2021 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Younger, Jackson (11th)
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 IF 18 YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE ISSUANCE OF A REVISED BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOLLOWING THE ADOPTION; TO AMEND SECTION 93-17-205, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; 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 under subsection (3) of this section 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) * * *
herein to the contrary, either an original or a revised birth certificate may
be issued * * * 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) A person who has been adopted is entitled to a certified copy of the person's original birth certificate if at least eighteen (18) years have passed since the issuance of the revised birth certificate. The copy of the person's original birth certificate shall be clearly marked "cancelled and revised."
SECTION 2. Section 93-17-205, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-17-205. (1) The bureau shall maintain a centralized adoption records file for all adoptions performed in this state after July 1, 2005, which shall contain the following information:
(a) The medical and social history of the birth parents, including information regarding genetically inheritable diseases or illnesses and any similar information furnished by the birth parents about the adoptee's grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters if known;
(b) A report of any medical examination which either birth parent had within one (1) year before the date of the petition for adoption, if available and known;
(c) A report describing the adoptee's prenatal care and medical condition at birth, if available and known;
(d) The medical and social history of the adoptee, including information regarding genetically inheritable diseases or illnesses, and any other relevant medical, social and genetic information if available; and
(e) Forms 100A, 100B (if applicable) and evidence of Interstate Compact for Placement of Children approval (if applicable).
The Administrative Office of Courts shall assist the bureau in the maintenance of its centralized adoption record by compiling the number of finalized adoptions in each chancery court district on a monthly basis, and submitting this information to the bureau. The bureau shall include these statistics in its centralized adoption record. The information in this report shall include the number of adoptions in this state where the adopting parent is a blood relative of the adoptee and the number of adoptions in this state where the adopting parent is not a blood relative of the adoptee. The report shall not include any individual identifying information. This information shall be updated annually and made available to the public upon request for a reasonable fee.
(2) Any birth parent may file with the bureau at any time any relevant supplemental nonidentifying information about the adoptee or the adoptee's birth parents, and the bureau shall maintain this information in the centralized adoption records file.
(3) The bureau shall also maintain as part of the centralized adoption records file the following:
(a) The name, date of birth, social security number (both original and revised, where applicable) and birth certificate (both original and revised) of the adoptee;
(b) The names, current addresses and social security numbers of the adoptee's birth parents, guardian and legal custodian;
(c) Any other available information about the birth parent's identity and location.
(4) Any birth parent may file with the bureau at any time an affidavit authorizing the bureau to provide the adoptee with his or her original birth certificate and with any other available information about the birth parent's identity and location, or an affidavit expressly prohibiting the bureau from providing the adoptee with any information about such birth parent's identity and location, and prohibiting any licensed adoption agency from conducting a search for such birth parent under the terms of Sections 93-17-201 through 93-17-223 without affecting an adoptee who is entitled to a copy of the adoptee's original and cancelled birth certificate under Section 93-17-21(3). An affidavit filed under this section may be revoked at any time by written notification to the bureau from the birth parent.
(5) Counsel for the adoptive parents in the adoption finalization proceeding shall provide the bureau with the information required in subsections (1) and (3) of this section, and he shall also make such information a part of the adoption records of the court in which the final decree of adoption is rendered. This information shall be provided on forms prepared by the bureau.
(6) (a) If an agency receives a report from a physician stating that a birth parent or another child of the birth parent has acquired or may have a genetically transferable disease or illness, the agency shall notify the bureau and the appropriate licensed adoption agency, and the latter agency shall notify the adoptee of the existence of the disease or illness, if he or she is twenty-one (21) years of age or over, or notify the adoptee's guardian, custodian or adoptive parent if the adoptee is under age twenty-one (21).
(b) If an agency receives a report from a physician that an adoptee has acquired or may have a genetically transferable disease or illness, the agency shall notify the bureau and the appropriate licensed agency, and the latter agency shall notify the adoptee's birth parent of the existence of the disease or illness.
(7) Compliance with the provisions of this section may be waived by the court, in its discretion, in any chancery court proceeding in which one or more of the petitioners for adoption is the natural mother or father of the adoptee.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.