Sec. 10. (a) Information contained in a birth record is confidential and may be disclosed only in accordance with this article.

     (b) Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d), the records and files of the division of the state department concerning vital statistics are subject to this article and rules of the state department. Data contained in the records and files may be disclosed only as follows:

Terms Used In Indiana Code 16-37-1-10

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • in writing: include printing, lithographing, or other mode of representing words and letters. See Indiana Code 1-1-4-5
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • Property: includes personal and real property. See Indiana Code 1-1-4-5
(1) The state registrar shall permit inspection of the records or issue a certified copy of a certificate or part of a certificate only if the state registrar is satisfied of the following:

(A) That the applicant has a direct interest in the matter recorded.

(B) That the information is necessary for the determination of personal or property rights or for compliance with state or federal law.

The state registrar’s decision is subject to review by the state department or a court under this section.

(2) The state department may disclose identifiable vital statistics information to a legitimate researcher, if the researcher complies with the following requirements:

(A) The researcher states in writing to the state department the purpose, including:

(i) any intent to publish findings;

(ii) the nature of the data sought;

(iii) the personal information that would be required; and

(iv) the safeguards that will be taken to protect the identity of the data subjects.

(B) The researcher executes an agreement with the state department, on a form approved by the oversight committee on public records established under IC 5-15-5.1-18, that:

(i) incorporates safeguards for protection of individual data subjects;

(ii) defines the scope of the research project; and

(iii) informs the researcher that failure to abide by conditions of the approved agreement constitutes a breach of contract and could result in civil litigation by any data subject.

(C) The researcher agrees to pay any direct or indirect costs of the research.

The state department shall determine whether the proposed safeguards are adequate to prevent the identity of an individual data subject from being known before approving the agreement. Upon execution of an agreement described in this subdivision, the state department shall maintain a copy of the agreement for the duration of the agreement’s effective date.

(3) In any extraordinary case that the state registrar determines is a direct tangible and legitimate public interest.

     (c) Notwithstanding subsection (b)(1) through (b)(3), a certificate of death received by a local health department (as defined in IC 16-18-2-211) or the state department is a public record that, upon request, must be made available for inspection and copying if:

(1) the copy made of the certificate of death is not a certified copy;

(2) any Social Security number that appears on the certificate of death is redacted; and

(3) any charge or fee that is due under section 9, 11, or 11.5 of this chapter is collected.

     (d) The birth record of an adopted child remains subject to the confidentiality provisions of IC 31-19 regarding the release of adoption information.

     (e) The state registrar may deny a request to inspect or copy a record concerning vital statistics that is in the state registrar’s possession if the state registrar has a reasonable suspicion that releasing the record may result in fraud or identity theft.

[Pre-1993 Recodification Citation: 16-1-19-3 part.]

As added by P.L.2-1993, SEC.20. Amended by P.L.1-1997, SEC.91; P.L.257-1997(ss), SEC.29; P.L.1-1999, SEC.45; P.L.171-2015, SEC.43; P.L.138-2019, SEC.6.