Access to Sealed Adoption Records Without Petition: California
Certain California Counties are "open counties," meaning they interperet section 9200 of the California Family Code to allow adoptive parents to access identifying information at any time for any reason. I asked my adoptive parents to do so and the records are on their way. These counties are: Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Alameda, Glenn, Marin, Napa, Orange, Shasta, and Sonoma Counties. Contact the records unit of the Superior court and ask their policy. They only require a notarized letter from the adoptive parents, or that they show up. It seems that this info is not widely known, but has made all the difference for me. This is where I got this info: [url][/url]
This page also has contact info for the courts of each county.
Additionally, this page has similar info for all 50 states.
This is great info, too bad San Diego is not on the list!
Those are not the only counties considered "open". Tulare county is also one, as well as some others, so it would be in the best interest of an adoptee to contact their county of adoption. Also, many counties require the adoptive parent request the information in PERSON, and supply photo ID.

These records are only what has been copied to microfiche, and will NOT contain all the paperwork regarding your adoption. They will only contain whatever court documents were copied. Yes, you may very well get a name of the birth parent(s) from the relinquishment form if that is included, but as far as addresses, dates of birth, etc...probably not.

Also, I have had Orange county send full case copies to adoptees without their adoptive parents being involved at all. It never hurts to try!!
Sadly, this is not longer the case in Santa Clara County. A few weeks ago, my mom and I went to get the records and they no longer just hand them over....
The appears to be dead. Is there another one we can reference? I'm trying to get an updated list of all the counties in CA where the adoptive parent can obtain the identifying information for the adoptee.
Honestly, I'd be surprised if ANY California county gave out this info, given how tightly-sealed records are in that state.

However, you could try contacting the folks at California Open (, to see if they have any information.
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