Sunday, January 12, 2014

Confidentiality of Paternity Proceedings and Records - 2014 Indiana SB19

12 January 2014

Senate Bill 19 which pertains to the confidentiality of paternity records was sponsored by Senators Broden, Randolph, Steele, and Zakas. The bill passed out of committee favourably as amended. The amendments were brief and technical in nature.

The bill would amend IC 31-39-1-1 and IC 31-39-2-1 to add the following proceedings that are excluded from the confidentiality provision:

Records involving proceedings that pertain to:
(A) paternity issues;
(B) custody issues;
(C) parenting time issues; or
(D) child support issues;
concerning a child born to parents who are not married to each other.

Paternity records being excluded from public access were originally intended to protect “bastard” children from the stigma associated with being such. As there no longer exist a societal stigma associated with out-of-wedlock births this exclusion fails to serve a legitimate public interest objective. While it was possible for those of us in advisory or research positions to obtain records it could be a cumbersome process and was left to judicial discretion. Open access will now allow for policy to be based upon more accurate and up-to-date information as well as provide opportunities for more services to the parties involved.

I strongly recommend that this bill be adopted into law.

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