GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2007

H                                                                                                                                                   D

HOUSE DRH50125-LU-6D  (01/19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Title:     Access to Information for Adult Adoptees.

(Public)

Sponsors:

Representatives Dickson, Crawford, Wilkins, and Farmer-Butterfield (Primary Sponsors).

Referred to:

 

 

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to provide access to any adult adoptee or adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee who requests a copy of the adoptee's original certificate of birth.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  G.S. 48-1-101 is amended by inserting in alphabetical order the following new subdivisions to read:

"In this Chapter, the following definitions apply:

(*)       'Confidential intermediary' means a licensed adoption agency staff person who may act as a third party to facilitate contact between an adult adoptee or the adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee and the biological parent.

(*)       'Contact preference form' means a form completed by a biological parent indicating the biological parent's preference for contact with an adult adoptee or the adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee and the biological parent.

(*)       'Lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee' means any person who descends from the direct line of the adoptee.

(*)       'Medical history form' means a form completed by a biological parent providing updated family medical history to the adult adoptee or the adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee.

."

SECTION 2.  G.S. 48-9-104 reads as rewritten:

" 48-9-104.  Release of identifying information.

Except as provided in G.S. 48-9-109(2),G.S. 48-9-109(2) or G.S. 48-9-106A, no person or entity shall release from any records retained and sealed under this Article the name, address, or other information that reasonably could be expected to lead directly to the identity of an adoptee, an adoptive parent of an adoptee, an adoptee's parent at birth, or an individual who, but for the adoption, would be the adoptee's sibling or grandparent, except upon order of the court for cause pursuant to G.S. 48-9-105."

SECTION 3.  G.S. 48-9-105(a) reads as rewritten:

" 48-9-105.  Action for release of identifying and other nonidentifying information.

(a)       Any Notwithstanding G.S. 48-9-106A, any information necessary for the protection of the adoptee or the public in or derived from the records, including medical information not otherwise obtainable, may be disclosed to an individual who files a written motion in the cause before the clerk of original jurisdiction. In hearing the petition, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interest of the adoptee, but shall also give due consideration to the interests of the members of the adoptee's original and adoptive family."

SECTION 4.  G.S. 48-9-106 reads as rewritten:

" 48-9-106.  Release of original certificate of birth.

Upon Notwithstanding G.S. 48-9-106A, upon receipt of a certified copy of a court order issued pursuant to G.S. 48-9-105 authorizing the release of an adoptee's original certificate of birth, the State Registrar shall give the individual who obtained the order a copy of the original certificate of birth with a certification that the copy is a true copy of a record that is no longer a valid certificate of birth."

SECTION 5.  Article 9 of Chapter 48 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

" 48-9-106A.  Request for access to original certificate of birth; contact preference form; medical history form.

(a)       Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an adult adoptee who has had an original certificate of birth sealed pursuant to an adoption in this State, or the adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee, may upon written request to the State Registrar, in a form prescribed by the State Registrar, receive a copy of the original certificate of birth. The adult adoptee or the adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee may also receive any evidence of the adoption held with the original record. The copy of the original certificate of birth shall be in a form that clearly indicates the certificate is not a certified copy and that the certificate shall not be used for legal purposes. Any procedures, fees, or waiting periods associated with the issuance of a certificate of birth in this State shall apply to an original certificate of birth issued pursuant to this section.

(b)       A biological parent may at any time request from the State Registrar a contact preference form. When the biological parent requests a contact preference form, the State Registrar shall also provide the biological parent with a medical history form. The contact preference form and the medical history form shall be in a form prescribed by the State Registrar. The contact preference form shall provide the following information to be completed at the option of the biological parent:

(1)       I would like to be contacted.

(2)       I would prefer to be contacted only through a confidential intermediary. I have completed an updated medical history form and have filed the form with the State Registrar.

(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 State Registrar. I have completed an updated medical history form and have filed the form with the State Registrar.

If a biological parent files a contact preference form, the form shall accompany an original certificate of birth issued under subsection (a) of this section. If a contact preference form is not filed, no presumption of preference for contact shall exist, and the adult adoptee or the adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee may only receive the original certificate of birth in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. When an adoptee is deceased, any declarations of preference contained in a contact preference form shall transfer to the adult lineal descendant of the deceased adoptee.

(c)       The contact preference form and the medical history form are confidential communications from the biological parent to the person named on the sealed original certificate of birth, and the State Registrar shall place the forms in a sealed envelope upon receipt from the biological parent. The State Registrar shall then match the sealed envelope containing the contact preference form and the medical history form to the sealed original certificate of birth and place the sealed envelope in the file containing the sealed original certificate of birth.

(d)       The sealed envelope containing the contact preference form and medical history form shall be released to an adult adoptee, or the adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee, requesting the original certificate of birth under subsection (a) of this section. The State Registrar shall not retain copies of contact preference forms or medical history forms filed pursuant to this section as those forms are private communications between a biological parent and the individual named on the sealed original certificate of birth.

(e)       The State Registrar may adopt rules deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(f)        An adoption agency licensed or authorized by the Department to place minors for adoption in this State may use a confidential intermediary who is preapproved by the agency to facilitate contact between an adult adoptee or the adult lineal descendant of a deceased adoptee and the biological parent in accordance with this section. The Division shall provide guidance to adoption agencies in establishing guidelines for confidential intermediaries."

SECTION 6.  G.S. 48-9-107(a) reads as rewritten:

" 48-9-107.  New birth certificates.

(a)       Upon Notwithstanding G.S. 48-9-106A, upon receipt of a report of the adoption of a minor from the Division, or the documents required by G.S. 48-9-102(g) from the clerk of superior court in the adoption of an adult, or a report of an adoption from another state, the State Registrar shall prepare a new birth certificate for the adoptee that shall contain the adoptee's full adoptive name, sex, state of birth, and date of birth; the full name of the adoptive father, if applicable; the full maiden name of the adoptive mother, if applicable; and any other pertinent information consistent with this section as may be determined by the State Registrar. The new certificate shall contain no reference to the adoption of the adoptee and shall not refer to the adoptive parents in any way other than as the adoptee's parents."

SECTION 7.  This act becomes effective January 1, 2008, and applies to requests made on or after that date.