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Public Act 102-0825


 

Public Act 0825 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 102-0825
 
SB3130 EnrolledLRB102 23089 LNS 32245 b

    AN ACT concerning civil law.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Children and Family Services Act is amended
by changing Section 7.5 as follows:
 
    (20 ILCS 505/7.5)
    Sec. 7.5. Search and reunion services for youth in care
and former youth in care. Notice of post-adoption reunion
services.
    (a) For purposes of this Section, "search and reunion
services" "post-adoption reunion services" means:
        (1) services provided by the Department to facilitate
    contact between adoptees and their siblings when one or
    more is still in the Department's care or adopted
    elsewhere, with the notarized consent of the adoptive
    parents of a minor child, when such contact has been
    established to be necessary to the adoptee's best
    interests and when all involved parties, including the
    adoptive parent of a former youth in care child under 18 21
    years of age, have provided written consent for such
    contact;
        (2) services provided by the Department to facilitate
    contact between current or former youth in care, over the
    age of 18, including, but not limited to, youth who were
    adopted, to facilitate contact with siblings, biological
    relatives, former foster parents, or former foster
    siblings.
    (b) The Department shall provide to all adoptive parents
of children receiving monthly adoption assistance under
subsection (j) of Section 5 of this Act a notice that includes
a description of the Department's post-adoption reunion
services and an explanation of how to access those services.
The notice to adoptive parents shall be provided at least once
per year until such time as the adoption assistance payments
cease.
    (b-5) The Department shall also provide a notice that
includes a description of the Department's search and reunion
services and an explanation of how to access those services to
each person who is a youth in care within 30 days after the
youth's 18th birthday and within 30 days prior to closure of
the youth's case pending under Article II of the Juvenile
Court Act of 1987 if the case is closing after the youth's 18th
birthday. The Department shall work with organizations, such
as the Foster Care Alumni of America Illinois Chapter, that
have contact with foster care alumni, to distribute
information about the Department's search and reunion services
to all youth in care, within 30 days after their 18th birthday,
the notice described in this Section.
    (c) The Department shall adopt a rule regarding the
provision of search and reunion services to youth in care and
former youth in care.
(Source: P.A. 100-159, eff. 8-18-17.)
 
    Section 10. The Adoption Act is amended by changing
Sections 18.3 and 18.3a as follows:
 
    (750 ILCS 50/18.3)  (from Ch. 40, par. 1522.3)
    Sec. 18.3. (a) The agency, Department of Children and
Family Services, Court Supportive Services, Juvenile Division
of the Circuit Court, and any other party to the surrender of a
child for adoption or in an adoption proceeding shall inform
any birth parent or parents relinquishing a child for purposes
of adoption after the effective date of this Act of the
opportunity to register with the Illinois Adoption Registry
and Medical Information Exchange and to utilize the Illinois
confidential intermediary program and shall obtain a written
confirmation that acknowledges the birth parent's receipt of
such information.
    The birth parent shall be informed in writing that if
contact or exchange of identifying information with the adult
adopted or surrendered person is to occur, that adult adopted
or surrendered person must be 21 years of age or over except as
referenced in paragraph (d) of this Section.
    (b) Any birth parent, birth sibling, adopted or
surrendered person, adoptive parent, or legal guardian
indicating their desire to receive identifying or medical
information shall be informed of the existence of the Registry
and assistance shall be given to such person to legally record
his or her name with the Registry.
    (c) The agency, Department of Children and Family
Services, Court Supportive Services, Juvenile Division of the
Circuit Court, and any other organization involved in the
surrender of a child for adoption in an adoption proceeding
which has written statements from an adopted or surrendered
person and the birth parent or a birth sibling indicating a
desire to share identifying information or establish contact
shall supply such information to the mutually consenting
parties, except that no identifying information shall be
supplied to consenting birth siblings if any such sibling is
under 21 years of age. However, both the Registry having an
Information Exchange Authorization and the organization having
a written statement requesting the sharing of identifying
information or contact shall communicate with each other to
determine if the adopted or surrendered person or the birth
parent or birth sibling has signed a form at a later date
indicating a change in his or her desires regarding the
sharing of information or contact.
    (d) On and after January 1, 2000, any licensed child
welfare agency which provides post-adoption search assistance
to adoptive parents, adopted persons, surrendered persons,
birth parents, or other birth relatives shall require that any
person requesting post-adoption search assistance complete an
Illinois Adoption Registry Application prior to the
commencement of the search. However, former youth in care as
defined in Section 4d of the Children and Family Services Act
who have been surrendered or adopted who are (i) between the
ages of 18 and 21 who have been surrendered or adopted and who
are seeking contact or an exchange of information with
siblings, birth relatives, former foster parents, or former
foster siblings or (ii) over the age of 21 who are seeking
contact with former foster parents or former foster siblings
shall not be required to complete an Illinois Adoption
Registry Application prior to commencement of the search,
provided that the search is performed consistent with
applicable Sections of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 100-159, eff. 8-18-17.)
 
    (750 ILCS 50/18.3a)  (from Ch. 40, par. 1522.3a)
    Sec. 18.3a. Confidential intermediary.
    (a) General purposes. Notwithstanding any other provision
of this Act,
        (1) any adopted or surrendered person 21 years of age
    or over; or
        (2) any adoptive parent or legal guardian of an
    adopted or surrendered person under the age of 21; or
        (3) any birth parent of an adopted or surrendered
    person who is 21 years of age or over; or
        (4) any adult child or adult grandchild of a deceased
    adopted or surrendered person; or
        (5) any adoptive parent or surviving spouse of a
    deceased adopted or surrendered person; or
        (6) any adult birth sibling of the adult adopted or
    surrendered person unless the birth parent has checked
    Option E on the Birth Parent Preference Form or has filed a
    Denial of Information Exchange with the Registry and is
    not deceased; or
        (7) any adult adopted birth sibling of an adult
    adopted or surrendered person; or
        (8) any adult birth sibling of the birth parent if the
    birth parent is deceased; or
        (9) any birth grandparent
may petition the court in any county in the State of Illinois
for appointment of a confidential intermediary as provided in
this Section for the purpose of exchanging medical information
with one or more mutually consenting biological relatives,
obtaining identifying information about one or more mutually
consenting biological relatives, or arranging contact with one
or more mutually consenting biological relatives. The
petitioner shall be required to accompany his or her petition
with proof of registration with the Illinois Adoption Registry
and Medical Information Exchange.
    (a-5) In addition, any former youth in care as defined in
Section 4d of the Children and Family Services Act who was
adopted or surrendered may petition the court in any county in
the State for appointment of a confidential intermediary as
provided in this Section for the purposes of obtaining
identifying information or arranging contact with (i) siblings
or birth relatives if the former youth in care is between the
ages of 18 and 21 or (ii) former foster parents or foster
siblings if the former youth in care is over the age of 18. A
petitioner under this subsection is not required to register
with the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information
Exchange.
    (b) Petition. Upon petition, the court shall appoint a
confidential intermediary. The petition shall indicate if the
petitioner wants to do any one or more of the following as to
the sought-after relative or relatives: exchange medical
information with the biological relative or relatives, obtain
identifying information from the biological relative or
relatives, or to arrange contact with the biological relative.
    (c) Order. The order appointing the confidential
intermediary shall allow that intermediary to conduct a search
for the sought-after relative by accessing those records
described in subsection (g) of this Section.
    (d) Fees and expenses. The court shall not condition the
appointment of the confidential intermediary on the payment of
the intermediary's fees and expenses in advance of the
commencement of the work of the confidential intermediary. No
fee shall be charged to any petitioner.
    (e) Eligibility of intermediary. The court may appoint as
confidential intermediary any person certified by the
Department of Children and Family Services as qualified to
serve as a confidential intermediary. Certification shall be
dependent upon the confidential intermediary completing a
course of training including, but not limited to, applicable
federal and State privacy laws.
    (f) (Blank).
    (g) Confidential intermediary access to information.
Subject to the limitations of subsection (i) of this Section,
the confidential intermediary shall have access to vital
records maintained by the Department of Public Health and its
local designees for the maintenance of vital records, or a
comparable public entity that maintains vital records in
another state in accordance with that state's laws, and all
records of the court or any adoption agency, public or
private, as limited in this Section, which relate to the
adoption or the identity and location of an adopted or
surrendered person, of an adult child or surviving spouse of a
deceased adopted or surrendered person, or of a birth parent,
birth sibling, or the sibling of a deceased birth parent. The
confidential intermediary shall not have access to any
personal health information protected by the Standards for
Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information
adopted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
of 1996 unless the confidential intermediary has obtained
written consent from the person whose information is being
sought by an adult adopted or surrendered person or, if that
person is a minor child, that person's parent or guardian.
Confidential intermediaries shall be authorized to inspect
confidential relinquishment and adoption records. The
confidential intermediary shall not be authorized to access
medical records, financial records, credit records, banking
records, home studies, attorney file records, or other
personal records. In cases where a birth parent is being
sought, an adoption agency shall inform the confidential
intermediary of any statement filed pursuant to Section 18.3,
hereinafter referred to as "the 18.3 statement", indicating a
desire of the surrendering birth parent to have identifying
information shared or to not have identifying information
shared. Information provided to the confidential intermediary
by an adoption agency shall be restricted to the full name,
date of birth, place of birth, last known address, last known
telephone number of the sought-after relative or, if
applicable, of the children or siblings of the sought-after
relative, and the 18.3 statement. If the petitioner is an
adult adopted or surrendered person or the adoptive parent of
a minor and if the petitioner has signed a written
authorization to disclose personal medical information, an
adoption agency disclosing information to a confidential
intermediary shall disclose available medical information
about the adopted or surrendered person from birth through
adoption.
    (h) Missing or lost original birth certificate; remedy.
Disclosure of information by the confidential intermediary
shall be consistent with the public policy and intent of laws
granting original birth certificate access as expressed in
Section 18.04 of this Act. The confidential intermediary shall
comply with the following procedures in disclosing information
to the petitioners:
         (1) If the petitioner is an adult adopted or
    surrendered person, or the adult child, adult grandchild,
    or surviving spouse of a deceased adopted or surrendered
    person, the confidential intermediary shall disclose:
            (A) identifying information about the birth parent
        of the adopted person which, in the ordinary course of
        business, would have been reflected on the original
        filed certificate of birth, as of the date of birth,
        only if:
                (i) the adopted person was born before January
            1, 1946 and the petitioner has requested a
            non-certified copy of the adopted person's
            original birth certificate under Section 18.1 of
            this Act, and the Illinois Department of Public
            Health has issued a certification that the
            original birth certificate was not found, or the
            petitioner has presented the confidential
            intermediary with the non-certified copy of the
            original birth certificate which omits the name of
            the birth parent;
                (ii) the adopted person was born after January
            1, 1946, and the petitioner has requested a
            non-certified copy of the adopted person's
            original birth certificate under Section 18.1 of
            this Act and the Illinois Department of Public
            Health has issued a certification that the
            original birth certificate was not found.
            In providing information pursuant to this
        subdivision (h)(1)(A), the confidential intermediary
        shall expressly inform the petitioner in writing that
        since the identifying information is not from an
        official original certificate of birth filed pursuant
        to the Vital Records Act, the confidential
        intermediary cannot attest to the complete accuracy of
        the information and the confidential intermediary
        shall not be liable if the information disclosed is
        not accurate. Only information from the court files
        shall be provided to the petitioner in this Section.
        If the identifying information concerning a birth
        father is sought by the petitioner, the confidential
        intermediary shall disclose only the identifying
        information of the birth father as defined in Section
        18.06 of this Act;
            (B) the name of the child welfare agency which had
        legal custody of the surrendered person or
        responsibility for placing the surrendered person and
        any available contact information for such agency;
            (C) the name of the state in which the surrender
        occurred or in which the adoption was finalized; and
            (D) any information for which the sought-after
        relative has provided his or her consent to disclose
        under paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (i) of
        this Section.
        (2) If the petitioner is an adult adopted or
    surrendered person, or the adoptive parent of an adult
    adopted or surrendered person under the age of 21, or the
    adoptive parent of a deceased adopted or surrendered
    person, the confidential intermediary shall provide, in
    addition to the information listed in paragraph (1) of
    this subsection (h):
            (A) any information which the adoption agency
        provides pursuant to subsection (i) of this Section
        pertaining to medical information about the adopted or
        surrendered person; and
            (B) any non-identifying information, as defined in
        Section 18.4 of this Act, that is obtained during the
        search.
        (3) If the petitioner is not defined in paragraph (1)
    or (2) of this subsection, the confidential intermediary
    shall provide to the petitioner:
            (A) any information for which the sought-after
        relative has provided his or her consent under
        paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (i) of this
        Section;
            (B) the name of the child welfare agency which had
        legal custody of the surrendered person or
        responsibility for placing the surrendered person and
        any available contact information for such agency; and
            (C) the name of the state in which the surrender
        occurred or in which the adoption was finalized.
    (h-5) Disclosure of information shall be made by the
confidential intermediary at any time from the appointment of
the confidential intermediary and the court's issuance of an
order of dismissal.
    (i) Duties of confidential intermediary in conducting a
search. In conducting a search under this Section, the
confidential intermediary shall first determine whether there
is a Denial of Information Exchange or a Birth Parent
Preference Form with Option E selected or an 18.3 statement
referenced in subsection (g) of this Section on file with the
Illinois Adoption Registry. If there is a denial, the Birth
Parent Preference Form on file with the Registry and the birth
parent who completed the form selected Option E, or if there is
an 18.3 statement indicating the birth parent's intent not to
have identifying information shared and the birth parent did
not later file an Information Exchange Authorization with the
Registry, the confidential intermediary must discontinue the
search unless 5 years or more have elapsed since the execution
of the Denial of Information Exchange, Birth Parent Preference
Form, or the 18.3 statement. If a birth parent was previously
the subject of a search through the State confidential
intermediary program, the confidential intermediary shall
inform the petitioner of the need to discontinue the search
until 10 years or more have elapsed since the initial search
was closed. In cases where a birth parent has been the object
of 2 searches through the State confidential intermediary
program, no subsequent search for the birth parent shall be
authorized absent a court order to the contrary.
    In conducting a search under this Section, the
confidential intermediary shall attempt to locate the relative
or relatives from whom the petitioner has requested
information. If the sought-after relative is deceased or
cannot be located after a diligent search, the confidential
intermediary may contact other adult relatives of the
sought-after relative.
    The confidential intermediary shall contact a sought-after
relative on behalf of the petitioner in a manner that respects
the sought-after relative's privacy and shall inform the
sought-after relative of the petitioner's request for medical
information, identifying information or contact as stated in
the petition. Based upon the terms of the petitioner's
request, the confidential intermediary shall contact a
sought-after relative on behalf of the petitioner and inform
the sought-after relative of the following options:
        (1) The sought-after relative may totally reject one
    or all of the requests for medical information,
    identifying information or contact. The sought-after
    relative shall be informed that they can provide a medical
    questionnaire to be forwarded to the petitioner without
    releasing any identifying information. The confidential
    intermediary shall inform the petitioner of the
    sought-after relative's decision to reject the sharing of
    information or contact.
        (2) The sought-after relative may consent to
    completing a medical questionnaire only. In this case, the
    confidential intermediary shall provide the questionnaire
    and ask the sought-after relative to complete it. The
    confidential intermediary shall forward the completed
    questionnaire to the petitioner and inform the petitioner
    of the sought-after relative's desire to not provide any
    additional information.
        (3) The sought-after relative may communicate with the
    petitioner without having his or her identity disclosed.
    In this case, the confidential intermediary shall arrange
    the desired communication in a manner that protects the
    identity of the sought-after relative. The confidential
    intermediary shall inform the petitioner of the
    sought-after relative's decision to communicate but not
    disclose his or her identity.
        (4) The sought-after relative may consent to initiate
    contact with the petitioner. The confidential intermediary
    shall obtain written consents from both parties that they
    wish to disclose their identities to each other and to
    have contact with each other.
    (j) Oath. The confidential intermediary shall sign an oath
of confidentiality substantially as follows: "I, ..........,
being duly sworn, on oath depose and say: As a condition of
appointment as a confidential intermediary, I affirm that:
        (1) I will not disclose to the petitioner, directly or
    indirectly, any confidential information except in a
    manner consistent with the law.
        (2) I recognize that violation of this oath subjects
    me to civil liability and to a potential finding of
    contempt of court. ................................
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me, a Notary Public, on (insert
date)
................................."
    (k) Sanctions.
        (1) Any confidential intermediary who improperly
    discloses confidential information identifying a
    sought-after relative shall be liable to the sought-after
    relative for damages and may also be found in contempt of
    court.
        (2) Any person who learns a sought-after relative's
    identity, directly or indirectly, through the use of
    procedures provided in this Section and who improperly
    discloses information identifying the sought-after
    relative shall be liable to the sought-after relative for
    actual damages plus minimum punitive damages of $10,000.
        (3) The Department shall fine any confidential
    intermediary who improperly discloses confidential
    information in violation of item (1) or (2) of this
    subsection (k) an amount up to $2,000 per improper
    disclosure. This fine does not affect civil liability
    under item (2) of this subsection (k). The Department
    shall deposit all fines and penalties collected under this
    Section into the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical
    Information Fund.
    (l) Death of person being sought. Notwithstanding any
other provision of this Act, if the confidential intermediary
discovers that the person being sought has died, he or she
shall report this fact to the court, along with a copy of the
death certificate. If the sought-after relative is a birth
parent, the confidential intermediary shall also forward a
copy of the birth parent's death certificate, if available, to
the Registry for inclusion in the Registry file.
    (m) Any confidential information obtained by the
confidential intermediary during the course of his or her
search shall be kept strictly confidential and shall be used
for the purpose of arranging contact between the petitioner
and the sought-after birth relative. At the time the case is
closed, all identifying information shall be returned to the
court for inclusion in the impounded adoption file.
    (n) (Blank).
    (o) Except as provided in subsection (k) of this Section,
no liability shall accrue to the State, any State agency, any
judge, any officer or employee of the court, any certified
confidential intermediary, or any agency designated to oversee
confidential intermediary services for acts, omissions, or
efforts made in good faith within the scope of this Section.
    (p) An adoption agency that has received a request from a
confidential intermediary for the full name, date of birth,
last known address, or last known telephone number of a
sought-after relative pursuant to subsection (g) of Section
18.3a, or for medical information regarding a sought-after
relative pursuant to subsection (h) of Section 18.3a, must
satisfactorily comply with this court order within a period of
45 days. The court shall order the adoption agency to
reimburse the petitioner in an amount equal to all payments
made by the petitioner to the confidential intermediary, and
the adoption agency shall be subject to a civil monetary
penalty of $1,000 to be paid to the Department of Children and
Family Services. Following the issuance of a court order
finding that the adoption agency has not complied with Section
18.3, the adoption agency shall be subject to a monetary
penalty of $500 per day for each subsequent day of
non-compliance. Proceeds from such fines shall be utilized by
the Department of Children and Family Services to subsidize
the fees of petitioners as referenced in subsection (d) of
this Section.
    (q) (Blank).
    Any reimbursements and fines, notwithstanding any
reimbursement directly to the petitioner, paid under this
subsection are in addition to other remedies a court may
otherwise impose by law.
    The Department of Children and Family Services shall
submit reports to the Adoption Registry-Confidential
Intermediary Advisory Council by July 1 and January 1 of each
year in order to report the penalties assessed and collected
under this subsection, the amounts of related deposits into
the DCFS Children's Services Fund, and any expenditures from
such deposits.
(Source: P.A. 98-704, eff. 1-1-15; 99-345, eff. 1-1-16.)

 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,
2023.

Effective Date: 7/1/2023