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HF 2440

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 06/21/2017 11:01am

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A bill for an act
relating to adoption; modifying provisions governing access to original birth
records and other adoption-related information; modifying provisions related to
affidavits of disclosure and nondisclosure; providing for a contact preference
form; amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 13.10, subdivision 5; 13.465,
subdivision 8; 144.218, subdivision 1; 144.225, subdivision 2; 144.2252; 259.83,
subdivisions 1, 1a, 1b, 4; 259.89, by adding subdivisions; 260C.317, subdivision
4; 260C.637; Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 144.226, subdivision
1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 144; 259;
repealing Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 259.83, subdivision 3; 259.89,
subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 144.212,
subdivision 11.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 13.10, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Adoption records.

Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter,
adoption records shall be treated as provided in sections 144.2253, 259.53, 259.61,
259.79, and 259.83 to 259.89.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 13.465, subdivision 8, is amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Adoption records.

Various adoption records are classified under section
259.53, subdivision 1. Access to the original birth record of a person who has been
adopted is governed by section 259.89 144.2253.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 144.218, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Adoption.

Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order, decree, or
certificate of adoption, the state registrar shall register a replacement vital record in the
new name of the adopted person. The original record of birth is confidential pursuant to
section 13.02, subdivision 3, and shall not be disclosed except pursuant to court order
or , section 144.2252 , or section 144.2253.

The information contained on the original birth record, except for the registration
number,
shall be provided on request to a parent who is named on the original birth record.
Upon the receipt of a certified copy of a court order of annulment of adoption the state
registrar shall restore the original vital record to its original place in the file.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 144.225, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Data about births.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision,
data pertaining to the birth of a child to a woman who was not married to the child's father
when the child was conceived nor when the child was born, including the original record of
birth and the certified vital record, are confidential data. At the time of the birth of a child to
a woman who was not married to the child's father when the child was conceived nor when
the child was born, the mother may designate demographic data pertaining to the birth as
public. Notwithstanding the designation of the data as confidential, it may be disclosed:

(1) to a parent or guardian of the child;

(2) to the child when the child is 16 years of age or older;

(3) under paragraph (b) or (e); or

(4) pursuant to a court order. For purposes of this section, a subpoena does not
constitute a court order.

(b) Unless the child is adopted, data pertaining to the birth of a child that are not
accessible to the public become public data if 100 years have elapsed since the birth of
the child who is the subject of the data, or as provided under section 13.10, whichever
occurs first.

(c) If a child is adopted, data pertaining to the child's birth are governed by the
provisions relating to adoption records, including sections 13.10, subdivision 5; 144.218,
subdivision 1
; 144.2252; 144.2253; and 259.89.

(d) The name and address of a mother under paragraph (a) and the child's date of
birth may be disclosed to the county social services or public health member of a family
services collaborative for purposes of providing services under section 124D.23.

(e) The commissioner of human services shall have access to birth records for:

(1) the purposes of administering medical assistance, general assistance medical
care, and the MinnesotaCare program;

(2) child support enforcement purposes; and

(3) other public health purposes as determined by the commissioner of health.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 144.2252, is amended to read:


144.2252 ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORD AFTER ADOPTION.

(a) Whenever an adopted person requests the state registrar to disclose the
information on the adopted person's original birth record, the state registrar shall act
according to section 259.89 144.2253.

(b) The state registrar shall provide a transcript of an adopted person's original birth
record to an authorized representative of a federally recognized American Indian tribe
for the sole purpose of determining the adopted person's eligibility for enrollment or
membership. Information contained in the birth record may not be used to provide the
adopted person information about the person's birth parents, except as provided in this
section or section 259.83 144.2253.

Sec. 6.

[144.2253] ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORDS OF ADOPTED
PERSONS; DEPARTMENT DUTIES.

Subdivision 1.

Definition.

For purposes of this section, "person related to the
adopted person" means:

(1) the surviving spouse of the adopted person;

(2) a lineal descendant of the adopted person;

(3) the adoptive parent of the adopted person; or

(4) a sibling of the adopted person.

Subd. 2.

Disclosure.

(a) An adopted person who is age 18 years or older, or a person
related to the adopted person if the adopted person is deceased, may request the state
registrar to provide the adopted person or the person related to the adopted person with
a noncertified copy of the adopted person's original birth record. If there is no affidavit
of nondisclosure on file with the Office of Vital Records, the state registrar shall provide
the adopted person, or the person related to the adopted person if the adopted person is
deceased, with a noncertified copy of the adopted person's original birth record.

(b) If a contact preference form is attached to the original birth record as authorized
under section 259.432, the state registrar shall provide a copy of the contact preference
form with the noncertified copy of the adopted person's original birth record.

(c) Affidavits of nondisclosure on file with the Office of Vital Records as of
the effective date of this act must be honored by the state registrar. An affidavit of
nondisclosure submitted to the Office of Vital Records after the effective date of this act
shall not be honored by the state registrar.

Subd. 3.

Recission of affidavit of nondisclosure.

A birth parent may rescind
an affidavit of nondisclosure at any time.

Subd. 4.

Affidavit of nondisclosure; access to birth record.

(a) When an original
birth record is subject to an affidavit of nondisclosure, an adopted person age 18 years
or older, or a person related to the adopted person if the adopted person is deceased,
may petition any district court for disclosure of the original birth record pursuant to
subdivision 5.

(b) An adopted person age 18 years or older, or a person related to the adopted
person if the adopted person is deceased, may request the state registrar search the state
death records to determine if the birth parent is deceased. The state registrar may impose a
fee for the record search. If the birth parent is deceased, a noncertified copy of the original
birth record shall be released to the adopted person or the person related to the adopted
person if the adopted person is deceased.

Subd. 5.

Procedure for requesting access to certain birth records.

(a) Within ten
days of filing a petition with a district court under subdivision 4, the adopted person shall
file a copy of the petition with the Office of Vital Records. Within 30 days of receipt of
the petition with the Office of Vital Records, the state registrar shall serve a copy of the
petition by first class mail on the birth parent who filed the affidavit of nondisclosure. The
copy of the petition shall be sent to the birth parent's last known address.

(b) Within 30 days of receipt of the petition, the birth parent may file with the Office
of Vital Records a statement either:

(1) rescinding the affidavit of nondisclosure; or

(2) setting forth the basis why the affidavit of nondisclosure should remain in effect.

(c) Within ten days of receipt of the birth parent's statement, the state registrar shall
serve a copy of the statement on the court of record and the petitioner. The statement shall
be redacted to protect the identity of the birth parent.

(d) The court shall schedule a date for a hearing on the adopted person's petition.
The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with section 259.61.

(e) The court shall grant the petition if, after consideration of the interests of all
known persons involved, the court determines that disclosure of the information would
be of greater benefit than nondisclosure.

Subd. 6.

Original birth record; public record.

An original birth record of an
adopted person shall become a public record on the 100th anniversary of the adopted
person's birth.

Subd. 7.

Information provided.

(a) The department shall, in consultation with
adoption agencies and adoption advocates, provide information and educational materials
to adopted persons and birth parents about the changes in the law affecting accessibility
to birth records. For purposes of this subdivision, an adoption advocate is a nonprofit
organization that works with adoption issues in Minnesota.

(b) The department shall provide notice on the department Web site about the change
in the law, and will direct individuals to private agencies and advocates for postadoption
resources.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 144.226, subdivision 1, is
amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Which services are for fee.

The fees for the following services shall
be the following or an amount prescribed by rule of the commissioner:

(a) The fee for the administrative review and processing of a request for a certified
vital record or a certification that the vital record cannot be found is $9. The fee is payable
at the time of application and is nonrefundable.

(b) The fee for processing a request for the replacement of a birth record for
all events, except when filing a recognition of parentage pursuant to section 257.73,
subdivision 1
, is $40. The fee is payable at the time of application and is nonrefundable.

(c) The fee for administrative review and processing of a request for the filing of a
delayed registration of birth, stillbirth, or death is $40. The fee is payable at the time of
application and is nonrefundable.

(d) The fee for administrative review and processing of a request for the amendment
of any vital record is $40. The fee is payable at the time of application and is nonrefundable.

(e) The fee for administrative review and processing of a request for the verification
of information from vital records is $9 when the applicant furnishes the specific
information to locate the vital record. When the applicant does not furnish specific
information, the fee is $20 per hour for staff time expended. Specific information includes
the correct date of the event and the correct name of the subject of the record. Fees
charged shall approximate the costs incurred in searching and copying the vital records.
The fee is payable at the time of application and is nonrefundable.

(f) The fee for administrative review and processing of a request for the issuance
of a copy of any document on file pertaining to a vital record or statement that a related
document cannot be found is $9. The fee is payable at the time of application and is
nonrefundable.

(g) The commissioner shall charge a fee of $40 for noncertified copies of birth records
provided to persons authorized by section 144.2253 to access the information contained
on the original birth record in order to cover the cost of providing the birth record.

Sec. 8.

[259.432] CONTACT PREFERENCE; FORM.

Subdivision 1.

Contact preference form provided.

The state registrar shall provide
upon request to each birth parent a contact preference form as described in this section.

Subd. 2.

Form.

The state registrar shall develop a contact preference form on which
a birth parent may state a preference regarding contact by the adopted person. The form
must contain the following statements from which the birth parent may choose only one:

(1) "I would like to be contacted. I have completed this contact preference form and
am filing it with the Office of Vital Records. I may change this contact preference form by
filling out another contact preference form."

(2) "I would not like to be contacted. I have completed this contact preference form
and am filing it with the Office of Vital Records. I may change this contact preference
form by filling out another contact preference form."

Subd. 3.

Attachment of form to birth certificate; treatment.

Upon receipt of a
completed contact preference form, the state registrar shall attach the completed form
to the original birth certificate of the adopted person. Access to a completed contact
preference form is governed in the same manner as access to original birth records by
adopted persons or persons related to adopted persons under section 144.2253.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 259.83, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Services provided.

Agencies shall provide assistance and counseling
services upon receiving a request for current information from adoptive parents, birth
parents, or adopted persons aged 19 18 years and over. The agency shall contact the
other adult persons or the adoptive parents of a minor child in a personal and confidential
manner to determine whether there is a desire to receive or share information or to have
contact. If there is such a desire, the agency shall provide the services requested. The
agency shall provide services to adult genetic siblings if there is no known violation of the
confidentiality of a birth parent or if the birth parent gives written consent
.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 259.83, subdivision 1a, is amended to read:


Subd. 1a.

Social and medical history.

(a) If a person aged 19 18 years and over
who was adopted on or after August 1, 1994, or the adoptive parent requests the detailed
nonidentifying social and medical history of the adopted person's birth family that was
provided at the time of the adoption, agencies must provide the information to the adopted
person or adoptive parent on the form required under section 259.43.

(b) If an adopted person aged 19 18 years and over or the adoptive parent requests
the agency to contact the adopted person's birth parents to request current nonidentifying
social and medical history of the adopted person's birth family, agencies must use the form
required under section 259.43 when obtaining the information for the adopted person
or adoptive parent.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 259.83, subdivision 1b, is amended to read:


Subd. 1b.

Genetic siblings.

(a) A person who is at least 19 18 years old who was
adopted or, because of a termination of parental rights, was committed to the guardianship
of the commissioner of human services, whether adopted or not, must upon request be
advised of other siblings who were adopted or who were committed to the guardianship
of the commissioner of human services and not adopted.

(b) Assistance must be provided by the county or placing agency of the person
requesting information to the extent that information is available in the existing records at
the Department of Human Services. If the sibling received services from another agency,
the agencies must share necessary information in order to locate the other siblings and to
offer services, as requested. Upon the determination that parental rights with respect to
another sibling were terminated, identifying information and contact must be provided only
upon mutual consent. A reasonable fee may be imposed by the county or placing agency.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 259.83, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Confidentiality.

Agencies shall provide adoptive parents, birth parents
and adult siblings, and adopted persons aged 19 18 years and over reasonable assistance
in a manner consistent with state and federal laws, rules, and regulations regarding the
confidentiality and privacy of child welfare and adoption records.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 259.89, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 1a.

Access to original birth record.

Access to the original birth record of a
person who has been adopted is governed by section 144.2253.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 259.89, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 2a.

Affidavits of nondisclosure.

(a) The state registrar must honor an
affidavit of nondisclosure on file with the Office of Vital Records.

(b) If an adopted person or a person related to the adopted person requests access
to a noncertified copy of the adopted person's original birth record and the information
on the original birth record is subject to an affidavit of nondisclosure, the state registrar
shall not provide the requestor with a copy of the original birth record, but shall inform
the requestor of the existence of the affidavit of nondisclosure and the petition process
available under section 144.2253, subdivision 4.

(c) For purposes of this subdivision, an affidavit of nondisclosure means an affidavit
filed with the Office of Vital Records prior to the effective date of this act by a birth parent
of an adopted person stating that the state registrar shall not disclose the information on
the adopted person's original birth record.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 259.89, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 2b.

Affidavits of disclosure or nondisclosure; not required to be obtained.

As of the effective date of this act, an agency that is responsible for an adoptive placement
or for supervising an adoptive placement shall not obtain from a birth parent an affidavit
of disclosure or an affidavit of nondisclosure.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 260C.317, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Rights of terminated parent.

(a) Upon entry of an order terminating the
parental rights of any person who is identified as a parent on the original birth record of
the child as to whom the parental rights are terminated, the court shall cause written
notice to be made to that person setting forth:

(1) the right of the person to file at any time with the state registrar of vital statistics
a consent to disclosure, as defined in section 144.212, subdivision 11;

(2) the right of the person to file at any time with the state registrar of vital statistics
an affidavit stating that the information on the original birth record shall not be disclosed
as provided in section 144.2252; and

(3) the effect of a failure to file either a consent to disclosure, as defined in section
144.212, subdivision 11, or an affidavit stating that the information on the original birth
record shall not be disclosed.

(b) A parent whose rights are terminated under this section shall retain the ability to
enter into a contact or communication agreement under section 260C.619 if an agreement
is determined by the court to be in the best interests of the child. The agreement shall be
filed with the court at or prior to the time the child is adopted. An order for termination of
parental rights shall not be conditioned on an agreement under section 260C.619.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 260C.637, is amended to read:


260C.637 ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORD INFORMATION.

An adopted person may ask the commissioner of health to disclose the information
on the adopted person's original birth record according to section 259.89 144.2253.

Sec. 18. REPEALER.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 259.83, subdivision 3; and 259.89, subdivisions 1,
2, 3, 4, and 5,
are repealed.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 144.212, subdivision 11, are repealed.

Sec. 19. EFFECTIVE DATE.

(a) Sections 1 to 14 and 17 are effective January 1, 2015.

(b) Sections 15, 16, and 18 are effective the day following final enactment.

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