Effective date: 7/7/2016
(1) The confidentiality of adoption records, original birth records, and adoption court files is protected by sealing them upon adoption finalization. Persons seeking information from those records will be referred to the Office of Child Welfare, Florida Adoption Reunion Registry for assistance.
Terms Used In Florida Regulations 65C-16.016
- Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
1. The Department, community-based-care (CBC) agency, or other adoption entity shall disclose all available non-identifying information to adoptive parents before the adoption becomes final or upon the adoptive parent’s request.
2. The Department or CBC shall release all available non-identifying information to adult adoptees who were former foster children upon their request after they reach the age of majority.
3. The Department or private adoption entity shall release only non-identifying information to adult adoptees who were placed for adoption through a private adoption.
(b) Identifying information
1. Identifying information shall only be released pursuant to a court order.
2. Prior to releasing identifying information to an adult adoptee who was in foster care, any information that is confidential pursuant to state or federal law must be redacted, such as social security numbers, HIPAA information, reporter information in child protective investigations and information related to domestic violence centers.
a. Final release approval of the redacted record shall be by the Department’s legal counsel or designated reviewer.
b. A log of all redacted information, including the page number where the redaction is located and a brief description of what was redacted, shall be attached to the redacted record when it is provided to the Department’s legal counsel or designated reviewer for final release approval.
c. Redacted records of child protective investigations with the log of all redacted information shall be forwarded to the regional legal counsel for final release approval.
(2) The Department or CBC agency shall retain as confidential all records relating to each child who was adopted through the Department or contracted provider. These confidential records shall be referred to as “Department closed adoption records” and shall be retained in the circuit/region or with the CBC agency until requested by the Department.
(3) The Department, CBC agency, or private adoption entity shall index all closed adoption records by the names of the adoptive parents, and, where available, the files must be cross-referenced by the birth and adoptive names of the minor.
(4) Requests for information from closed adoption records must be made in writing. Written requests for the release of closed adoption records must include the following:
(a) A form of identification from the requestor, such as a photocopy of the requestor’s driver’s license or birth certificate;
(b) The name of the adoptive parents, if known; and,
(c) The birth or adoptive name of the child, if known.
(5) No information will be released by telephone.
(6) In the event that a licensed child-placing agency closes, the agency shall provide all closed adoption records to the Department. Upon receipt of the adoption records, the Department shall assume all further responsibility for the records.
Rulemaking authorized by Florida Statutes § 63.233. Law Implemented 39.00145(1), (2), 63.162(2)-(4), (6) FS. History—New 5-20-91, Amended 4-28-92, 4-19-94, Formerly 10M-8.024, Amended 8-19-03, 11-30-08, 7-7-16.