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144.225 Disclosure of information from vital records.

Subdivision 1. Public information; access to records. Except as otherwise provided for in this section and section 144.1761, information contained in vital records shall be public information. Physical access to vital records shall be subject to the supervision and regulation of state and local registrars and their employees pursuant to rules promulgated by the commissioner in order to protect vital records from loss, mutilation or destruction and to prevent improper disclosure of records which are confidential or private data on individuals, as defined in section 13.02, subdivisions 3 and 12.

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 certificate of birth and the certified copy, 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 on the birth registration form whether data pertaining to the birth will be public data. 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 18 years of age or older;

(3) under paragraph (b); 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; 144.1761; 144.218, subdivision 1; and 259.89. The birth and death records of the commissioner of health shall be open to inspection by the commissioner of human services and it shall not be necessary for the commissioner of human services to obtain an order of the court in order to inspect records or to secure certified copies of them.

(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.

Subd. 2a. Health data associated with birth registration. Information from which an identification of risk for disease, disability, or developmental delay in a mother or child can be made, that is collected in conjunction with birth registration or fetal death reporting, is private data as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 12. The commissioner may disclose to a local board of health, as defined in section 145A.02, subdivision 2, health data associated with birth registration which identifies a mother or child at high risk for serious disease, disability, or developmental delay in order to assure access to appropriate health, social, or educational services.

Subd. 3. Laws and rules for preparing certificates. No person shall prepare or issue any certificate which purports to be an original, certified copy, or copy of a vital record except as authorized in sections 144.211 to 144.227 or the rules of the commissioner.

Subd. 4. Access to records for research purposes. The state registrar may permit persons performing medical research access to the information restricted in subdivision 2 if those persons agree in writing not to disclose private or confidential data on individuals.

Subd. 5. Residents of other states. When a resident of another state is born or dies in this state, the state registrar shall send a report of the birth or death to the state of residence.

Subd. 6. Group purchaser identity; nonpublic data; disclosure. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the named identity of a group purchaser as defined in section 62J.03, subdivision 6, collected in association with birth registration is nonpublic data as defined in section 13.02.

(b) The commissioner may publish, or by other means release to the public, the named identity of a group purchaser as part of an analysis of information collected from the birth registration process. Analysis means the identification of trends in prenatal care and birth outcomes associated with group purchasers. The commissioner may not reveal the named identity of the group purchaser until the group purchaser has had 21 days after receipt of the analysis to review the analysis and comment on it. In releasing data under this subdivision, the commissioner shall include comments received from the group purchaser related to the scientific soundness and statistical validity of the methods used in the analysis. This subdivision does not authorize the commissioner to make public any individual identifying data except as permitted by law.

(c) A group purchaser may contest whether an analysis made public under paragraph (b) is based on scientifically sound and statistically valid methods in a contested case proceeding under sections 14.57 to 14.62, subject to appeal under sections 14.63 to 14.68. To obtain a contested case hearing, the group purchaser must present a written request to the commissioner before the end of the time period for review and comment. Within ten days of the assignment of an administrative law judge, the group purchaser must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence the group purchaser's likelihood of succeeding on the merits. If the judge determines that the group purchaser has made this demonstration, the data may not be released during the contested case proceeding and through appeal. If the judge finds that the group purchaser has not made this demonstration, the commissioner may immediately publish, or otherwise make public, the nonpublic group purchaser data, with comments received as set forth in paragraph (b).

(d) The contested case proceeding and subsequent appeal is not an exclusive remedy and any person may seek a remedy pursuant to section 13.08, subdivisions 1 to 4, or as otherwise authorized by law.

Subd. 7. Certified copy of birth or death certificate. The state or local registrar shall issue a certified copy of a birth or death certificate or a statement of no record found to an individual upon the individual's proper completion of an attestation provided by the commissioner:

(1) to a person who has a tangible interest in the requested certificate. A person who has a tangible interest is:

(i) the subject of the certificate;

(ii) a child of the subject;

(iii) the spouse of the subject;

(iv) a parent of the subject;

(v) the grandparent or grandchild of the subject;

(vi) the party responsible for filing the certificate;

(vii) the legal custodian or guardian of the subject;

(viii) a personal representative of the estate of the subject or a successor of the subject, as defined in section 524.1-201, if the subject is deceased;

(ix) a representative authorized by a person under clauses (1) to (3); or

(x) a person or entity who demonstrates that a certified copy of the certificate is necessary for the determination or protection of a personal or property right, pursuant to rules adopted by the commissioner;

(2) to any local, state, or federal governmental agency upon request if the certified certificate is necessary for the governmental agency to perform its authorized duties. An authorized governmental agency includes the department of human services, the department of revenue, and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service; or

(3) pursuant to a court order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. For purposes of this section, a subpoena does not constitute a court order.

Subd. 8. Standardized format for certified birth and death certificates. No later than July 1, 2000, the commissioner shall develop a standardized format for certified birth certificates and death certificates issued by state and local registrars. The format shall incorporate security features in accordance with this section. The standardized format must be implemented on a statewide basis by July 1, 2001.

HIST: 1978 c 699 s 14; 1980 c 509 s 42; 1980 c 561 s 2; 1981 c 311 s 39; 1982 c 545 s 24; 1983 c 7 s 2; 1983 c 243 s 5 subd 2; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1986 c 444; 1991 c 203 s 1,2; 1994 c 631 s 31; 1995 c 259 art 1 s 33; 1996 c 440 art 1 s 34,35; 1997 c 228 s 9-11; 1998 c 397 art 11 s 3; 2000 c 267 s 1

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Revisor of Statutes