H. B. 2234
(By Delegate Doyle)
[Introduced January 12, 2011; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §48-23-503 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to domestic relations; adoptions; and providing a procedure for disclosure of birth parents to an adoptee, when the parties are not registered in the voluntary adoption registry.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §48-23-503 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 23. VOLUNTARY ADOPTION REGISTRY.
§48-23-503. Cases where disclosure of identifying information cannot occur; exception.
(a) In any case where the identity of the birth father was unknown to the birth mother, or where the administrator learns that one or both of the birth parents are deceased, this information shall be shared with the adult adoptee. In these kinds of cases, the adoptee will not be able to obtain identifying information through the registry, and he or she would be told of his or her right to pursue whatever right otherwise exists by law to petition a court to release the identifying information.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, in addition to the disclosure procedures provided in this article, an adoptee who is eighteen years of age or older may petition a court to release the names of the adoptee’s birth parents who are not registered in the voluntary adoption registry. Permission from the birth parents for disclosure of their names is not required for the purposes of this subdivision. The clerk of the court that ordered the adoption shall provide a form for the adoptee to complete and file with the court for release of the names of the birth parents. The form or petition shall contain a statement that the adoptee is not seeking this information in order to seek personal contact with either of the birth parents. No other information relating to the birth parents may be released under this procedure.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a procedure for disclosure of birth parents to an adoptee, when the parties are not registered in the voluntary adoption registry.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.