Most of us can't imagine not knowing where we came from,
or not having access to something as seemingly simple as a birth certificate.
But for tens of thousands of adopted Coloradans, that document had been sealed for 40 years. Until now.
As of Jan. 1, 2016, all birth certificates regardless of when the adoption took place are available. Because of the holiday, this means people interested in obtaining their original birth certificates will be able to apply starting Monday.
The birth certificates are being made available now because the 2014 bill included a transitional period before all the records would be accessible.
Uhrlaub says up to 250,000 people could be affected.
"It puts us on equal footing with other citizens who have access to knowing their roots," he said. "It's hard to start your life from chapter two. Most of us were loved early by our adoptive parents, but the first piece of your life makes all the difference in the world in terms of your identity, your story. No, you're not about to marry your sister or your cousins, like things like that."
Betsy Pearce , who was adopted at five weeks old, is one of those who plans to go get her birth certificate.
She didn't go looking for her birth parents. Her birth father found her in 2003.
|Betsy Pearce with her birth father (Photo: Betsy Pearce)|
Pearce said she knows who her birth mother is. But she says the woman isn't interested in having a relationship.
"There's just something about being connected fully throughout your life," she said. "I think you just have to have that connection, if that opportunity is there. You have to."
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will start taking applications on Monday (Jan. 4). Uhrlaub said processing will take 30 days and will require a fee of under $40.
You can find the application here: http://1.usa.gov/1OFju9m