AB 2118, as introduced, Ridley-Thomas. Adoption records: confidentiality.
Existing law establishes the confidentiality of adoption records, and provides that these records be available only upon the order of the superior court. Existing law prohibits the court from granting these orders unless a verified petition setting forth facts showing the necessity of the order has been presented to the court and good and compelling cause is shown for the granting of the order. Under existing law, if the petition is by or on behalf of an adopted child who has attained majority, these facts shall be given great weight, but the granting of any petition is solely within the discretion of the court. Existing law also authorizes a party to the adoption to request, and the court to order, that the name of the child’s birth parents or any information tending to identify the child’s birth parents is deleted from the documents prior to the clerk of the court providing the documents for inspection by any person.
This bill would authorize an adopted child to have full and unrestricted access to his or her adoption records in the same manner as a party to the proceeding.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 9200 of the Family Code is amended to
(a) The petition, relinquishment or consent, agreement,
4order, report to the court from any investigating agency, and any
5power of attorney and deposition filed in the office of the clerk of
6the court pursuant to this part is not open to inspection by any
7person other than the parties to the proceeding and their attorneys
8and the department, except upon the written authority of the judge
9of the superior court. A judge of the superior court may not
10authorize anyone to inspect the petition, relinquishment or consent,
11agreement, order, report to the court from any investigating agency,
12or power of attorney or deposition or any portion of any of these
13documents, except in exceptional circumstances and for good cause
14approaching the necessitous. The petitioner may be required to
15pay the expenses for preparing the copies of the documents to be
17(b) Upon written request of any party to the proceeding and
18upon the order of any judge of the superior court, the clerk of the
19court shall not provide any documents referred to in this section
20for inspection or copying to any other person, unless the name of
21the child’s birth parents or any information tending to identify the
22child’s birth parents is deleted from the documents or copies
30 Upon the request of the adoptive parents or the child, a clerk
31of the court may issue a certificate of adoption that states the date
32and place of adoption, the child’s birth date, the names of the
33adoptive parents, and the name the child has taken.
begin delete Unless the , the certificate shall not state the name of the
34child has been adopted by a stepparentend delete
36child’s birth parents.
Section 102705 of the Health and Safety Code is
2amended to read:
All records and information specified in this
4article, other than the newly issued birth certificate, shall be
5available only upon the order of the superior court of the county
6of residence of the adopted child or the superior court of the county
7granting the order of adoption.
9No such order shallend delete
11by the superior court unless a verified petition setting forth facts
12showing the necessity of the order has been presented to the court
13and good and compelling cause is shown for the granting of the
14order. The clerk of the superior court shall send a copy of the
15petition to the State Department of Social Services and the
16department shall send a copy of all records and
17information it has concerning the adopted person with the name
18and address of the natural parents removed
begin delete to the courtend delete. The court
begin delete mustend delete review these records before making an order and the
20order should so state.
begin delete If the petition is by or on behalf of an adopted
21child who has attained majority, these facts shall be given great
22weight, but the granting of any petition is solely within the sound
23discretion of the court.end delete
25 name and address
26of the natural parents shall be given to the petitioner only if he or
27she can demonstrate that the name and address, or either of them,
28are necessary to assist him or her in establishing a legal right.