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HF 2906

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 05/18/2019 10:05am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to adoption; modifying provisions governing adult adoptee access to their
own original birth records and other adoption-related information; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 13.10, subdivision 5; 13.465, subdivision 8;
144.218, subdivisions 1, 2; 144.225, subdivision 2; 144.2252; 259.83, subdivisions
1, 1a, 1b, by adding a subdivision; 260C.317, subdivision 4; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 144; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2018,
sections 144.212, subdivision 11; 259.83, subdivision 3; 259.89; 260C.637.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 13.10, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Adoption records.

Notwithstanding any provision of this new text beginor any other new text endchapter,
adoption records shall be treated as provided in sections 259.53, 259.61, 259.79, and 259.83
to deleted text begin259.89deleted text endnew text begin 259.88new text end.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, 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 deleted text begin259.89deleted text endnew text begin 144.2252new text end.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, 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 deleted text beginconfidentialdeleted text endnew text begin privatenew text end pursuant to
section 13.02, subdivision deleted text begin3deleted text endnew text begin 12new text end, and shall not be disclosed except pursuant to court order
or section 144.2252. 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 2018, section 144.218, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Adoption of foreign persons.

In proceedings for the adoption of a person who
was born in a foreign country, the court, upon evidence presented by the commissioner of
human services from information secured at the port of entry or upon evidence from other
reliable sources, may make findings of fact as to the date and place of birth and parentage.
Upon receipt of certified copies of the court findings and the order or decree of adoption,
a certificate of adoption, or a certified copy of a decree issued under section 259.60, the
state registrar shall register a birth record in the new name of the adopted person. The
certified copies of the court findings and the order or decree of adoption, certificate of
adoption, or decree issued under section 259.60 are deleted text beginconfidentialdeleted text endnew text begin private datanew text end, pursuant to
section 13.02, subdivision deleted text begin3deleted text endnew text begin 12new text end, and shall not be disclosed except pursuant to court order
or section 144.2252. The birth record shall state the place of birth as specifically as possible
and that the vital record is not evidence of United States citizenship.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, 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) deleted text beginUnless the child is adopted,deleted text end 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 new text beginand birth new text endrecords, including sections 13.10, subdivision 5; 144.218,
subdivision 1
;new text begin andnew text end 144.2252deleted text begin; and 259.89deleted text end.

(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 and the MinnesotaCare program;

(2) child support enforcement purposes; and

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

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 144.2252, is amended to read:


144.2252 ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORD AFTER ADOPTION.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

(a) deleted text beginWhenever 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.
deleted text endnew text begin For purposes of this section, the following terms have
the meanings given.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Person related to the adopted person" means:
new text end

new text begin (1) the spouse, child, or grandchild of an adopted person, so long as the spouse, child,
or grandchild is at least 18 years of age; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the legal representative of an adopted person.
new text end

new text begin The definition under this paragraph only applies when the adopted person is deceased.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Original birth record" means a copy of the original birth record for a person who is
born in Minnesota and whose original birth record was sealed and replaced by a replacement
birth record after the state registrar received a certified copy of an order, decree, or certificate
of adoption.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Release of original birth record. new text end

new text begin (a) An adopted person who is 18 years of
age or older or a person related to the adopted person shall upon written request receive a
copy of the adopted person's original birth record and any evidence of the adoption previously
filed with the registrar. The copy of the original birth record shall clearly indicate that it
may not be used for identification purposes. All procedures, fees, and waiting periods
applicable to a nonadopted person's request for a copy of a birth record apply in the same
manner as requests made under this section.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a contact preference form is attached to the original birth record as authorized
under section 144.2253, the state registrar shall provide a copy of the contact preference
form along with the copy of the adopted person's original birth record.
new text end

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end 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.

new text begin (d) For a replacement birth record issued under section 144.218, subdivision 2, the
adopted person or a person related to the adopted person shall be permitted to obtain from
the state registrar certified copies of the order or decree of adoption, certificate of adoption,
or decree issued under section 259.60, as filed with the state registrar.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Adult adoptions. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding section 144.218, a person adopted as an
adult shall be permitted to access the person's birth records that existed prior to the adult
adoption. Access to the existing birth records shall be the same access that was permitted
prior to the adult adoption.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [144.2253] BIRTH PARENT CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM.
new text end

new text begin (a) A birth parent may at any time request from the state registrar a contact preference
form that shall accompany an original birth record issued under section 144.2252.
new text end

new text begin (b) The contact preference form shall provide the following information to be completed
at the option of the birth parent:
new text end

new text begin (1) "I would like to be contacted."
new text end

new text begin (2) "I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary."
new text end

new text begin (3) "I prefer not to be contacted at this time. If I decide later that I would like to be
contacted, I will submit an updated contact preference form to the Minnesota Department
of Health."
new text end

new text begin (c) The contact preference form is a confidential communication and shall be sealed
upon receipt from a birth parent. The sealed information shall be matched with the adopted
person's sealed original birth record, and the contact preference form shall accompany the
original birth record requested and released to the adopted person or the person related to
the adopted person under section 144.2252.
new text end

Sec. 8.

new text begin [144.2254] PREVIOUSLY FILED CONSENTS TO DISCLOSURE AND
AFFIDAVITS OF NONDISCLOSURE.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall inform a person applying for an original birth record under
section 144.2252 of the existence of an unrevoked consent to disclosure or an affidavit of
nondisclosure on file with the department, including the name of the birth parent who filed
the consent or affidavit. If a birth parent authorized the release of the birth parent's address
on an unrevoked consent to disclosure, the commissioner shall provide the address to the
person who requests the original birth record.
new text end

new text begin (b) A birth parent's consent to disclosure or affidavit of nondisclosure filed with the
commissioner of health expires and has no force or effect beginning on June 30, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 259.83, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Services provided.

new text begin(a) new text endAgencies shall provide assistance and counseling
services upon receiving a request for current information from adoptive parents, birth parents,
or adopted persons aged deleted text begin19deleted text endnew text begin 18new text end yearsnew text begin of agenew text end and deleted text beginoverdeleted text endnew text begin oldernew text end. 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.

new text begin (b) Upon a request for assistance or services from an adoptive parent, birth parent, or
an adopted person 18 years of age or over, the agency shall inform the person:
new text end

new text begin (1) about the right of an adopted person to request and obtain a copy of the adopted
person's original birth record at the age and circumstances specified in section 144.2253;
and
new text end

new text begin (2) about the right of the birth parent named on the adopted person's original birth record
to file a contact preference form with the state registrar pursuant to section 144.2253.
new text end

new text begin In adoptive placements, the agency shall provide in writing to the birth parents listed on the
original birth record the information required under this section.
new text end

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 259.83, subdivision 1a, is amended to read:


Subd. 1a.

Social and medical history.

(a) If a person aged deleted text begin19deleted text endnew text begin 18new text end years new text beginof age new text endand deleted text beginoverdeleted text endnew text begin
older
new text end 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 deleted text begin19deleted text endnew text begin 18new text end years new text beginof age new text endand deleted text beginoverdeleted text endnew text begin oldernew text end 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 2018, section 259.83, subdivision 1b, is amended to read:


Subd. 1b.

Genetic siblings.

(a) A person who is at least deleted text begin19deleted text endnew text begin 18new text end years deleted text beginolddeleted text endnew text begin of agenew text end 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 2018, section 259.83, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 3a. new text end

new text begin Birth parent identifying information. new text end

new text begin (a) This subdivision applies to adoptive
placements where an adopted person does not have a record of live birth registered in this
state. Upon written request by an adopted person 18 years of age or older, the agency
responsible for or supervising the placement shall provide to the requester the following
identifying information related to the birth parents listed on that adopted person's original
birth record:
new text end

new text begin (1) each of the birth parent's names;
new text end

new text begin (2) each of the birth parent's birthdate and birthplace; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the last known address of each birth parent.
new text end

new text begin (b) The agency may charge a reasonable fee to the requester for providing the required
information under paragraph (a).
new text end

new text begin (c) The agency, acting in good faith and in a lawful manner in disclosing the identifying
information under this subdivision, is not civilly liable for such disclosure.
new text end

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, 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 forthdeleted text begin:
deleted text end

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

deleted text begin (2)deleted text end the right of the person to file at any time with the state registrar of vital records deleted text beginan
affidavit stating that the information on the original birth record shall not be disclosed as
provided in section 144.2252; and
deleted text endnew text begin a contact preference form under section 144.2253.
new text end

deleted text begin (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.
deleted text end

(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. 14. new text beginADOPTION LAW CHANGES; PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of human services shall, in consultation with licensed child-placing
agencies, provide information and educational materials to adopted persons and birth parents
about the changes in law made by this act affecting access to birth records.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner of human services shall provide notice on the department's website
about the changes in the law. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee, in
consultation with licensed child-placement agencies, shall coordinate a public awareness
campaign to advise the public about the changes in law made by this act.
new text end

Sec. 15. new text beginREPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 144.212, subdivision 11; 259.83, subdivision 3;
259.89; and 260C.637,
new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end

Sec. 16. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin (a) This act is effective July 1, 2020.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner of health shall begin providing contact preference forms under
section 7 on August 1, 2019.
new text end

APPENDIX

Repealed Minnesota Statutes: 19-4013

144.212 DEFINITIONS.

Subd. 11.

Consent to disclosure.

"Consent to disclosure" means an affidavit filed with the state registrar which sets forth the following information:

(1) the current name and address of the affiant;

(2) any previous name by which the affiant was known;

(3) the original and adopted names, if known, of the adopted child whose original birth record is to be disclosed;

(4) the place and date of birth of the adopted child;

(5) the biological relationship of the affiant to the adopted child; and

(6) the affiant's consent to disclosure of information from the original birth record of the adopted child.

259.83 POSTADOPTION SERVICES.

Subd. 3.

Identifying information.

In adoptive placements made on and after August 1, 1982, the agency responsible for or supervising the placement shall obtain from the birth parents named on the original birth record an affidavit attesting to the following:

(a) that the birth parent has been informed of the right of the adopted person at the age specified in section 259.89 to request from the agency the name, last known address, birthdate and birthplace of the birth parents named on the adopted person's original birth record;

(b) that each birth parent may file in the agency record an affidavit objecting to the release of any or all of the information listed in clause (a) about that birth parent, and that parent only, to the adopted person;

(c) that if the birth parent does not file an affidavit objecting to release of information before the adopted person reaches the age specified in section 259.89, the agency will provide the adopted person with the information upon request;

(d) that notwithstanding the filing of an affidavit, the adopted person may petition the court according to section 259.61 for release of identifying information about a birth parent;

(e) that the birth parent shall then have the opportunity to present evidence to the court that nondisclosure of identifying information is of greater benefit to the birth parent than disclosure to the adopted person; and

(f) that any objection filed by the birth parent shall become invalid when withdrawn by the birth parent or when the birth parent dies. Upon receipt of a death record for the birth parent, the agency shall release the identifying information to the adopted person if requested.

259.89 ACCESS TO ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORD INFORMATION.

Subdivision 1.

Request.

An adopted person who is 19 years of age or over may request the commissioner of health to disclose the information on the adopted person's original birth record. The commissioner of health shall, within five days of receipt of the request, notify the commissioner of human services' agent or licensed child-placing agency when known, or the commissioner of human services when the agency is not known in writing of the request by the adopted person.

Subd. 2.

Search.

Within six months after receiving notice of the request of the adopted person, the commissioner of human services' agent or a licensed child-placing agency shall make complete and reasonable efforts to notify each parent identified on the original birth record of the adopted person. The commissioner, the commissioner's agents, and licensed child-placing agencies may charge a reasonable fee to the adopted person for the cost of making a search pursuant to this subdivision. Every licensed child-placing agency in the state shall cooperate with the commissioner of human services in efforts to notify an identified parent. All communications under this subdivision are confidential pursuant to section 13.02, subdivision 3.

For purposes of this subdivision, "notify" means a personal and confidential contact with the birth parents named on the original birth record of the adopted person. The contact shall be by an employee or agent of the licensed child-placing agency which processed the pertinent adoption or some other licensed child-placing agency designated by the commissioner of human services when it is determined to be reasonable by the commissioner; otherwise contact shall be by mail or telephone. The contact shall be evidenced by filing with the commissioner of health an affidavit of notification executed by the person who notified each parent certifying that each parent was given the following information:

(1) the nature of the information requested by the adopted person;

(2) the date of the request of the adopted person;

(3) the right of the parent to file, within 30 days of receipt of the notice, an affidavit with the commissioner of health stating that the information on the original birth record should not be disclosed;

(4) the right of the parent to file a consent to disclosure with the commissioner of health at any time; and

(5) the effect of a failure of the parent to file either a consent to disclosure or an affidavit stating that the information on the original birth record should not be disclosed.

Subd. 3.

Failure to notify parent.

If the commissioner of human services certifies to the commissioner of health an inability to notify a parent identified on the original birth record within six months, and if neither identified parent has at any time filed an unrevoked consent to disclosure with the commissioner of health, the information may be disclosed as follows:

(a) If the person was adopted prior to August 1, 1977, the person may petition the appropriate court for disclosure of the original birth record pursuant to section 259.61, and 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.

(b) If the person was adopted on or after August 1, 1977, the commissioner of health shall release the requested information to the adopted person.

If either parent identified on the birth record has at any time filed with the commissioner of health an unrevoked affidavit stating that the information on the original birth record should not be disclosed, the commissioner of health shall not disclose the information to the adopted person until the affidavit is revoked by the filing of a consent to disclosure by that parent.

Subd. 4.

Release of information after notice.

If, within six months, the commissioner of human services' agent or licensed child-placing agency documents to the commissioner of health notification of each parent identified on the original birth record pursuant to subdivision 2, the commissioner of health shall disclose the information requested by the adopted person 31 days after the date of the latest notice to either parent. This disclosure will occur if, at any time during the 31 days both of the parents identified on the original birth record have filed a consent to disclosure with the commissioner of health and neither consent to disclosure has been revoked by the subsequent filing by a parent of an affidavit stating that the information should not be disclosed. If only one parent has filed a consent to disclosure and the consent has not been revoked, the commissioner of health shall disclose, to the adopted person, original birth record information on the consenting parent only.

Subd. 5.

Death of parent.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions 3 and 4, if a parent named on the original birth record of an adopted person has died, and at any time prior to the death the parent has filed an unrevoked affidavit with the commissioner of health stating that the information on the original birth record should not be disclosed, the adopted person may petition the court of original jurisdiction of the adoption proceeding for disclosure of the original birth record pursuant to section 259.61. 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.

Determination of eligibility for enrollment or membership in a federally recognized American Indian tribe.

The state registrar shall provide a copy 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 in the tribe.

Subd. 7.

Adult adoptions.

Notwithstanding section 144.218, a person adopted as an adult shall be permitted to access the person's birth records that existed prior to the adult adoption. Access to the existing birth records shall be the same access that was permitted prior to the adult adoption.

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.