is a coalition of Texas and national organizations working to secure the right of all Texas adult adoptees to obtain their own original birth certificates, without discriminatory restrictions.