Adults adopted as children will soon have unprecedented access to their medical records - and possibly even their official birth certificates.
Up until now, adoptees in Washington state who wanted a peek at their past had to make the request through the courts.
But starting in July of 2014, they will have free access to their official birth certificate and medical records simply by asking for them from the Washington State Department of Health.
Under House Bill 1525, passed earlier this year, there will be some exceptions. Birth parents can request their information remain secret. They will still have to provide their medical history to the state, and that will be available to their children.
Even if a birth parent requests the records remain secret, adoptees will still have the option of requesting the official documents through the court.
Birth parents have just under a year to fill out the paperwork. The records will be opened up starting next summer to anyone over the age of 18 who was adopted before October of 1993.