Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 13. ADOPTION [8500 - 9340]

  ( Division 13 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 2. ADOPTION OF UNMARRIED MINORS [8600 - 9213]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

CHAPTER 7. Disclosure of Information [9200 - 9209]
  ( Chapter 7 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

9200.
  

(a) The petition, relinquishment or consent, agreement, order, report to the court from any investigating agency, and any power of attorney and deposition filed in the office of the clerk of the court pursuant to this part is not open to inspection by any person other than the parties to the proceeding and their attorneys and the department, except upon the written authority of the judge of the superior court. A judge of the superior court may not authorize anyone to inspect the petition, relinquishment or consent, agreement, order, report to the court from any investigating agency, or power of attorney or deposition or any portion of any of these documents, except in exceptional circumstances and for good cause approaching the necessitous. The petitioner may be required to pay the expenses for preparing the copies of the documents to be inspected.

(b) Upon written request of any party to the proceeding and upon the order of any judge of the superior court, the clerk of the court shall not provide any documents referred to in this section for inspection or copying to any other person, unless the name of the child’s birth parents or any information tending to identify the child’s birth parents is deleted from the documents or copies thereof.

(c) Upon the request of the adoptive parents or the child, a clerk of the court may issue a certificate of adoption that states the date and place of adoption, the child’s birth date, the names of the adoptive parents, and the name the child has taken. Unless the child has been adopted by a stepparent, the certificate shall not state the name of the child’s birth parents.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 114. Effective January 1, 2003.)

9201.
  

(a) Except as otherwise permitted or required by statute, neither the department nor a licensed adoption agency shall release information that would identify persons who receive, or have received, adoption services.

(b) Employees of the department and licensed adoption agencies shall release to the department at Sacramento any requested information, including identifying information, for the purposes of recordkeeping and monitoring, evaluation, and regulation of the provision of adoption services.

(c) Prior to the placement of a child for adoption, the department or licensed adoption agency may, upon the written request of both a birth and a prospective adoptive parent, arrange for contact between these birth and prospective adoptive parents that may include the sharing of identifying information regarding these parents.

(d) The department and any licensed adoption agency may, upon written authorization for the release of specified information by the subject of that information, share information regarding a prospective adoptive parent or birth parent with other social service agencies, including the department, other licensed adoption agencies, counties or licensed foster family agencies for purposes of approving a resource family pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (p) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or providers of health care as defined in Section 56.05 of the Civil Code.

(e) Notwithstanding any other law, the department and any licensed adoption agency may furnish information relating to an adoption petition or to a child in the custody of the department or any licensed adoption agency to the juvenile court, county welfare department, public welfare agency, private welfare agency licensed by the department, provider of foster care services, potential adoptive parent, or provider of health care as defined in Section 56.05 of the Civil Code, if it is believed the child’s welfare will be promoted thereby.

(f) The department and any licensed adoption agency may make adoption case records, including identifying information, available for research purposes, provided that the research will not result in the disclosure of the identity of the child or the parties to the adoption to anyone other than the entity conducting the research.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 612, Sec. 11. (AB 1997) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9202.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the department or licensed adoption agency that made a medical report required by Section 8706, 8817, or 8909 shall provide a copy of the medical report, in the manner the department prescribes by regulation, to any of the following persons upon the person’s request:

(1) A person who has been adopted pursuant to this part and who has attained the age of 18 years or who presents a certified copy of the person’s marriage certificate.

(2) The adoptive parent of a person under the age of 18 years who has been adopted pursuant to this part.

(b) A person who is denied access to a medical report pursuant to regulations adopted pursuant to this section may petition the court for review of the reasonableness of the department’s or licensed adoption agency’s decision.

(c) The names and addresses of any persons contained in the report shall be removed unless the person requesting the report has previously received the information.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 910, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2001.)

9202.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the laboratory that is storing a blood sample pursuant to Section 8706, 8817, or 8909 shall provide access to the blood sample to only the following persons upon the person’s request:

(1) A person who has been adopted pursuant to this part.

(2) The adoptive parent of a person under the age of 18 years who has been adopted pursuant to this part. The adoptive parent may receive access to the blood sample only after entry of the order of adoption.

(b) The birth parent or parents shall be given access to any DNA test results related to the blood sample on request.

(c) Except as provided in subdivision (b), no person other than the adoptive parent and the adopted child shall have access to the blood sample or any DNA test results related to the blood sample, unless the adoptive parent or the child authorizes another person or entity to have that access.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1053, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1997.)

9203.
  

(a) The department or a licensed adoption agency shall do the following:

(1) Upon the request of a person who has been adopted pursuant to this part and who has attained the age of 21 years, disclose the identity of the person’s birth parent or parents and their most current address shown in the records of the department or licensed adoption agency, if the birth parent or parents have indicated consent to the disclosure in writing.

(2) Upon the request of the birth parent of a person who has been adopted pursuant to this part and who has attained the age of 21 years, disclose the adopted name of the adoptee and the adoptee’s most current address shown in the records of the department or licensed adoption agency, if the adult adoptee has indicated in writing, pursuant to the registration program developed by the department, that the adult adoptee wishes the adult adoptee’s name and address to be disclosed.

(3) Upon the request of the adoptive parent of a person under the age of 21 years who has been adopted pursuant to this part, disclose the identity of a birth parent and the birth parent’s most current address shown in the records of the department or licensed adoption agency if the department or licensed adoption agency finds that a medical necessity or other extraordinary circumstances justify the disclosure.

(b) The department shall prescribe the form of the request required by this section. The form shall provide for an affidavit to be executed by the requester that to the best of the requester’s knowledge the requester is an adoptee, the adoptee’s birth parent, or the adoptee’s adoptive parent. The department may adopt regulations requiring any additional means of identification from a requester that it deems necessary. The request shall advise an adoptee that if the adoptee consents, the adoptee’s adoptive parents will be notified of the filing of the request before the release of the name and address of the adoptee’s birth parent.

(c) Subdivision (a) is not applicable if a birth parent or an adoptee has indicated that he or she does not wish his or her name or address to be disclosed.

(d) Within 20 working days of receipt of a request for information pursuant to this section, the department shall either respond to the request or forward the request to a licensed adoption agency that was a party to the adoption.

(e) Notwithstanding any other law, the department shall announce the availability of the present method of arranging contact among an adult adoptee, the adult adoptee’s birth parents, and adoptive parents authorized by Section 9204 utilizing a means of communication appropriate to inform the public effectively.

(f) The department or licensed adoption agency may charge a reasonable fee in an amount the department establishes by regulation to cover the costs of processing requests for information made pursuant to subdivision (a). The department or licensed adoption agency shall waive fees authorized by this section for any person who is receiving public assistance pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 11000) of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. The revenue resulting from the fees so charged shall be utilized by the department or licensed adoption agency to increase existing staff as needed to process these requests. Fees received by the department shall be deposited in the Adoption Information Fund. This revenue shall be in addition to any other funds appropriated in support of the state adoption program.

(g) This section applies only to adoptions in which the relinquishment for or consent to adoption was signed or the birth parent’s rights were involuntarily terminated by court action on or after January 1, 1984.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 910, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2001.)

9203.1.
  

(a) The department or a licensed adoption agency shall, upon the request of a prospective adoptive parent, disclose an adoption homestudy and any updates to an adoption homestudy to a county or licensed foster family agency for the purpose of approving the prospective adoptive parent as a resource family pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (p) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(b) The department shall prescribe the form of the request described in subdivision (a).

(c) The department or a licensed adoption agency shall respond to a request made pursuant to subdivision (a) within 20 working days of receiving it.

(d) The department or a licensed adoption agency may charge a fee to cover the reasonable costs of processing requests made pursuant to subdivision (a). The department or a licensed adoption agency shall waive fees authorized by this subdivision for any person who is receiving public assistance pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 11000) of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 612, Sec. 12. (AB 1997) Effective January 1, 2017.)

9204.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, if an adult adoptee and the adult adoptee’s birth parents have each filed a written consent with the department or licensed adoption agency, the department or licensed adoption agency may arrange for contact between those persons. Neither the department nor a licensed adoption agency may solicit, directly or indirectly, the execution of a written consent.

(b) The written consent authorized by this section shall be in a form prescribed by the department.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

9205.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency that joined in the adoption petition shall release the names and addresses of siblings to one another if both of the siblings have attained 18 years of age and have filed the following with the department or agency:

(1) A current address.

(2) A written request for contact with any sibling whose existence is known to the person making the request.

(3) A written waiver of the person’s rights with respect to the disclosure of the person’s name and address to the sibling, if the person is an adoptee.

(b) Upon inquiry and proof that a person is the sibling of an adoptee who has filed a waiver pursuant to this section, the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency may advise the sibling that a waiver has been filed by the adoptee. The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency may charge a reasonable fee, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50), for providing the service required by this section.

(c) An adoptee may revoke a waiver filed pursuant to this section by giving written notice of revocation to the department or agency.

(d) The department shall adopt a form for the request authorized by this section. The form shall provide for an affidavit to be executed by a person seeking to employ the procedure provided by this section that, to the best of the person’s knowledge, the person is an adoptee or sibling of an adoptee. The form also shall contain a notice of an adoptee’s rights pursuant to subdivision (c) and a statement that information will be disclosed only if there is a currently valid waiver on file with the department or agency. The department may adopt regulations requiring any additional means of identification from a person making a request pursuant to this section as it deems necessary.

(e) The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency may not solicit the execution of a waiver authorized by this section. However, the department shall announce the availability of the procedure authorized by this section, utilizing a means of communication appropriate to inform the public effectively.

(f) Notwithstanding the age requirement described in subdivision (a), an adoptee or sibling who is under 18 years of age may file a written waiver of confidentiality for the release of his or her name, address, and telephone number pursuant to this section provided that, if an adoptee, the adoptive parent consents, and, if a sibling, the sibling’s legal parent or guardian consents. If the sibling is under the jurisdiction of the dependency court and has no legal parent or guardian able or available to provide consent, the dependency court may provide that consent.

(g) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (e), an adoptee or sibling who seeks contact with the other for whom no waiver is on file may petition the court to appoint a confidential intermediary. If the sibling being sought is the adoptee, the intermediary shall be the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency that provided adoption services as described in Section 8521 or 8533. If the sibling being sought was formerly under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, but is not an adoptee, the intermediary shall be the department, the county child welfare agency that provided services to the dependent child, or the licensed adoption agency that provided adoption services to the sibling seeking contact, as appropriate. If the court finds that the agency that conducted the adoptee’s adoption is unable, due to economic hardship, to serve as the intermediary, then the agency shall provide all records related to the adoptee or the sibling to the court and the court shall appoint an alternate confidential intermediary. The court shall grant the petition unless it finds that it would be detrimental to the adoptee or sibling with whom contact is sought. The intermediary shall have access to all records of the adoptee or the sibling and shall make all reasonable efforts to locate and attempt to obtain the consent of the adoptee, sibling, or adoptive or birth parent, as required to make the disclosure authorized by this section. The confidential intermediary shall notify any located adoptee, sibling, or adoptive or birth parent that consent is optional, not required by law, and does not affect the status of the adoption. If that individual denies the request for consent, the confidential intermediary shall not make any further attempts to obtain consent. The confidential intermediary shall use information found in the records of the adoptee or the sibling for authorized purposes only, and may not disclose that information without authorization. If contact is sought with an adoptee or sibling who is under 18 years of age, the confidential intermediary shall contact and obtain the consent of that child’s legal parent before contacting the child. If the sibling is under 18 years of age, under the jurisdiction of the dependency court, and has no legal parent or guardian able or available to provide consent, the intermediary shall obtain that consent from the dependency court. If the adoptee is seeking information regarding a sibling who is known to be a dependent child of the juvenile court, the procedures set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 388 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be utilized. If the adoptee is foreign born and was the subject of an intercountry adoption as defined in Section 8527, the adoption agency may fulfill the reasonable efforts requirement by utilizing all information in the agency’s case file, and any information received upon request from the foreign adoption agency that conducted the adoption, if any, to locate and attempt to obtain the consent of the adoptee, sibling, or adoptive or birth parent. If that information is neither in the agency’s case file, nor received from the foreign adoption agency, or if the attempts to locate are unsuccessful, then the agency shall be relieved of any further obligation to search for the adoptee or the sibling.

(h) For purposes of this section, “sibling” means a biological sibling, half-sibling, or step-sibling of the adoptee.

(i) It is the intent of the Legislature that implementation of some or all of the changes made to Section 9205 of the Family Code by Chapter 386 of the Statutes of 2006 shall continue, to the extent possible.

(j) Beginning in the 2011–12 fiscal year, and each fiscal year thereafter, funding and expenditures for programs and activities under this section shall be in accordance with the requirements provided in Sections 30025 and 30026.5 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 36. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

9206.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the department or licensed adoption agency shall release any letters, photographs, or other items of personal property in its possession to an adoptee, birth parent, or adoptive parent, upon written request. The material may be requested by any of the following persons:

(1) The adoptee, if the adoptee has attained the age of 18 years.

(2) The adoptive parent or parents, on behalf of an adoptee under the age of 18 years, as long as instructions to the contrary have not been made by the depositor.

(3) The birth parent or parents.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, all identifying names and addresses shall be deleted from the letters, photographs, or items of personal property before delivery to the requester.

(c) Letters, photographs, and other items of personal property deposited on or after January 1, 1985, shall be accompanied by a release form or similar document signed by the person depositing the material, specifying to whom the material may be released. At its discretion, the department or licensed adoption agency may refuse for deposit items of personal property that, because of value or bulk, would pose storage problems.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), only the following photographs deposited before January 1, 1985, shall be released:

(1) Photographs of the adoptee that have been requested by the adoptee.

(2) Photographs that have been deposited by the adoptee, the adoptive parent or parents, or the birth parent or parents, and for which there is a letter or other document on file indicating that person’s consent to the release of the photographs.

(e) The department and licensed adoption agencies may charge a fee to cover the actual costs of any services required by this section in excess of normal postadoptive services provided by the department or agency. The department shall develop a fee schedule that shall be implemented by the department and licensed adoption agencies in assessing charges to the person who deposits the material or the person to whom the material is released. The fee may be waived by the department or licensed adoption agencies in cases in which it is established that a financial hardship exists.

(f) “Photograph” as used in this section means a photograph of the person depositing the photograph or the person making the request for the release.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

9208.
  

(a) The clerk of the superior court entering a final order of adoption concerning an Indian child shall provide the Secretary of the Interior or his or her designee with a copy of the order within 30 days of the date of the order, together with any information necessary to show the following:

(1) The name and tribal affiliation of the child.

(2) The names and addresses of the biological parents.

(3) The names and addresses of the adoptive parents.

(4) The identity of any agency having files or information relating to that adoptive placement.

(b) If the court records contain an affidavit of the biological parent or parents that their identity remain confidential, the court shall include that affidavit with the other information.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 838, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2007.)

9209.
  

(a) Upon application by an Indian individual who has reached the age of 18 years and who was the subject of an adoptive placement, the court which entered the final decree of adoption shall inform that individual of the tribal affiliation, if any, of the individual’s biological parents and provide any other information as may be necessary to protect any rights flowing from the individual’s tribal relationship, including, but not limited to, tribal membership rights or eligibility for federal or tribal programs or services available to Indians.

(b) If the court records contain an affidavit of the biological parent or parents that their identity remain confidential, the court shall inform the individual that the Secretary of the Interior may, upon request, certify to the individual’s tribe that the individual’s parentage and other circumstances of birth entitle the individual to membership under the criteria established by the tribe.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 838, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2007.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM