SENATE, No. 832

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

Senator† DIANE B. ALLEN

District 7 (Burlington)

Senator† LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Singer, Buono, Cunningham, Van Drew and Ruiz

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Permits adoptees and certain others access to adopteeís original birth certificate and other related information.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

††


An Act concerning adoptees, amending R.S.26:8-40.1, and supplementing Titles 9 and 26 of the Revised Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† R.S.26:8-40.1† is amended to read as follows:

†††† 26:8-40.1.† a.† When any person born in New Jersey who has been adopted pursuant to provisions of the laws of any state or country, and which adoption has been certified to the State Registrar as required by [paragraph B of section 15 of P.L.1953, c.264 (C.9:3-31)] subsection b. of section 16 of P.L.1977, c.367 (C.9:3-52) or there is submitted a certification or a certified copy of the decree or judgment of the court in such adoption proceedings, the State Registrar shall establish, in lieu of the original birth record, a certificate of birth showing (a) the name of the adopted person as changed by the decree of adoption, if changed, (b) the date and place of birth, (c) the names of the adopting parents or parent including the maiden name of the female adopting parent if such name is given in the certification or certified copy of the decree or judgment of the court, and (d) the date of filing.† In any instance where the child has been adopted by the spouse of the natural parent the name of such parent shall also be entered on the new certificate of birth.† Such certificate shall be of the same general type as is used in making a birth certificate for a person who has not been adopted.

†††† [Upon application by an adopting parent or parents of any person born in the United States and adopted pursuant to the laws of this State, the court before which the adoption proceedings have been conducted, may, for good cause shown, direct and order that the place of birth shall be the residence of the adopting parent or parents at the time of said adoption; provided, however, that the adopting parent or parents were residents of this State at the time of said adoption.]

†††† Upon receipt of [such application,] a certification or a certified copy of the decree or judgment of a court in an adoption proceeding, the State Registrar shall make a new certificate of birth containing the information referred to in the preceding paragraph. The fee for such service shall be [$6.00 which includes the issuance of a certified copy of the new certificate] established by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, by regulation.

†††† The State Registrar may file such a new certificate:

†††† [a.] (1) for any foundling, for any child born in any state, and for any child for whom an original birth report cannot be located, who has been adopted in New Jersey; provided that there is attached to the decree or judgment of the court in such adoption proceeding or is submitted to the State Registrar a certified copy of the original birth record or acceptable evidence of birth.† In the case of a foundling, the date and place of birth [may] shall be decided [by the adopting parent or† parents if not decided by the court before which the adoption proceedings were conducted] by a court of competent jurisdiction; and

†††† [b.] (2)† for any child born in a foreign country who was not a citizen of the United States at the time of the child's birth, whose adopting parent is a resident of this State, and who is adopted: [(1)] (a) through a court of competent jurisdiction in this State; or [(2)] (b) under the laws of a jurisdiction or country other than the United States and has been granted an IR-3 immigrant visa, or a successor immigrant visa, by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The new certificate shall be filed upon receipt of: a request for the certificate from the court, the adopting parent, or the adopted person if that person is 18 years of age or older; proof that the adopting parent is a resident of this State; an official copy of the judgment from the jurisdiction or country in which the child was adopted; a certified translation of the foreign adoption; proof of the date and place of the child's birth; and proof of IR-3 immigrant visa status, or a successor immigrant visa status.

†††† When applicable, the State Registrar may file a new certificate for any child who is not a citizen of the United States and who is adopted by a resident of this State, which certificate shall bear the notation ["by adoption,"] ďCertificate of Foreign Birth,Ē which shall also be shown upon any copy of the certificate issued; such notation may be removed at any subsequent date upon submission of acceptable proof that the child has become a citizen of the United States.

†††† When a new certificate of birth is made, the State Registrar shall notify the local registrar of vital statistics of the place in which the birth occurred, if applicable, who shall enter the new certificate in his local record and [place] forward his copy of the original record [under seal] to the State Registrar for disposition.

†††† b.††† The State Registrar shall cause to be placed under seal the original certificate of birth and all papers pertaining to the new certificate of birth.† Such seal shall not be broken except by:

†††† (1) order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or

†††† (2) a written, notarized request for an uncertified, long-form copy of the adopted person's original certificate of birth, which complies with existing statutory and executive orders to allow the identification of the requested information, submitted by:

†††† (a) the adopted person 18 years of age or older,

†††† (b) a direct descendant 18 years of age or older of the adopted person if the adopted person is deceased, or

†††† (c) the adoptive parent or guardian of a minor adopted person.

†††† c.†††† Thereafter whenever a certification or certified copy of a certificate of birth of such person is issued, it shall be made from the new certificate of birth except when an order of a court of competent jurisdiction shall require the issuance of [a] an uncertified, long-form copy of the original certificate of birth, or upon a written, notarized request for an uncertified, long-form copy of the adopted person's original certificate of birth, as provided in subsection b. of this section, excluding any statistical data gathered solely for the use of the State.

(cf:† P.L.2005, c.81, s.3)

 

†††† 2.††† (New section) a.† During the 12-month period beginning on the date of adoption of regulations by the Department of Health and Senior Services to carry out the purposes of this act, a birth parent of a person adopted prior to the date of enactment of this act may submit to the State Registrar a written, notarized request for nondisclosure or may make such a request to the State Registrar in person.† The request for nondisclosure shall prohibit the State Registrar from providing the birth parent's name and home address, as recorded on the adopted person's birth certificate, upon receipt of a written, notarized request for an uncertified, long-form copy of the adopted person's original certificate of birth pursuant to subsection b. of R.S.26:8-40.1 from an adopted person, direct descendant or adoptive parent or guardian authorized by that statute to make such a request.

†††† b.††† The State Registrar shall acknowledge, by mail, or if the request is made in person, at the time the request is made, receipt of the request for nondisclosure and shall enclose with the receipt a family history form requesting medical, cultural, and social history regarding the birth parent, which the State Registrar shall require the birth parent to complete to the best of the parent's knowledge and return to the State Registrar within 60 days.† The birth parent may update the family history form, as necessary.† Failure of a birth parent to complete the form and return it within 60 days, upon requesting nondisclosure, shall nullify the birth parent's request for nondisclosure.

†††† c.†††† At any time following the request for nondisclosure, the birth parent may rescind the request and the State Registrar shall provide the identifying information concerning the birth parent to the adopted person, direct descendant, or adoptive parent or guardian, upon request.

†††† d.††† The State Registrar shall maintain a file of completed requests for nondisclosure and any rescissions thereof, and family history information submitted by birth parents.† Upon request for an original certificate of birth pursuant to subsection b. of R.S.26:8-40.1, the State Registrar shall determine whether there is on file a request for nondisclosure or rescission, and any family history information regarding the adopted person, and shall match such documents with the adopted person's original certificate of birth file.† If such match exists, the request for nondisclosure or rescission, and any family history information shall be retained in the adopted personís original certificate of birth file.

†††† e.†††† Notwithstanding the requirements of this section to the contrary, in the case of a child who was surrendered pursuant to P.L.2000, c.58 (C.30:4C-15.5 et seq.) and upon receipt of notification from the Division of Youth and Family Services in the Department of Children and Families pursuant to subsection f. of this section, the State Registrar shall deem that the birth parent of the child has requested nondisclosure and shall not provide the birth parent's name or home address, if the name or address is recorded on the child's birth certificate, upon receipt of a written, notarized request for an uncertified, long-form copy of the adopted person's original certificate of birth pursuant to R.S.26:8-40.1.

†††† f.†††† The Division of Youth and Family Services in the Department of Children and Families shall notify the State Registrar when a child is surrendered pursuant to P.L.2000, c.58 (C.30:4C-15.5 et seq.) to enable the Registrar to identify the certificate of birth of the child who was so surrendered and deem that the birth parent of the child has requested nondisclosure, as provided in subsection e. of this section.

 

†††† 3.††† (New section) a.† Upon receipt of a written, notarized request pursuant to subsection b. of† R.S.26:8-40.1, the State Registrar shall provide the authorized requester with an uncertified, long-form copy of the adopted person's original certificate of birth.† The State Registrar shall include with the copy of the certificate of birth a statement recommending that the requester contact the approved agency or intermediary who facilitated the adoption prior to seeking contact with the adopted person's birth parent, and such other information as specified in sections 4 and 6 of this act.

†††† b.††† If the birth parent of the adopted person has submitted a request for nondisclosure pursuant to section 2 of this act, the State Registrar shall delete the identifying information of the birth parent from the uncertified, long form copy of the original certificate of birth and the family history form submitted by the birth parent with the certificate of birth, and thereafter provide both to the requester.

†††† c.†††† The fee for the uncertified, original long-form certificate of birth preceding an adoption shall be established by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, by regulation.

 

†††† 4.††† (New section) a.† A birth parent of an adopted person may submit a document of contact preference to the State Registrar indicating the birth parent's preference regarding contact with the adopted person.† The birth parent may change his preference at any time by submitting a revised document of contact preference to the State Registrar.

†††† b.††† The document of contact preference shall be established by the State Registrar, who shall provide a copy of the document to a birth parent, upon request.† The State Registrar shall also make the document available for downloading from the official website of the Department of Health and Senior Services.

†††† c.†††† The State Registrar shall require a birth parent who submits a document of contact preference pursuant to this section to complete a form providing updated family history information, which includes medical, cultural and social history information regarding the birth parent.

†††† d.††† The document of contact preference shall provide the birth parent with the following options from which the parent may select one:

†††† (1) "I would like to be contacted directly.† I have completed a document of contact preference and an updated family history form and am submitting them to the State Registrar as set forth in this document";

†††† (2) "I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary.† I have completed a document of contact preference and an updated family history form and am submitting them to the State Registrar as set forth in this document. I would like the following named individual to act as an intermediary __________"; or

†††† (3) "I would prefer not to be contacted at this time. If I decide later that I would like to be contacted, I will submit a revised document of contact preference to the State Registrar.† I have completed a document of contact preference and an updated family history form and am submitting them to the State Registrar as set forth in this document."

†††† e.†††† The State Registrar shall request a birth parent who indicates a preference for no contact by the adopted person to update the family history information every 10 years until the birth parent reaches the age of 40, and every five years thereafter.

†††† f.†††† The State Registrar shall maintain a file of documents of contact preference and family history information submitted by birth parents.† Upon request for an original certificate of birth pursuant to subsection b. of R.S.26:8-40.1, the State Registrar shall determine whether there is on file a document of contact preference and any family history information regarding the adopted person, and if such documents exist, shall retain them in the adopted person's original certificate of birth file.

†††† g.† Upon written, notarized request for an uncertified long-form copy of an adopted person's original certificate of birth pursuant to subsection b. of R.S.26:8-40.1, the State Registrar shall also provide the authorized requester with a copy of the birth parent's document of contact preference and the updated family history information, if such a document or information has been submitted to the State Registrar pursuant to this section.

†††† h.† The State Registrar shall provide to an authorized requester, upon request, any information subsequently added to an adopted personís certificate of birth file.† The State Registrar may establish a system to inform authorized requesters in the event that new information is added to an adopted personís certificate of birth file.†

 

†††† 5.††† (New section) a.† An adopted person 18 years of age or older, a direct descendant 18 years of age or older of the adopted person if the adopted person is deceased, or the adoptive parent or guardian of a minor adopted person may obtain from an approved agency or the intermediary who facilitated the adoption any family history information concerning the adopted person that is contained in that person's adoption file, upon submission of a written, notarized request to the agency or intermediary.

†††† Prior to providing any identifying information about a birth parent or the parent's family, the agency or intermediary, as applicable, shall contact the State Registrar to receive written notification if the birth parent has submitted a request for nondisclosure.† If such a request has been submitted, the agency or intermediary shall not disclose any identifying information about the birth parent or the parent's family.

†††† As used in this section, "family history information" includes medical, cultural, and social history information provided by the adopted person's birth parent and maintained by an approved agency or intermediary who facilitated an adoption.

†††† b.††† In the event that the adopted person was under the custody of the Division of Youth and Family Services in the Department of Children and Families at the time of the person's adoption, the person may request from the director of the division a statement, based on the division's case file, that summarizes the circumstances under which parental rights for the child were terminated.

†††† c.†††† Nothing in this act shall be construed to require the Division of Youth and Family Services in the Department of Children and Families to provide any identifying information about the birth parents of a child who was surrendered pursuant to the provisions of the "New Jersey Safe Haven Protection Act," P.L.2000, c.58 (C.30:4C-15.5 et seq.).

 

†††† 6.††† (New section) a. The State Registrar, through the Department of Health and Senior Services, shall prepare information regarding counseling resources and the use of an intermediary for the purpose of enabling an adopted person to make contact with a birth parent.† The information shall also include the procedure for contacting the Director of the Division of Youth and Family Services as provided in subsection b. of section 5 of this act.

†††† b.††† The State Registrar shall provide the information prepared pursuant to subsection a. of this section to a person who requests an uncertified, long-form copy of a birth certificate pursuant to subsection b. of R.S.26:8-40.1 or the document of contact preference.

†††† c.†††† The State Registrar shall make the information prepared pursuant to subsection a. of this section available on the website of the Department of Health and Senior Services.

 

†††† 7.††† (New section)† a. A person, firm, partnership, corporation, association or agency that has placed a child for adoption shall not be liable in any civil or criminal action for damages resulting from information provided by the State Registrar pursuant to this act.

†††† b.††† An employee, agent or officer of the Department of Health and Senior Services who is authorized by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to disclose information relating to the certification of birth pursuant to this act, shall not be liable for:

†††† (1) disclosing information based on a written, notarized request submitted in accordance with this act; and

†††† (2) any error or inaccuracy in the information that is disclosed after receipt of a written, notarized request submitted in accordance with this act, and any consequence of that error or inaccuracy.

 

†††† 8.††† (New section) Within two years after the date of enactment of this act, the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of† Children and Families, shall provide to the Legislature in accordance with section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), and make available to the public, a report on the development and administration of the initiatives established pursuant to sections 2 through 6 of this act.† The report shall include, but not be limited to, statistical, non-identifying data regarding:

†††† a.†††† the number of uncertified, long-form copies of original birth certificates that were provided to adopted persons, the direct descendants of deceased adopted persons, and the adoptive parents or guardians of minor adopted persons;

†††† b.††† the number of requests for nondisclosure submitted by birth parents;

†††† c.†††† the number of requests submitted by birth parents, through the† document of contact preference, for direct contact, contact by an intermediary, and no contact, respectively; and

†††† d.††† the number of family history forms submitted by birth parents.

†††† The report shall also make recommendations for any needed changes in the requirements, regulations or State policy concerning the initiatives established by this act.

 

†††† 9.††† (New section) The Department of Health and Senior Services shall contract with media outlets throughout the country to produce and distribute national public service messages to increase public awareness of and encourage participation in the initiatives established pursuant to this act.† The public service messages shall inform the public of the procedures for: obtaining a long-form copy of an adopted person's birth certificate; requesting nondisclosure; submitting a document of contact preference; and submitting family history information.

†††† The department shall also ensure that this information is available on the departmentís website and the website of the State of New Jersey.

 

†††† 10. (New section) a.† An adopted person 18 years of age or older, a direct descendant 18 years of age or older of the adopted person if the adopted person is deceased, or the adoptive parent or guardian of a minor adopted person, may request the approved agency or intermediary that placed the child for adoption or conducted an investigation pursuant to section 12 of P.L. 1977, c.367 (C.9:3-48) to provide any available nonidentifying family medical history information concerning the adopted person contained in that person's adoption file.

†††† b.††† Upon receipt of a request pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the approved agency or intermediary shall provide the requester with a detailed summary of any available nonidentifying family medical history information concerning the adopted person contained in the person's adoption file.

†††† c.†††† If a person is unable to obtain information under subsection a. of this section because the agency or intermediary is unknown, to accommodate the request for nonidentifying family medical history information concerning the adopted person, the requester may petition the court that granted the adoption to identify the agency or intermediary, if possible.

 

†††† 11.† (New section) The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Children and Families, shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), which shall:

†††† a.†††† establish required information and procedures for the request for nondisclosure and the document of contact preference;

†††† b.††† establish required information and procedures for the family history form and the form to update family history information; and

†††† c.†††† establish a nominal fee for services provided under this act, to meet the costs of implementing this act.

 

†††† 12.† (New section) Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to the contrary, the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall adopt, immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law, such regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to implement the provisions of this act, which regulations shall be effective for a period not to exceed 12 months and shall, thereafter, be amended, adopted, or readopted by the commissioner in accordance with the requirements of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

 

†††† 13.† This act shall take effect immediately; except that sections 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 shall take effect, and section 10 shall expire, beginning on the 13th month following the date of the adoption of regulations providing for nondisclosures as provided in section 2 of this act.† The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services may take such administrative action in advance of the effective date as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill provides adult adopted persons, their adult descendants, and adoptive parents and guardians of minors access to an adopted person's original birth certificate and other related documents, with certain restrictions to protect birth parentsí privacy.

†††† The bill amends N.J.S.A.26:8-40.1 to permit an adopted person 18 years of age or older, a direct descendant 18 years of age or older of a deceased adopted person, or the adoptive parent or guardian of an adopted minor to obtain an uncertified, long-form copy of the adopted person's original birth certificate, upon submission of a written, notarized request to the State Registrar.† Under current law, the only way to obtain an adopted personís original birth certificate is by court order.

†††† N.J.S.A.26:8-40.1 is also amended to eliminate language that allows a court to replace the childís place of birth on the birth certificate with that of the adopting parentsí residence.† In the case of a foundling, the bill requires the court to designate the date and place of birth.† In addition, N.J.S.A.26:8-40.1 is amended to update references to birth certificates involving foreign adoptions, and to direct local registrars of vital statistics to forward the original certificate of birth to the State Registrar when a new one is made.

†††† Access to the original, long-form copy of an adopted person's birth certificate will begin on the thirteenth month after the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) adopts regulations to implement the bill.† The delayed effective date will provide birth parents of persons adopted prior to the date of enactment with a one-time, 12-month period, beginning on the date DHSS adopts its regulations, during which they may submit to the State Registrar a written, notarized request for nondisclosure or make such a request to the State Registrar in person.† The request for nondisclosure would prohibit the State Registrar from providing the birth parent's name and home address, as recorded on the birth certificate, to the adult adopted person or other persons authorized to request the birth certificate.† The State Registrar shall acknowledge receipt of the request for nondisclosure and shall enclose with the receipt a family history form requesting medical, cultural, and social history regarding the birth parent.† The State Registrar shall require the birth parent to complete the form to the best of the parent's knowledge and return it to the State Registrar within 60 days.† The birth parent may update the family history form as necessary. (The family history information will be provided to the adopted person when the person requests a copy of his birth certificate.)† Failure of a birth parent to complete the form and return it within 60 days, upon requesting nondisclosure, shall nullify the birth parent's request for nondisclosure.

†††† At any time following the request for nondisclosure, the birth parent may rescind the request and the State Registrar shall provide the identifying information concerning the birth parent to the adopted person or other authorized person, upon request.† The State Registrar shall maintain a file of completed requests for nondisclosure or any rescissions thereof, and family history information submitted by birth parents.† Upon request for an original certificate, the State Registrar shall determine whether a request for nondisclosure (or rescission) and any family history information regarding the adopted person are on file, and shall match such documents with the adopted person's original certificate of birth file.† If a match exists, the request for nondisclosure or rescission, and any family history information shall be retained in the adopted personís original certificate of birth file.

†††† In the case of a child who was surrendered pursuant to the ďNew Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act,Ē the State Registrar shall deem that the birth parent requested nondisclosure and shall not provide the birth parent's name or home address, if recorded on the child's birth certificate. †The Division of Youth and Family Service (DYFS) in the Department of Children and Families is directed to notify the State Registrar when a child is surrendered pursuant to that law to enable the Registrar to identify the certificate of birth in order to deem that the birth parent requested nondisclosure.

†††† If a birth parent has submitted a request for nondisclosure, the State Registrar shall delete identifying information of the birth parent from the uncertified, long form copy of the original certificate of birth and the family history form submitted by the birth parent, and provide both to the requester.

†††† In the case of birth parents who do not request nondisclosure or whose child was adopted after the bill's enactment, the bill provides an opportunity for these birth parents to indicate their preference concerning contact with the adopted person, by filing with the State Registrar a document indicating whether the parent prefers direct contact with the adopted person, contact through the use of an intermediary, or no contact. The birth parent may change his preference at any time by submitting a revised document of contact preference to the State Registrar.

†††† Further, the bill provides that when a birth parent submits a document of contact preference to the State Registrar, the birth parent shall be required to also submit family history information.† The birth parent whose preference is no contact will be encouraged to update the family history information every 10 years until the birth parent reaches the age of 40, and every five years thereafter.† In order to ensure that an adopted person gains access to this family history information, the State Registrar, upon receiving a request for an original long-form birth certificate, would provide the requester with information regarding the birth parent's preference for contact, as well as any family history information that has been submitted to the State† Registrar by the birth parent, including any updated information submitted; the bill authorizes the State Registrar to establish a system to inform authorized requesters in the event that new information is added to an adopted personís certificate of birth file.†

†††† During the first 12 months after the adoption by DHSS of regulations when parents who wish to maintain their privacy have the opportunity to request nondisclosure, adopted persons 18 years of age or older, direct descendants 18 years of age or older of an adopted person if the adopted person is deceased, and adoptive parents or guardians of adopted minors, may request that the approved agency that placed the child for adoption or conducted an investigation provide any available nonidentifying family medical history information concerning the adopted person contained in that person's adoption file.† Upon receipt of such a request, the approved agency or intermediary shall provide the requester with a detailed summary of any available nonidentifying family medical history information in the person's adoption file.† If the requester is unable to obtain this information because the agency or intermediary is unknown, the requester may petition the court that granted the adoption to identify the agency or intermediary, if possible.

†††† The bill recognizes that family history information, which includes medical, cultural and social history information about an adopted person's birth parent, is important for an adopted person's medical concerns and emotional health.† Therefore, the bill also provides that an adult adopted person or other authorized requester, upon submission of a written request to the adoption agency or intermediary who facilitated the adoption, may obtain any existing family history information concerning the adopted person.† However, prior to providing any identifying information about a birth parent or the parent's family, the agency or intermediary, as applicable, shall contact the State Registrar to receive written notification if the birth parent has submitted a request for nondisclosure.† If such a request has been submitted, the agency or intermediary shall not disclose any identifying information about the birth parent or the parent's family.† The substitute also authorizes an adopted person who was under the custody of DYFS at the time of the person's adoption, to request from the director of DYFS a statement, based on DYFS' case file, that summarizes the circumstances under which parental rights for the child were terminated.

†††† The bill directs the State Registrar, through DHSS, to prepare information regarding counseling resources and the use of an intermediary for the purpose of enabling an adopted person to make contact with a birth parent, and to provide this information to any person requesting the original long-form birth certificate or a copy of the document of contact preference, as well as make it available on the department's official website.

†††† The bill provides that a person, firm, partnership, corporation, association or agency that placed a child for adoption shall not be liable in any civil or criminal action for damages resulting from information provided by the State Registrar pursuant to this bill.† In addition, immunity is provided to an employee, agent or officer of DHSS who is authorized by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to disclose information relating to the certification of birth.† The immunity would apply to disclosure of information and any error or inaccuracy in the information that is disclosed, after receipt of a written, notarized request submitted in accordance with this bill.

†††† The bill requires the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Children and Families, to provide to the Legislature, and make available to the public, a report on the development and administration of these initiatives.† The report shall include statistical, nonidentifying data regarding:

†††† --† the number of uncertified, long-form copies of original birth certificates provided;

†††† -- the number of requests for nondisclosure;

†††† --† the number of requests submitted by birth parents, through the† document of contact preference, for direct contact, contact by an intermediary and no contact; and

†††† --† the number of family history forms submitted by birth parents.

†††† The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Children and Families, is authorized to adopt rules and regulations establishing:

†††† -- the required information and procedures for the request for nondisclosure and the document of contact preference;

†††† --† the required information and procedures for the family history form and the form to update family history information; and

†††† --† a nominal fee for services provided under this bill, to meet the costs of implementation.†

†††† To expedite the adoption of regulations, the Commissioner of DHSS is authorized to adopt emergency regulations immediately upon filing the regulations with the Office of Administrative Law.

†††† DHSS is to contract with media outlets throughout the country to produce and distribute national public service messages to increase public awareness of and encourage participation in the initiatives established pursuant to this bill and to inform the public of the procedures for obtaining a long-form copy of an adopted person's birth certificate, requesting nondisclosure, submitting a document of contact preference, and submitting family history information.† In addition, DHSS is to ensure that this information is posted on the Stateís website.

†††† The provisions of the bill which give birth parents 12 months to submit requests for nondisclosure, and those which allow for access to nonidentifying medical information, take effect as soon as DHSS adopts the necessary regulations to implement those provisions.† Thirteen months following the adoption of the regulations, the provisions concerning birth certificate access, document of contact preference and access to family history information from adoption agencies and attorneys take effect.† This will provide† one year after the enactment date in order to provide certain birth parents with the opportunity to request nondisclosure.