2018 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Watson (By Request)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 93-17-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT AN ADOPTEE MAY OBTAIN A COPY OF THE ADOPTEE'S ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE ONCE 40 YEARS HAS PASSED SINCE THE ISSUANCE OF A REVISED BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOLLOWING THE ADOPTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 93-17-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-17-21. (1) A certified copy of the final decree shall be furnished to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, together with a certificate signed by the clerk giving the true or original name and the place and date of birth of the child. The said bureau shall prepare a revised birth certificate which shall contain the original date of birth, with the place of birth being shown as the residence of the adoptive parents at the time the child was born, but with the names of the adopting parents and the new name of the child. In all other particulars, the certificate shall show the true facts of birth. The fact that a revised birth certificate is issued shall be indicated only by code numbers or some letter inconspicuously placed on the face of the certificate. The word "revised" shall not appear thereon. However, in the event an unmarried adult shall be the adopting parent, then such birth certificate may show thereon, upon order of the chancellor as set forth in the decree of adoption, that same is a revised birth certificate, giving the court where said decree was issued and the date of such decree. The original birth certificate shall be removed and placed, with reference made to the decree of adoption, in a safely locked drawer or vault, and the same shall not be public records and shall not be divulged except upon the order of the court rendering the said final decree or pursuant to Sections 93-17-201 through 93-17-223, and for all purposes the revised certificate shall be and become the birth certificate of the child. However, the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the State of Mississippi shall be required to prepare and register revised certificates only for births which occurred in the State of Mississippi as shown either by the court decree or by the original birth record on file in the bureau; but if the birth occurred in some other state, then the Director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the State of Mississippi shall be required to furnish to the attorney or other person representing the adopted child the name and address of the proper official in the state where the child was born, to whom the adoption decree and other information may be referred for appropriate action, and shall furnish to such attorney the certified copy of the decree and the certificate furnished by the clerk.
(2) Provided, however, notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, either an original or a revised birth certificate may be issued, as hereinafter provided, by the Bureau of Vital Statistics to any child who was born outside the United States or its possessions and adopted, either heretofore or hereafter, by an order of a court in this state. Upon presentation of a certified copy of the final decree of adoption containing the required information, the Director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics shall be authorized and directed to receive said certified copy of the decree of adoption and prepare therefrom, and record, a birth certificate which shall disclose the following information: The name of the child (being the adopted name), race, sex, date of birth, place of birth (being the actual town, district and county of said child's birth, except where the child is born in a penal or mental institution where the name of the county shall be sufficient), names, race, ages, places of birth and occupation of parents (being the adoptive parents) including the maiden name of the adoptive mother. Such certificate shall comport in appearance and indicia with the foregoing requirements for a "revised" certificate issued to a child born in this state. The Director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics shall be authorized and directed to issue certified copies thereof, the same as if the birth certificate were that of a child who had never been adopted.
(3) Provided, however, notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, a person is entitled to a certified copy of the person's original birth certificate that is clearly marked "cancelled and revised" forty (40) years following an adoption after which a revised birth certificate, as provided in this section, was issued.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2018.