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Published Monday June 22nd, 2009 at 7:19pm

Original Article by Anastasiya Bolton

It's something many of us may take for granted, knowing your medicalhistory or being able to go and get a copy of your birth certificate.

Butmany adopted Coloradans whose adoption records are sealed don't haveaccess to this information that could be life changing, evenlife-saving.

A Colorado Court of Appeals decision made in April will change this reality for thousands.

Accordingto the decision, people whose adoptions were finalized between July1951 and July 1967 can find out the names of their birth parents andhave access to all court records and papers regarding their adoption.

Littleton's Deborah Bort is among those who will benefit from this ruling.

At 6 weeks old, Bort was adopted. During the 47 years since, she's known nothing about her birth parents.

"I have a little blurb on my records that just said that both my parents were healthy, no known anything," Bort said.

Borthas spent a lot of time trying to get more than just the handful ofadoption papers her parents saved. It's more than just curiosity. Sheand her youngest son Cody have osteogenesis imperfecta, which is causedby an error called a mutation on a gene that affects the body'sproduction of the collagen found in bones, and other tissues. It is notcaused by too little calcium or poor nutrition. Bort wonders whetherher adoption documents would reveal anything else.

"This ishuge for me because now I know that I have access to my records and Ican find out if there is any medical history there for me and for mychildren and for their children," she said.

In recent years,some of this information has been available through court-appointedthird parties, but adoptees like Bort had to pay for the service.

This ruling, supporters say, makes the process a lot easier.

"We'rethe product of two streams of love, one from adoptive families and onefrom birth families. We need to know both," said Richard Uhrlaub,co-director of Adoptee in Search/Colorado's Triad Connection. "Forpeople during that time period, it was a different age, adoptionsweren't open like they are now. Some people weren't told they wereadopted, some people were given records that had a birth parent namebut they were lost or perhaps their adoptive parents didn't give thatto them. This is very significant both in terms of family connectionand in terms of recognition of adoptees as adults."

InColorado, some have made legal arguments that adoption records shouldnot be unsealed because that violates the privacy of the birth parentsand siblings.
The courts have historically rejected thosearguments. Uhrlaub said people affected by the appeals court decisioncan go to the county where their adoptions were finalized to get thoserecords.

The Colorado Department of Public Health andEnvironment keeps the birth certificates. A spokeswoman tells 9NEWSthey're working on a specific procedure for adoptees to apply for theirbirth certificates.

Since 1999, adoption records in Coloradohave been open. State law says adoptions that happened between 1967 and1999 remain sealed unless the adoptee works with a court-appointedthird party or gets a court order to have them opened.

Bort said she was excited to learn about her past.

"Ihave wanted to know for so long and it's not that I want to know who myparents are, I just want the medical history," she said.

Tolearn more, go to or call theAdoptees in Search/Triad Connection Help Line at 303-232-6302.