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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 36 Domestic Relations

Chapter 1 Adoption

Part 1 General Provisions

36-1-125. Confidentiality of records - Penalties for unauthorized disclosure - Protected orders.

(a) All adoption records, sealed adoption records, or sealed records held by a court, the department, a licensed child-placing agency, a licensed clinical social worker or any other person, and not yet under seal, or any sealed adoption records or sealed records that have been unsealed for any reason, any post-adoption records, and any adoption assistance records are confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure except as provided in this part.

(b) Adoption records, home studies or preliminary home studies may be utilized by the judge of the court, by the clerk of the court, or by the department, or by a licensed child-placing agency or a licensed clinical social worker, in any act consistent with the litigation of the adoption, custody or guardianship proceedings involving a person in any court, or for the placement, study, or supervision of a person for whom an adoption or custody or guardianship proceeding is pending in any court, and which records may be necessary to carry out such judge's, clerk's, department's, agency's, or social worker's duties consistent with the law.

(c) If any adoption records, sealed adoption records, sealed records, post-adoption records, adoption assistance records, home studies, preliminary home studies or information obtained in connection therewith are required by court order under this part to be disclosed for any legal proceeding other than the adoption proceeding or termination of parental rights proceedings, the court in which they are to be utilized shall enter a protective order to restrict their further disclosure or dissemination. Such records, studies, or information shall not become a public record in any legal proceeding.

(d) Unauthorized disclosure of any records, studies or information protected as confidential under this part is a Class A misdemeanor. Unauthorized disclosure of such records for personal gain or for a malicious purpose is a Class E felony.

Acts 1995, ch. 532, § 1; 1996, ch. 1054, §§ 58-62.

Compiler's Notes. Former § 36-1-125, concerning contents of the final order of adoption, was transferred to § 36-1-120.

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