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Substitute House Bill No. 5808

Public Act No. 08-66

AN ACT CONCERNING SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS ON VITAL RECORDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 7-48 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2008):

(a) Not later than ten days after each live birth which occurs in this state, a birth certificate shall be filed with the registrar of vital statistics in the town in which the birth occurred and the certificate shall be registered if properly filed, by manual or electronic systems as prescribed by the commissioner. On and after January 1, 1994, each hospital with two hundred or more live births in calendar year 1990, or any subsequent calendar year, shall electronically transmit birth information data to the department in a computer format approved by the department. Each birth certificate shall contain such information as the department may require and shall be completed in its entirety. [Medical] The Social Security number of the mother and father and health information which is required by the department, including information regarding voluntary acknowledgments of paternity and whether the child was born out of wedlock, shall be recorded on a confidential portion of the certificate to be sent directly to the department. Such confidential records may be used for statistical and health purposes by the department or by a local director of health, as authorized by the department, for records related to the town served by the local director of health and where the mother was a resident at the time of the birth of the child. Such birth certificate and confidential records may be used internally by the hospital for records transmitted by the hospital for statistical, health and quality assurance purposes. The department shall give due consideration to national uniformity in vital statistics in prescribing the format and content of such certificate.

(b) When a birth occurs in an institution or en route thereto, the person in charge of the institution or such person's designated representative shall obtain all available data required by the certificate, prepare the certificate, certify that the child was born alive at the place and time and on the date stated either by signature or by an electronic process approved by the commissioner and file the certificate with the registrar of vital statistics in the town in which the birth occurred, not later than ten days after such birth. The physician or other person in attendance, and the physician, institution or other person providing prenatal care, shall provide the medical information required by the certificate not later than seventy-two hours after the birth.

(c) When a birth occurs outside an institution, the certificate shall be prepared and filed by the physician or midwife in attendance at or immediately after the birth or, in the absence of such a person, by the father or mother.

(d) When a birth occurs in a moving conveyance and the child is first removed from the conveyance in this state, the birth shall be registered in this state and the place where the child is first removed shall be considered the place of birth.

Sec. 2. Section 7-51 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2008):

(a) The department and registrars of vital records shall restrict access to and issuance of a certified copy of birth and fetal death records and certificates less than one hundred years old, to the following eligible parties: (1) The person whose birth is recorded, if over eighteen years of age; (2) such person's children, grandchildren, spouse, parent, guardian or grandparent; (3) the chief executive officer of the municipality where the birth or fetal death occurred, or the chief executive officer's authorized agent; (4) the local director of health for the town or city where the birth or fetal death occurred or where the mother was a resident at the time of the birth or fetal death, or the director's authorized agent; (5) attorneys-at-law and title examiners representing such person or such person's parent, guardian, child or surviving spouse; (6) members of genealogical societies incorporated or authorized by the Secretary of the State to do business or conduct affairs in this state; (7) agents of a state or federal agency as approved by the department; and (8) researchers approved by the department pursuant to section 19a-25. Except as provided in section 19a-42a, access to confidential files on paternity, adoption, gender change or gestational agreements, or information contained within such files, shall not be released to any party, including the eligible parties listed in this subsection, except upon an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) No person other than the eligible parties listed in subsection (a) of this section shall be entitled to examine or receive a copy of any birth or fetal death certificate, record or information, or disclose any matter contained therein, except upon written order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit disclosure of (1) Social Security numbers, (2) information contained in the "information for medical and health use only" section of a birth certificate, or (3) the "information for statistical purposes only" section of a birth certificate, other than the [Social Security numbers,] race and ethnicity information of the parent or parents recorded in the "administrative purposes" section of an electronically filed birth or fetal death certificate or displayed on a manually filed birth or fetal death certificate, unless specifically authorized by state or federal law or by the department for statistical or research purposes. Such confidential information, other than the excluded information set forth in this subsection, shall not be subject to subpoena or court order and shall not be admissible before any court or other tribunal.

(c) The registrar of the town in which the birth or fetal death occurred or of the town in which the mother resided at the time of the birth or fetal death, or the department, may issue a certified copy of the certificate of birth or fetal death of any person born in this state which is kept in paper form in the custody of the registrar. Such certificate shall be issued upon the written request of an eligible party listed in subsection (a) of this section. Any registrar of vital statistics in this state with access, as authorized by the department, to the electronic vital records system of the department may issue a certified copy of the electronically filed certificate of birth or fetal death of any person born in this state upon the written request of an eligible party listed in subsection (a) of this section.

(d) The department and each registrar of vital statistics shall issue only certified copies of birth certificates or fetal death certificates for births or fetal deaths occurring less than one hundred years prior to the date of the request.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 7-50 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2008):

(a) No certificate of birth shall contain any specific statement that the child was born in or out of wedlock or reference to illegitimacy of the child or to the marital status of the mother, except that information on whether the child was born in or out of wedlock and the marital status of the mother shall be recorded on a confidential portion of the certificate pursuant to section 7-48, as amended by this act. Upon the completion of an acknowledgment of paternity at a hospital, concurrent with the hospital's electronic transmission of birth data to the department, or at a town in the case of a home birth, concurrent with the registration of the birth data by the town, the acknowledgment shall be filed in the paternity registry maintained by the department, as required by section 19a-42a, and the name of the father of a child born out of wedlock shall be entered in or upon the birth certificate or birth record of such child. All properly completed post birth acknowledgments or certified adjudications of paternity received by the department shall be filed in the paternity registry maintained by the department, and the name of the father of the child born out of wedlock shall be entered in or upon the birth record or certificate of such child by the department, if there is no paternity already recorded on the birth certificate. If another father's information is recorded on the certificate, the original father's information shall not be removed except upon receipt by the department of a certified order by a court of competent jurisdiction in which there is a finding that the individual recorded on the birth certificate, specifically referenced by name, is not the child's father, or a finding that a different individual than the one recorded, specifically referenced by name, is the child's father. The name of the father on a birth certificate or birth record shall otherwise be removed or changed only upon the filing of a rescission in such registry, as provided in section 19a-42a. The Social Security number of the father of a child born out of wedlock may be entered in or upon the birth certificate or birth record of such child if such [disclosure] entry is done in accordance with section 7-48, as amended by this act, and 5 USC 552a note.

Sec. 4. Section 7-51a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2008):

(a) Any person eighteen years of age or older may purchase certified copies of marriage and death records, and certified copies of records of births or fetal deaths which are at least one hundred years old, in the custody of any registrar of vital statistics. The department may issue uncertified copies of death certificates for deaths occurring less than one hundred years ago, and uncertified copies of birth, marriage, death and fetal death certificates for births, marriages, deaths and fetal deaths that occurred at least one hundred years ago, to researchers approved by the department pursuant to section 19a-25, and to state and federal agencies approved by the department. During all normal business hours, members of genealogical societies incorporated or authorized by the Secretary of the State to do business or conduct affairs in this state shall (1) have full access to all vital records in the custody of any registrar of vital statistics, including certificates, ledgers, record books, card files, indexes and database printouts, except for those records containing Social Security numbers protected pursuant to 42 USC 405 (c)(2)(C), and confidential files on adoptions, gender change, gestational agreements and paternity, (2) be permitted to make notes from such records, (3) be permitted to purchase certified copies of such records, and (4) be permitted to incorporate statistics derived from such records in the publications of such genealogical societies. For all vital records containing Social Security numbers that are protected from disclosure pursuant to federal law, the Social Security numbers contained on such records shall be redacted from any certified copy of such records issued to a genealogist by a registrar of vital statistics.

(b) For marriage and civil union licenses, the Social Security numbers of the [bride and the groom] parties to the marriage or civil union shall be recorded in the "administrative purposes" section of the marriage or civil union license and the application for such license. All [parties] persons specified on the license, including the [bride, groom] parties to the marriage or civil union, officiator [of the marriage] and [town clerk or] local registrar [, or other persons, as authorized by the commissioner,] shall have access to the Social Security numbers specified on the marriage or civil union license and the application for such license for the purpose of processing the license. Only the parties to a marriage or civil union may receive a certified copy of a marriage or civil union license with the Social Security numbers included on the license. Any other individual, researcher or state or federal agency requesting a certified or uncertified copy of any marriage or civil union license in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be provided such copy with such Social Security numbers removed or redacted, or with the "administrative purposes" section omitted.

(c) For deaths occurring after December 31, 2001, the Social Security number, occupation, business or industry, race, Hispanic origin if applicable, and educational level of the deceased person, if known, shall be recorded in the "administrative purposes" section of the death certificate. All parties specified on the certificate, including the informant, licensed funeral director, licensed embalmer, conservator, surviving spouse, physician and town clerk, [or other persons, as authorized by the commissioner,] shall have access to the Social Security numbers of the decedent as well as other information contained in the "administrative purposes" section specified on [both] the original death certificate [and a certified copy. Any other individual requesting a certified or uncertified copy of any death certificate, for a death occurring after July 1, 1997, shall be provided such copy with the Social Security numbers removed or redacted, or with the "administrative purposes" section omitted] for the purpose of processing the certificate. For any death occurring after July 1, 1997, only the surviving spouse or next of kin may receive a certified copy of a death certificate with the decedent's Social Security number or the complete "administrative purposes" section included on the certificate. Any researcher requesting a death certificate for a death occurring after July 1, 1997, may obtain the information included in the "administrative purposes" section of such certificate, except that the decedent's Social Security number shall be redacted.

(d) The registrar of vital statistics of any town or city in this state that has access to an electronic vital records system, as authorized by the department, may use such system to issue certified copies of birth, death, fetal death or marriage certificates that are electronically filed in such system.

Approved May 12, 2008