Hawaii

Hawaii

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 578-14.5; 578-15Health information may be provided to:

  • The adult adopted person
  • The adoptive parent
  • The minor adopted person’s guardian or custodian

Adoption records may be accessed by:

  • The adult adopted person
  • The adoptive parents
  • The birth parents

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 578-14.5; 578-15

The Department of Health shall prepare a standard medical information form to obtain medical information on the birth parents of the minor adopted person. This form shall include a request for any information about the adopted child’s potential genetic or other inheritable diseases, including similar medical histories, if known, of the parents of the birth parents. All child-placing organizations shall make reasonable efforts to complete this form on both birth parents, to obtain from the natural parents written consent to the release of this information to or for the benefit of the adopted child, and whenever possible, to obtain from the natural mother a signed release to receive a copy of all of her medical records relating to the birth of the adopted child that are in the possession of the hospital or other facility at which the child was born. The completed forms shall be included in the department’s adoption records.Upon written application from the adult adopted person, or the adoptive parent, guardian, or custodian on behalf of a minor adopted person, the Department of Health shall furnish the applicant with a copy of the completed forms. The department is authorized to disclose the information without prior court approval.

Information concerning the ethnic background and necessary medical information may be released regardless of the presence of a confidentiality affidavit.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-15

An adopted person who is age 18 or older may submit a written request to the family court for inspection of adoption records. Such records will be released unless the birth parents have filed a confidentiality affidavit. Such affidavits may be renewed every 10 years.

The adopted person may submit an affidavit person consenting to the inspection of records by the birth parents.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 578-14; 578-15; 338-20

If a new birth certificate is issued, the original birth certificate shall be sealed. The sealed document may be opened by the department only by an order of a court or when requested in accordance with § 578-15.

The birth parent may be provided a copy of the original birth certificate upon request.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Family Court Central Registry

Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 578-8; 578-14.5
The Department of Human Services shall complete the court-ordered investigation and report.The Department of Health shall prepare a medical history form on the birth family.Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-8
The investigation shall determine whether:

  • The child is physically, mentally, and otherwise suitable for adoption by the petitioners.
  • The adoption is in the best interests of the child.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-14.5
The medical information form shall provide medical information about the birth parents of the adopted person. This form shall include a request for any information relating to the adopted person’s potential genetic or other inheritable diseases or afflictions, including but not limited to known genetic disorders, inheritable diseases, and similar medical histories, if known, of the parents of the birth parents.

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-14.5
The report of the investigation shall be presented to the court before a decree of adoption can be entered.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-16
The former legal parent(s) of an adopted individual and any other former legal kindred shall not be considered to be related to the individual as provided in the Uniform Probate Code.All legal duties and rights between the adopted person and his or her former legal parent(s) shall cease from the time of the adoption, unless the adopted person is adopted by the spouse of a legal parent. In such case, the rights of inheritance between the adopted person and the legal parent and the legal relatives of the parent shall continue.Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 578-16; 560:2-114
An adopted person and his or her adopting parent(s) shall sustain towards each other the legal relationship of parent(s) and child, and shall have all the rights and duties of that relationship, including the rights of inheritance from and through each other and the adopting parents’ legal kindred.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 578-16; 560:2-302; 560:2-705
If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any child who was adopted after the execution of the will, the omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate as follows:

  • If the testator had no child living when he or she executed the will, an omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to that which the child would have received had the testator died intestate, unless the will bequeathed all or substantially all of the estate to the other parent of the omitted child and that other parent survives the testator and is entitled to inherit under the will.
  • If the testator had one or more children living when he or she executed the will, and the will gave property or an interest in property to one or more of the then-living children, an omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share in the estate as follows:
    • The portion of the estate in which the omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share is limited to bequests made to the testator’s then-living children under the will.
    • The omitted after-adopted child is entitled to receive the share of the estate, as limited above, that the child would have received had the testator included all omitted after-born and after-adopted children with the children to whom bequests were made and had given an equal share of the estate to each child.

If it appears from the will that the omission was intentional or the testator provided for the omitted after-adopted child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision, such child shall receive no share of the estate.

Adopted individuals and their respective descendants, if appropriate to the class, are included in class gifts and other terms of relationship in accordance with the rules for intestate succession.

State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-8(c)In cases in which a child is adopted from a foreign country and is brought into the State, the court, in its discretion, may dispense with a hearing on an adoption petition upon receipt of a sworn affidavit, ex parte, from the adoptive parents requesting that the hearing be dispensed with, and upon a finding that the issues it would have reviewed have received full consideration by the country from which the child was adopted and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 338-20.5

The Department of Health shall establish a Hawaii certificate of birth for a person born in a foreign country and for whom a final decree of adoption has been entered in a court of competent jurisdiction in Hawaii, when it receives the following:

  • A properly certified copy of the adoption decree or certified abstract thereof on a form approved by the department
  • A copy of any investigatory report and recommendation that may have been prepared by the Director of Social Services
  • A report on a form approved by the Department of Health setting forth the following:
    • Date of the assumption of custody
    • The sex, color, or race of the child
    • The approximate age of the child
    • The name and address of the adoptive parent(s)
    • The name given to the child by the adoptive parent(s)
    • The true or probable country of birth
    • A request that a new certificate of birth be established
  • The true or probable country of birth shall be known as the place of birth, and the date of birth shall be determined by approximation. This report shall constitute an original certificate of birth.

After preparation of the new birth certificate in the new name of the adoptee, the Department of Health shall seal and file the certified copy of the adoptive decree, investigatory report, and recommendation of the Director of Human Services, if any, the report constituting the original certificate of birth, and the request for a new certificate of birth. The sealed documents may be opened by the department only by an order of a court of record or when requested in accordance with § 578-14.5 or 578-15.

The new certificate of birth shall show the true or probable foreign country of birth and that the certificate is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the child for whom it is issued or for the adoptive parents.


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