Search Tips

    Not associated with the state of Colorado. This information is a collection by Ellen the owner of ADOPTION SEARCH and REUNION.

    Join a mail list for search and emotional support for those searching through the state of Colorado. The list is kept as private as possible. It is limited to those who are registered with me and you will receive a questionnaire that must be filled out and returned by email before I can accept you for membership.

    The mail list is FREE as is everything I do. You will find people in similar situations to your own. We have many on the Colorado list who are able to be of help to others in their searches. This is a nice friendly group of people who have much in common. There are adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents on the mail list. All are involved in searches in the state of Colorado.

    Click here to join COregistry
    Click to join COregistry


      It is extremely difficult for the family of birth to get much information. There are few who will give out the non-identifying information to you. Some private agencies seem to be getting a bit better about giving a little information. You CAN verify information about the exact date of birth. To find people who hold records and can give you the date of birth of the adoptee click here


      Denver Public Library is said to have the best genealogical collection West of the Mississippi, with the exception of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the Sutro Library in San Francisco. Much of this is due to the tireless efforts Of Marilyn Chang who retired from her position in early 2001. She was a great help to many adoptees who went to her in quest of learning more about their birth families. We thank her for all the help she gave and wish her well in her retirement.

      The Denver Public Library has Colorado resources, which include microfilmed copies of the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. Microfilmed obituaries from 1940-1960 which are grouped alphabetically. Alphabetical index of Colorado marriages 1900-1939, Denver Naturalization records 1877-1952, and Pueblo Naturalization records 1906-1949.

      census records available include:
      1860, 1870 & 1880 indexes in book form
      1900 & 1920 soundex indexes on microfilm
      1860 & 1870 territorial census records on microfilm
      1880, 1900, 1910 & 1920 census records on microfilm
      1930 census records are now available.

      Also many resources for Kansas and New Mexico
      A collection of material for Native American and Hispanic research

      The Denver Public Library subscribes to major online genealogical databases including These can be accessed from the Internet computers at any branch at no charge.

      10 W Fourteenth Av Pkwy
      Denver CO 80204
      Phone 720-865-1111 TTY 720-865-1472
      Phone Circulation desk 303-691-0458
      Reference Desk: 720-865-1363

      Denver Library Web site

      To contact by email



      Pikes Peak (Penrose) Public Library. Contact Mary Davis, Local History Specialist/Genealogy 719-531-6333 ext. 2252.

      More LIBRARIES in Colorado that are online can be found on my links page


    For New Searchers & Search Tips for All with its own full index. We all need a review now and then.

    The Colorado VOLUNTARY Adoption REGISTRY

    This is information for the STATE run registry

This is a good source to use to verify a possible match. If you are on a registry and there does appear to be a match but you are uncertain, both parties should register and let Juleen know that you are doing it to try to verify a match.

Even if everything points to the match being correct and you think that you are really a match, it is still a good idea to do this. Bad matches (no match at all) have happened through internet registries. You do need to be sure that you are matched with the right family.

The address is:
Health Statistics and Vital Records
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South (HSVR-VR-A1)
Denver, Colorado 80246-1530
or call Juleen Villalovas at (303) 692-2227

The fee to register is $20

    This registry was set up so that no one will be notified that another was registered unless adoptee, birth mom, and the birth dad (if listed in the adoption file) have consented to the release of that information. If the Birth Dad is mentioned in the file he too has to agree to contact before a match can be verified.

    I suggest to all who are matched in my registry that they register with the Colorado Voluntary Registry and tell Juleen that you were matched in Ellen's online Colorado Mutual Consent Registry.

    For more regarding the law see Colorado Law

    More information about CO Voluntary Registry

    Adoption FAQ as put out by the state

    The form to register This is a PDF file that you can print off to use to register with the CO Voluntary Registry.
    READ about the registry first by going to the links above this one.

    If you are lucky enough to be reunited and wish to try to get your Original Birth Certificate go to this link OBC Form which is also a PDF file to be printed off and used for applying.
    Again, READ all they have in those links above this to understand about it.


The director of CCIS is:
    Leslie Zetterstrom
    15400 W. 64th Ave, Unit E-9 #173
    Arvada, CO 80007

    You must fill out a form to petition the court to open your file to an intermediary. It is called a Motion and Affidavit to Open Adoption File BY- adoptee.. birthmother.. family member..etc.

    The form is available online.
    You can download the forms from this State courts web site

      If you are an adoptee, request form JDF #343
      If you are an adoptive parent or custodial grandparent, form JDF #341
      If you are a birth parent or biological grandparent, form JDF #344
      (If the birth mother used a fictitious name which is known, also use form JDF #344A)
      If you are a sibling or half sibling of an adoptee, form JDF #342
      If you are: an adult descendant; legal guardian; spouse; adult stepchild of adoptee; adopted adult sibling of the adoptee, or, adopted adult sibling of adoptee, form JDF #352
      (These petitioners will need to have the living adoptee sign a consent authorizing their search, using form JDF #353, or the petitioner will need to provide documentation of the adoptee's death.)

      Current Fees As of 6/1/10, fees are currently $875.00 per the initial search. Of this amount, $100.00 represents a down payment on expected search expenses. If a search costs less than $100.00, the balance will be refunded to the petitioner. If the search costs more than $100.00, the petitioner will be billed directly by the CI. Expenses of over $100.00 must also be reviewed by the Chief Confidential Intermediary. Of the remaining $775.00, $225.00 provides a small payment to the confidential intermediary (CI) for their services at the conclusion of the search . The remaining $625.00 is a non-refundable administrative fee to CCIS. The $875.00 is for one search; there are additional fees and expenses for additional searches. The current additional fee for each subsequent search is $200.00. For instance, if the search for a birth mother is successful and she agrees to contact with the adoptee, she can arrange contact between her side of the adoptee's birth family with the adoptee. In this example, no additional search would be necessary for the maternal side of the adoptee's family. However, if the birth mother only knows the name of the birth father and not where he is, and the adoptee wants a search for the birth father, a second search fee of $200.00 will be assessed. Further, even if no consent is received from the first or subsequent party sought (either due to a refusal, not being found, or deceased), an additional search fee of $200.00 will be charged for each additional search. Fifty dollars of that is an administrative fee and the remainder is to be paid to the CI by CCIS at the conclusion of the case. This additional search payment must be made to the CCIS office prior to the CI continuing the search. CCIS is a non-profit corporation with no state funds allocated for its operations. However, if at all possible, adjustments in fees may be made for petitioners who demonstrate limited income. If, after filing your Motion and Affidavit, you feel you may qualify for a sliding scale arrangement, please contact our office. The most recent copy of your 1040 tax form, or documentation of income from Social Security, TANF, etc., or verification of limited income due to institutionalization or incapacity is needed in order for CCIS' Finance Committee to approve a sliding scale or pro bono fee. We regret that CCIS is no longer able to provide a sliding scale. Pro bono cases are still considered for a minimal fee ($200.00), and all search expenses must be paid by the searching party, except in extreme situations when the Finance Committee waives this requirement (e.g. - when the person has no income due to incarceration). Further, pro bono cases may be delayed in assignment until a confidential intermediary becomes available to accept the case. The fee may be paid by the searching party or by a friend or relative who indicates that the fee is being donated for the specific person's search. CCIS accepts Visa and MasterCard credit card payment over the telephone. The charge for this full payment of the fee is an additional $60.00. CCIS will not accept partial payment by credit card. CCIS does allow people to arrange a payment plan with cash or check payment, but no search will be started until the fee has been paid in it's entirety.

      Other states have CI services at a fee of $250 to $350.

      If you can show need, they will reduce the cost. If you need it, ask about their sliding scale fee. It is based on your last 1040 to the IRS and other factors. I have not heard from anyone who qualified for this reduction.

    CI's are trained and usually do find the person you are searching for. The search is done using identifying information from the sealed files. a CI can obtain the court records, vital records if need be, and the files from the adoption agency. They are also able to get court orders to obtain information from other states. Some states do not respond well but most do.

      You are allowed to request a particular CI. You can do this by sending a note along with your petition when you petition the court. It is also recommended that you repeat this request at the time that you pay for the services of CCIS. Many who are on the Colorado Mail List have used the service and can be of help to you in deciding who to request.
      It is just as important to check out your CI as it is any PI you may hire.

      When petitioning the court to have your files opened to a Confidential Intermediary you will find that it takes anywhere from two weeks to a month for the petition to go through and be approved. You will be notified that your case has been sent to Leslie Zetterstrom who is in charge of the CI's. She is the one who will appoint a CI to your case.

      Next you will hear from CCIS telling you about the program and requesting that you sign a form agreeing to the terms of the program. You will then be expected to pay the fee. They allow you to make payments but the fee must be paid in full before your search will begin. I suggest saving the entire amount in your savings account so you are the one who earns the interest on your money.

        The CI's must follow a set of rules laid down for them by a board that governs them. They can not give you information from the file. They can in some cases verify information that you already have, but not identifying information. Ask them to explain this to you. You can also ask that they keep in touch with you on a once a week or bi-weekly basis during the search and while waiting for contact with the person you are seeking.

            The CI is working for you. You should be in control. If you are not hearing from her as often as you need to, tell her.

        While email is good for keeping in touch I also recommend that you do speak to them on the phone from time to time to be sure communication is understood. Some people do not communicate well in email and the sound of a voice tells us much more.

      The average search can take up to three months to be completed. We hear of some that are solved in just a week and others that take over six months. You must be prepared both for a fast find, and for one that takes a long time.

      I highly recommend that you do some reading while waiting for your case to be approved and completed. It is important to understand all sides of the Triad so you can be empathetic to the needs of the one you are looking for. Many find that by joining our Colorado Mail List they learn much about feelings on all sides.

      CCIS has a web site

      For more information about CI programs in general see my page on CI Programs


    In July of 1993 the Colorado Legislature passed a bill regarding the provision of non-identifying information. It had previously been available through the Colorado Department of Social Services. The provision authorized Adoption Options to release this information. Adoption Options now obtains the file from the Colorado Department of Social Services and retypes it.

    For a report on nonidentifying information write to: Carol Holiday, The Adoption Options,13900 E. Harvard Ave.,Suite 200, Aurora, CO 80014, 303-695-1601. They will send you a form "Formal Request For Non-Identifying Information" for you to fill out. The fee is $125.00 They retype all information so you won't 'accidentally' receive any identifying information. It takes a little over a month to get the requested information.

    If you are an adoptee whose adoptive parents are in favor of your search, ask them if they may still have the original sheet of information given to them at the time of your adoption. This sheet contains most of what you would receive from Adoption Options.

    Adoption Options does not give out non-id to birth families

    Website for Adoption Options and their email

    Personally I think that fee of $125 is out of line and people should do all they can to get as much information from other sources and not pay that fee. I have found no other state that charges such an exorbitant amount for non-id.


      For free online support 24-7:

      Click here to join COregistry
      Click to join COregistry

      Adoptees & BirthParents Together, 708 Garfield, FT Collins CO 80524, 970-484-1706.

      Adoptees and Birthparents Together Nancy Rudeen, 5213 Miners Creek Ct., FT Collins CO 80525

      Adoption FIND/Family in New Dimensions, Gwen Huber, 2010 N. 24th St., Grand Junction CO 81501-6820 970-243-7671

      Adoption Triad Support Group in C Spgs, Joanne Shideler 719-593-1435

      AIS in Boulder - Beth Paddock, 4631 Carter Trail Boulder 80301 303-530-7241

      AIS Adoptees in Search Denver, P.O. Box 24556, Denver CO 80224, 303-232-6302 email AIS .. AIS Website

      Birthparents' Group, Box 16512, Colorado Springs CO 80935

      CUB - CUB Denver or Region 5 CUB, PO Box 2137, Wheat Ridge, CO 80034-1137
      phone 303 263 1860 email
      When emailing please put 'adoption' or 'search' or something in the subject line.
      Meetings are the 3rd Sunday of each month 1:30 pm at
      Lutheran Medical Center 8300 W 38th Ave 2nd Floor Conference Room Wheat Ridge, CO
      They welcome ALL triad members. Their website

      Re-Unite, Box 7945, Aspen CO 81612, 303-927-2400

      Search & Support of Denver, 805 S. Ogden, Denver CO 80209, 303-778-8612

Click here for Vital Records and Other Help



Lots of links to good sites for help in searching through Colorado.