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Measure 58 History

On this page:
 

To order a record, see our Ordering Preadoption Birth Records page.

 

 

Significant Legislative Dates and Events

November 3, 1998 - The law is passed and immediately appealed.

May 31, 2000 - The law is upheld after 18 months of appeals, stays and extensions.

September 5, 2000 - Health Services finishes processing the backlog of orders.

 

Full Measure 58 Timeline

November 3, 1998 - Voters passed Ballot Measure 58.

Before December 3, 1998 when the law was scheduled to go into effect, a group of birth mothers filed a court appeal questioning the constitutionality of the law. They put forward arguments that they were promised confidentiality which could not legally be withdrawn. Pending the outcome of the review, Marion County Court issued a stay, stopping the implementation of the law. The Court review of the appeal was delayed while additional birth mothers joined the opponents and some individuals and organizations asked to be recognized as intervenors and respondents in the appeal. The Oregon Department of Justice acted on behalf of the State of Oregon to defend the new law before the Marion County Court. Immediately after the law passed, the Vital Records Office began to receive orders for the records which could not be processed due to the legal challenge and resulting court stay.

July 19, 1999 - The Marion County Court upheld the constitutionality of Ballot Measure 58.

Before the ruling was signed and the law could go into effect, the opponents of the law requested and were granted an injunction, stopping implementation while an appeal was filed with the Oregon Court of Appeals. By July 19, 1999, almost 600 orders had been received which could not be processed.

July 1999 - The Oregon Legislature amended Ballot Measure 58 to allow birth parents to file statements about their preference for contact.

The Oregon Legislature passed HB 3194. This bill provided a means for birth parents to file a statement about their preference for contact. If they want contact, birth parents provide addresses where they can be reached. If birth parents do not want contact, they are required to file updated medical history forms for use by the adoptee. Vital Records became responsible for matching the forms to legal birth records and filing the forms in the related sealed files. If a preadoption birth record is released which has been matched to a preference form, it is issued as well.

By the end of July 1999, the Vital Records office had more than 1000 orders pending for preadoption birth records.

August 4, 1999 - The Oregon Court of Appeals set a deadline of August 12 to respond to a motion to stay judgement pending a new appeal.

August 16, 1999 - The Marion County Court extended the stay on enforcing the law for 90 days or until the court could decide the appeal.

September 13, 1999 - The stay is extended until January 2000.

December 29, 1999 - The Oregon Appeals Court issued an opinion upholding the constitutionality of Ballot Measure 58.

The law became effect immediately with the Appeals Court action, and the Oregon Vital Records began processing orders by requesting sealed files from the archives. Almost 1600 orders were pending, but no records were issued due to a new stay.

December 30, 1999 - The Oregon Appeals Court approved a seven-day stay while a new appeal was prepared.

January 7, 2000 - The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the stay should continue indefinitely while the Court considered whether to review the case.

March 21, 2000 - Oregon Supreme Court denied a request for review, but kept the stay in effect for 21 days.

By the end of March 2000, more than 2000 orders were pending for preadoption birth records.

April 10, 2000 - The Oregon Supreme Court extended the stay until May 2.

May 3, 2000 - The opponents of the law petitioned the Oregon Supreme Court to reconsider their earlier decision not to review the law. The stay was extended while the Court considered the petition.

May 16, 2000 - The Oregon Supreme Court denied the request for reconsideration and extended the stay for 14 days.

May 24, 2000 - The Oregon Appeals Court denied the request for an extension of the stay.

With the denial of the extension, the date for processing of orders was set for May 31, 2000.

May 31, 2000 - Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court failed, and the processing of orders began.The first records were mailed on June 2.

Oregon Vital Records started processing the 2200 orders on hand, beginning with the earliest orders placed. By the end of June 2000, another 1600 orders had been received, for a total of 3800 orders.

September 5, 2000 - Oregon Vital Records caught up on the backlog of orders and began processing new requests as they arrived.

By the end of the first week of September, about 4400 preadoption birth records were issued, and all backlogged orders were researched. Some orders remained which could not be filled without special searches due to problems with locating the sealed files or identifying the correct sealed file numbers.


 

Annual Reports

May 31, 2001 - First Year Anniversary Report
The first anniversary for the implementation of the law that allowed adoptees to order birth certificates listing their biological parent(s). Oregon born adoptees over the age of 21 or their legal representatives had placed 5832 orders for these birth records and the Center for Health Statistics completed and issued 5565 birth certificates. By May 31, 2001, 411 Contact Preference Forms from biological parents were received. Of this total, 305 birth parents wanted direct contact, 27 stated they wanted contact through an intermediary, and 79 filed statements saying they did not want contact but provided an updated medical history form for the adoptee.

(NOTE: The data presented below is cumulative since implementation in 2000. These are not annual totals.)


May 31, 2002 - Two Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 6,722
Total records issued since implementation: 6,439
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 444
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 336
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 28
     Number asking for no contact: 80

May 31, 2003 - Three Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 7,459
Total records issued since implementation: 7,296
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 469
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 359
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 29
     Number asking for no contact: 81

May 31, 2004 - Four Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 8,021
Total records issued since implementation: 7,811
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 463
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 354
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 28
     Number asking for no contact: 81

May 31, 2005 - Five Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 8,486
Total records issued since implementation: 8,190
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 503
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 391
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 29
     Number asking for no contact: 83

May 31, 2006 - Six Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 8,956
Total records issued since implementation: 8,661
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 513
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 401
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 29
     Number asking for no contact: 83

May 31, 2007 - Seven Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 9,366
Total records issued since implementation: 9,020
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 545
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 432
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 29
     Number asking for no contact: 84

May 31, 2008 - Eight Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 9,790
Total records issued since implementation: 9,423
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 569
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 455
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 29
     Number asking for no contact: 85

May 31, 2009 - Nine Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 10,189
Total records issued since implementation: 9,772
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 613
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 494
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 34
     Number asking for no contact: 85

May 31, 2010 - Ten Year Anniversary Report
Total records ordered since implementation:
10,594
Total records issued since implementation:
10,151
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents:    
638
     Number asking for contact with adoptee:
518
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary:
35
     Number asking for no contact:
85

May 31, 2011 - Eleven Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 10,943
Total records issued since implementation: 10,450
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 653
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 533
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 35
     Number asking for no contact: 85

May 31, 2012 - Twelve Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 11,287
Total records issued since implementation: 10,748
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 662
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 541
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 36
     Number asking for no contact: 85

May 31, 2013 - Thirteen Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 11,547
Total records issued since implementation: 10,990
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 673
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 551
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 36
     Number asking for no contact:

86


May 31, 2014 - Fourteen Year Anniversary Report

Total records ordered since implementation: 11,838
Total records issued since implementation: 11,224
Total Contact Preference Forms submitted by birth parents: 675
     Number asking for contact with adoptee: 553
     Number asking for contact through an intermediary: 36
     Number asking for no contact:

86


 
 

Average Annual Record Orders

The following table summarizes the average number of new orders per month for preadoption birth records received by the Center for Health Statistics annually.

Year​ ​Average New Orders Per Month
2001
293.4
2002
74.2
2003
61.4
2004
46.8
2005
38.8
2006
39.2
2007
34.2
2008
35.3
2009
33.3
2010
32.8
2011
20.1
2012
28.7
2013
21.7
​2014 ​24.3