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S.F. No. 2132 - Modifies Access to Original Birth Records
 
Author: Senator Michelle R. Benson
 
Prepared By: Katie Cavanor, Senate Counsel (651/296-3801)
 
Date: March 23, 2016



 

          S.F. No. 2132 modifies laws affecting access to original birth records.

Section 1 (13.10, subd. 5) adds the new statutory reference.

Section 2 (13.465, subd. 8) corrects a statutory reference.

Section 3 (144.218, subd. 1) adds the new statutory reference.

Section 4 (144.225, subd. 2) adds the new statutory reference.

Section 5 (144.2252) adds the new statutory reference.  Requires the state registrar to provide any record subject to an affidavit of nondisclosure when providing a transcript of an adopted person’s original birth record for purposes of determining eligibility for enrollment membership or repatriation of the adopted person or the adopted person’s descendants.

Section 6 (144.2253) access to original birth records of adopted persons.

Subdivision 1 defines the following terms: affidavit of nondisclosure; original birth record; person related to the adopted person.

Subdivision 2, paragraph (a) authorizes an adopted person who is age 18 or older, or a person related to the adopted person if the adopted person is deceased, to request the state registrar to provide a noncertified copy of the adopted person’s original birth record.  The state registrar shall provide the copy if there is no affidavit of nondisclosure on file.

Paragraph (b) requires the state registrar to provide a copy of the contact preference form with the birth record if one is on file.

Paragraph (c) states that an affidavit of nondisclosure on file remains on file and shall prevent release of the information until rescinded.

Subdivision 3 authorizes a birth parent to rescind an affidavit of nondisclosure at any time and specifies that the affidavit is rescinded automatically upon the death of the affiant.  Specifies that the affidavit may be rescinded by an order of a district court.

Subdivision 4 authorizes an adopted person who is 18 or older, or a person related to the adopted person if the adopted person is deceased, to request to proceed under sections 259.61 and 259.89, subd. 5a, when an original birth record is subject to an affidavit of nondisclosure.

Subdivision 5 states that an original birth record of an adopted person becomes a public record on the 100th anniversary of the person’s birth.

Section 7 (144.226, subd.1) requires the commissioner to charge a fee for the noncertified copy of a birth record to cover the cost of providing the birth record.

Section 8 (259.432) establishes a contact preference form.

Subdivision 1 requires the state registrar to provide to each birth parent, upon request, a contact preference form.

Subdivision 2 requires the state registrar to develop a contact preference form so that a birth parent may state a preference regarding contact by the adopted person. Specifies what the form must contain.

Subdivision 3 requires the state registrar to attach the completed contact preference form to the original birth certificate of the adopted person. Access to the contact preference form is governed in the same manner as access to the original birth records by adopted persons or persons related to the adopted person.

Sections 9, 10, and 11 (259.83, subds. 1, 1a, and 1b) change the age in which the adopted person may request certain information from agencies from the age 19 to 18 years of age or older.

Section 12 (259.83, subd. 3) states that an agency must release identifying information to an adopted person upon receipt from the adopted person of any of the following: (1) copy of the person’s original birth record; (2) a certified copy of the certificate of death of the birth parent; or (3) a certified copy of a court order authorizing the release of information subject to an affidavit of nondisclosure previously filed with the Commissioner of Health or the agency.

Section 13 (259.83, subd. 3a) requires the attorney or agency responsible for the adoptive placement or supervising the placement for adoptive placements occurring on or after January 1, 2017, to obtain from the birth parents named on the original birth record as affidavit attesting that  (1) the birth parent has been informed of the right of the adopted person to request from the Commissioner of Health the release of the adopted person’s original  birth record and to request from the agency the identifying information; (2) each birth parent may file an affidavit of nondisclosure with the Department of Health; (3) if the birth parent does not file an affidavit objecting to the release of information the Commissioner of Health and the agency shall provide the adopted person with the original birth record and identifying information upon request; (4) the adopted person may petition the court for release of the adopted person’s original birth record by the Commissioner of Health and the identifying information; (5) if the adopted person petitions the court, the birth parents have the opportunity to present evidence to the court that nondisclosure of the identifying information is a greater benefit to the birth parent than disclosure to the adopted person; and (6) any affidavit of nondisclosure filed by the birth parent shall become invalid when withdrawn by the birth parent or when the birth parent dies.

Section 14 (259.83, subd.4) changes the age of an adopted person from 19 years of age to 18 years of age.

Section 15 (259.89) describes access to the original birth record information subject to an affidavit of nondisclosure.

Subdivision 1 authorizes an adopted person who is 18 years or older whose birth record is subject to an affidavit of nondisclosure on file to request the commissioner to initiate a search for the person or persons who files the affidavit for the purpose of obtaining consent to release the original birth record.  Requires notice to be given to all licensed child-placing agency if notice is required within 45 days of receipt of notice from the commissioner.  States that an adopted person whose original birth certificate is subject to an affidavit of nondisclosure filed on or after January 1, 2017, is exempt from the requirements under subdivisions 2, 3, and 4.

Subdivision 2 makes technical changes.

Subdivision 3 states that within six months of receipt of notice from the Commissioner of Health or the Commissioner of Human Services, the Commissioner of Human Services or an agent shall certify the Commissioner of Health an inability to notify a parent identified on the original birth record or the birth parent has been notified and has consented or refused consent to release of the requested information.

Subdivision 4 requires the Commissioner of Health to disclose the information if consent has been provided within 31 days after the date of the receipt of the documentation.  If consent has not been given, the Commissioner of Health must notify the adopted person.  Authorizes the adopted person to petition the court for an order rescinding the affidavit of nondisclosure and authorizing release of the original birth record.

Subdivision 5a describes the procedure for petitioning the court.

Section 16 (260C.637) corrects a statutory reference.

Section 17 requires the Commissioner of Health to provide information and educational materials to adopted persons and birth parents about the changes in the law affecting access to birth records.  Requires the commissioner to provide notice on the department’s Web site about the change in law.  Requires the commissioner to design and implement a state and national public awareness campaign to advise affected parties of the changes in law regarding access to birth records.  Appropriates money for this purpose.

Section 18 repeals sections 144.212, subd.11 (consent to disclosure); 259.89, subdivision 5 (death of parent) and subdivision 6 (determination of eligibility for enrollment or membership in a federally recognized American Indian tribe).

Section 19 establishes an effective date.

 
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