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

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 68 Health, Safety and Environmental Protection

Health

Chapter 3 Vital Records ACT OF 1977

68-3-203. Amendment of records.

(a) In order to protect the integrity and accuracy of vital records, a certificate or record registered under this chapter may be amended only in accordance with this chapter and regulations adopted by the department.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by subsection (f), a certificate or record that is amended under this section shall be marked “amended.” The date of amendment and a summary description of the evidence submitted in support of the amendment shall be endorsed on or made a part of the record. The department shall prescribe, by regulation, the conditions under which additions or minor corrections may be made to certificates or records within one (1) year after the date of the event, without the certificate or record being considered “amended.” “Minor corrections” means amendment of obvious errors, transposition of letters in words of common knowledge, or omissions.

(c) Upon receipt of a certified copy of a court order changing the name of a person born in the state, and upon request of such person or such person's parents, guardian or legal representative, the state registrar shall amend the certificate of birth to show the new name.

(d) The sex of an individual shall not be changed on the original certificate of birth as a result of sex change surgery.

(e) When an applicant does not submit the minimum documentation required in the regulations for amending a vital record, or when the state registrar has reasonable cause to question the validity or adequacy of the applicant's sworn statements or the documentary evidence, and if the deficiencies are not corrected, the state registrar shall not amend the vital record and shall advise the applicant of the reason for this action.

(f) In addition to other methods of amending certificates that may be provided by statute or by duly authorized department rule, the state registrar, if presented by an applicant with evidence that a reasonable person would conclude proves beyond a reasonable doubt that an original entry on a certificate was factually inaccurate at the time of recordation, shall block out the misinformation and make the necessary correction. When such an amendment is made, no record of the amendment shall appear upon the face of the certificate; provided, that a record of all evidence submitted relative to the amendment, along with the registrar's analysis of the evidence, shall be maintained by the office of vital records.

(g) If a form approved, as provided in § 68-3-305(b), acknowledging the paternity of a child is signed by both parents of the child and is submitted to the office of vital records at any time after the original certificate is filed and prior to the child's nineteenth birthday, the legal surname of the father may be entered on the certificate as that of the child, and the father's name and other personal information may be shown on the certificate of birth in the manner prescribed by regulation; provided, that paternity is not already shown on the certificate of birth. The state registrar may mark the record as amended, but not on the portion to be disclosed pursuant to § 68-3-205. Further, a legitimation by subsequent marriage of the individuals shown on the certificate as the father and mother shall not require a new certificate of birth and §§ 68-3-310(3), 68-3-311 and 68-3-313shall not apply.

(h) In the event a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is rescinded and a new father is not named, the name and personal information of the originally named father shall be removed by blocking, and the child's surname shall be blocked and the legal surname of the mother at the time of the birth shall be entered as the surname of the child. In the event a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is rescinded and a new father is named, the changes in the birth certificate shall be made in accordance with subsection (g).

Acts 1977, ch. 128, § 21; 1979, ch. 123, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A., § 53-423; Acts 1985, ch. 11, § 1; 1994, ch. 988, § 13; 1997, ch. 551, § 39.

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