CHAPTER 481

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 522

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 AND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ADOPTEES' ACCESS TO CERTAIN INFORMATION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Section 3110(b), Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by inserting the following between the first and second sentences of subsection (b) as they appear therein:

"The State Registrar shall, upon receipt of an application, issue a non-certified copy of a vital record, including an original birth certificate, to a registrant who is an adoptee 21 years of age or older."

Section 2. Amend Section 3126(b), Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by deleting from the first sentence of subsection (b) as it appears therein the phrase "which shall be accessible only upon court order".

Section 3. Amend Section 3132(a), Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by inserting the phrase "or non-certified" between the words "certified" and "copy" as they appear therein in the first sentence of subsection (a).

Section 4. Amend Section 921(a), Title 13 of the Delaware Code, by deleting subsection (a) in its entirety as it appears therein and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(a) Upon the entry of a decree of adoption, the Clerk of the Family Court shall forward to the Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Vital Statistics, a report on the form provided for this purpose, which shall include the following information:

(1) prior legal name of the child and its sex;

(2) date and place of birth of the child;

(3) name of the father as stated on the original birth certificate, if stated;

(0) if applicable, that father's primary address and Social Security number,

(1) maiden name of birth mother;

(2) birth mother's primary address and Social Security number;

(3) child's name after adoption;

(4) name of adoptive father, place and date of his birth, and his occupation;

(5) maiden name of adoptive mother, place and date of her birth, and her occupation; and

(6) address of adoptive parents."

Section 5. Amend Section 923, Title 13 of the Delaware Code, by designating the present text thereof as subsection (a), and by adding thereto a new subsection (b) to read:

"(b) Notwithstanding any other provision in the Delaware Code to the contrary, an adoptee 21 years of age or older may obtain a copy of his or her original record of birth from the State Registrar pursuant to 16 Del. C. § 3110(6), even if that record has been impounded. This section shall not apply if the birth parent has, within the most recent 3 year period, filed a written notarized statement with the Department of Health and Social Services Office of Vital Statistics denying the release of any identifying information."

Section 6. Amend Chapter 9, Title 13 of the Delaware Code, by deleting Sections 962, 963, and 965 in their entireties as they appear therein; by redesignating Section 964 as Section 963; and by adding a new Section 962 to read:

"§ 962. Search and reunion services.

(a) An adoptee 21 years of age or older who has obtained a copy of a vital record under 16 ,Del. C. § 3110 may request that a licensed adoption agency assist in locating any of the following:

(1) either or both birth parents;

(2) if a birth parent is deceased, siblings (full or hall) oldie birth parent;

(3) birth siblings (full or half) of the adoptee.

(b) When a licensed adoption agency locates an individual sought by an adoptee 21 years of age or older, the agency will advise the located individual of the right to make a no-contact declaration. If a no-contact declaration is made either verbally to a licensed adoption worker or in a writing filed with the agency, the agency will so advise the adoptee and no further assistance will be provided. If a no-contact declaration is not expressed, the agency shall immediately advise the searching adoptee of the located individual's current name, address, and telephone number.

(c) If requested, the agency shall provide counseling or intermediary services, or both, to the searching adoptee or the located individual, or to both."

Section 7. This Act shall become effective 6 months after enactment into law.

Approved July 18, 1998