POST-ADOPTION DUTIES OF AN ATTORNEY

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

MCA 93-17-205 states in part:

“Counsel for the adoptive parents in the adoption finalization proceeding shall provide [the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the State Board of Health] with the information required in Subsections (1) and (3) of this section, and he shall also make such information a part of the adoption records of the court in which the final decree of adoption is rendered. This information shall be provided on forms prepared by the bureau.”

You can read subsections (1) and (3) for yourself to see what information is required.

The Lauderdale County Chancery Clerk’s office informally estimated for me that less than 10% of lawyers comply with the requirement of filing the information in the court file. I wonder how many file the required forms with the Bureau.

I have been presented with several petitions for disclosure of health information from adoption files, and in none of those files was there any health information other than the required physician’s affidavit.

The purpose of the law, obviously, is to preserve health and geneticc information that may be vital to an adoptee later in life. If you will read the disclosure statutes, you will find that the adoptee may petition the court to disclose certain information where necessary for health, and if that information is not in the file, then the adoptee’s only recourse is to look to the State Board of Health and hope that the attorney did his or her duty vis a vis that agency.

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