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     Idaho Statutes

Idaho Statutes are updated to the website July 1 following the legislative session.


39-258.  Adoption of persons born in Idaho — New birth certificate issued to replace original certificate — Procedure — Adoption proceedings not open to inspection with certain exceptions — Duties of the clerks of courts issuing adoption decrees — Duties of state registrar of vital statistics. (1) Whenever a final decree of adoption, issued by an Idaho court, declares a person born in Idaho to be adopted by someone other than his or her natural parents, the court shall require the preparation of a report (denominated as a certificate in accordance with Idaho court rules) of adoption on a form prescribed and furnished by the state registrar. The report shall include such facts as are necessary to locate and identify the certificate of birth of the person adopted; shall provide information necessary to establish a new certificate of birth for the person adopted; and shall identify the order of adoption and be certified by the clerk of the court.
(2)  Information necessary to prepare the report of adoption shall be furnished by each petitioner for adoption or the petitioner’s attorney. The provision of such information shall be prerequisite to the issuance of a final decree in the matter of the court.
(3)  The report of adoption shall, within fifteen (15) days after becoming final, be recorded by the clerk of the court with the bureau of vital records and health statistics in the state department of health and welfare.
(4)  If a court of some other state issued a decree or report of adoption of a person actually born in Idaho, the certified copy or report may be similarly filed by the person involved or by the adoptive parents. Failure to file certified copies or reports of said decrees within said period of time, however, shall not bar issuance of a new birth certificate as hereinafter provided. This copy of said decree or report shall be filed with and remain a part of the records of the bureau of vital records and health statistics.
(5)  Upon receipt by the bureau of vital records and health statistics of the certified report of adoption, a new certificate of birth shall be issued (but only in cases where such person’s birth is already recorded with the bureau of vital records and health statistics) bearing among other things the name of the person adopted, as shown in the report of adoption, except that a new certificate of birth shall not be established if so requested by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents, or the adopted person. No such birth certificate shall have reference to the adoption of said person. Such birth certificate shall supplant and constitute a replacement of any birth certificate previously issued for said person and shall be the only birth certificate open to public inspection.
Provided however, upon good cause shown and the affidavit of the adoptive parents that a diligent search has been made, but no certificate of birth for the adoptive child can be located, the magistrate judge may order the adoptive child examined, at the expense of the adoptive parents, by a doctor of medicine licensed by the state of Idaho. The examination will be conducted pursuant to rules promulgated by the state board of health and welfare for the purpose of determining those matters required for the issuance of an original birth certificate. Upon the examination of the doctor made pursuant to the rules of the state board of health and welfare, the court may order the bureau of vital records and health statistics to issue an original birth certificate for the adoptive child based upon those facts determined by the examination and included in the court’s order. In such case, a certified copy of the court order shall be provided to the bureau of vital records and health statistics.
(6)  In respect to form and nature of contents, such a new birth certificate shall be identical with a birth certificate issued to natural parents for the birth of a child, except that the adoptive parents shall be shown as parents and the adopted person shall have the name assigned by the decree of adoption as shown on the report of adoption. In a case where a single person adopts another person, any new birth certificate may designate the adopting parent as adoptive.
(7)  Whenever an adoption decree is amended, annulled, or rescinded, the clerk of the court shall forward a certified copy of the amendment, annulment, or rescindment to the bureau of vital records and health statistics in accordance with the time provisions in subsection (3) of this section. Unless otherwise directed by the court, the bureau of vital records and health statistics shall amend the certificate of birth upon receipt of a certified copy of an amended decree of adoption. Upon receipt of a certified copy of a decree of annulment or rescindment of adoption, the original certificate of birth shall be restored to its place in the files and the new certificate and evidence shall not be subject to inspection except upon order of a court of record of this state.
(8)  All records and information specified in this section, other than a new birth certificate issued hereunder, and all records, files, and information of any court in this state relating to adoption proceedings shall not be open to inspection except as provided in section 39-259A, Idaho Code, or upon the order of a court of record of this state; provided however, that the provisions of section 16-1616, Idaho Code, to the contrary notwithstanding, any magistrate judge may furnish a certified copy of a decree of adoption to any duly authorized agency of the United States or the state of Idaho without procuring any prior court order therefor.
(9)  For adoptions that occur on or after July 1, 2022, the provisions of this section shall apply, except that:
(a)  The natural or adoptive parentage of each parent shall be demonstrated as determined by the registrar on the face of a new birth certificate described in subsection (6) of this section; and
(b)  A copy of the original birth certificate, all medical and demographic information contained in the sealed file, and the report of adoption must be provided upon the signed request, on a form prescribed by the registrar, of the adoptee who is named on the birth certificate or such adoptee’s legal representative, provided that:
(i)   The adoptee must be eighteen (18) years or older;
(ii)  The documents referenced in this paragraph will be released to the adult adoptee upon completion of the voluntary adoption registration process. In the event of a match on the voluntary adoption registry, a minimum thirty (30) day waiting period will apply, during which time a registered birth parent may:
1.  Indicate a preferred method of contact, which method will be communicated to the adoptee at the time the documents are released;
2.  Request no contact, which request will be communicated to the adoptee at the time the documents are released; or
3.  Request that the registered birth parent’s name be redacted before records are released, which request shall be effective for five (5) years. After the five (5) years have elapsed, the adoptee may again request documents according to this paragraph, and all provisions of this paragraph shall apply; and
(iii) The bureau of vital records and health statistics is not obligated to provide court records to the adoptee under the provisions of this paragraph.

[(39-258) 39-218, as replaced by 1959, ch. 104, sec. 1, p. 221; am. 1965, ch. 208, sec. 1, p. 477; am. 1974, ch. 23, sec. 60, p. 633; am. and redesignated 1983, ch. 7, sec. 18, p. 32; am. 1985, ch. 59, sec. 2, p. 114; am. 2005, ch. 391, sec. 53, p. 1309; am. 2012, ch. 20, sec. 21, p. 71; am. 2022, ch. 282, sec. 1, p. 893.]

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