Contemporary Adoption Research

In Oregon, adoptions are handled by the Adoption Services Unit of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), by a private agency or through independent arrangements. DHS is the central source for adoption data in Oregon and collects individual case data on public agency adoptions but only has combined data on other adoptions. DHS has kept records on adoptions since May 1920. Oregon circuit courts and some county courts have jurisdiction over adoptions. 

Adoptee Birth Certificates Open

Adopted persons may obtain a copy of their original Oregon birth certificate. The person must be 21 years of age or older and born in the State of Oregon. Learn more on the Oregon Health Authority Preadoption Birth Records website.

Voluntary Adoption Registry

DHS Adoption Services Unit offers a voluntary adoption registry to help people receive adoption information. Information is available to:

  • Birth parents of an adoptee
  • Adult adoptee
  • An adoptee's genetic sibling who is 18 years of age or older
  • Adoptive parents of a deceased adoptee
  • Adult siblings of deceased birth parents of an adoptee
  • Parents of deceased birth parents of an adoptee
  • Putative father of adult adoptee
​Information includes the current name and address of the registrant; any previous name by which the registrant was known; the original or adopted names of the ad​opted child; the place and date of birth of the adopted child; and the name and address of the agency, which made the adoptive placement. Registration is $25.

Non-identifying information is available to adoptive parents of the adoptee or adoptee’s guardian; the birth parents of the adoptee; the adoptee if age 18 or older; in the event of the death of the adoptee: the adoptee’s spouse, if the spouse is the birth parent of the adoptee’s child or the guardian of any child of the adoptee; or any progeny of the adoptee who is 18 years of age or older. Information includes genetic, social and health history of the adoptee, if known, excluding identifying information.  (Oregon Revised Statutes 109.425 et seq., Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 413, Division 130​).

For more information see the Oregon Adoption Search and Registry Program >​​​​​​​​​​

Related Resources

Historical adoption research >

Topical research guides home >

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Find more information on issues, agencies and publications useful in adoption research: