(a) To protect the integrity of vital records, to ensure their proper use, and to
ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital records system, it shall
be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained
in, vital records, or to copy, or issue a copy, of all, or part of, any vital record,
except as authorized by regulation or as provided for herein.
(b) The director of health may authorize, under appropriate safeguards, the disclosure
of data contained in vital records for research purposes.
(c) Information in vital records indicating that a birth occurred out of wedlock shall
not be disclosed, except as provided by regulation, upon order of a court of competent
jurisdiction, or until the record becomes a public record as defined by regulations.
(d) Appeals from decisions of the custodians of permanent local records refusing to
disclose information, or to permit inspection of or copying of records, of persons
born one hundred (100) years before the date of inspection, under the authority of
this section and regulation issued under this section, shall be made to the state
registrar of vital records. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, those records shall be open for
research to any member of a legally incorporated genealogy society and those societies
shall be permitted to incorporate statistics derived from those records in their publications,
upon receipt of permission of the director of health; and provided, further, that
no person, except the person whose birth is recorded, his or her issue, parent or
guardian, spouse, civil union and/or registered domestic partner, grandparent, or
sibling; or attorneys at law, title examiners, or members of legally incorporated
genealogical societies in the conduct of their official duties as defined in regulations
shall have any access to, or be permitted to, examine the original or any copy of
the birth certificate or birth record, of any person in the custody of any registrar
of vital records or of the state department of health.
(e) Title examiners, attorneys, or members of legally incorporated genealogical societies,
in the conduct of their official duties as defined in regulations, shall be allowed
to examine death certificates that have been filed with the department of health and/or
municipalities. No fees shall be charged to such persons for the searching or viewing of death certificates,
but fees for copies pursuant to §§ 23-1-54 or 23-3-25 shall apply.
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