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8-134 Confidential intermediary

A. Any of the following persons may use the services of a confidential intermediary who is listed with the court:

1. The adoptive parents of an adoptee who is at least eighteen years of age or, if the adoptive parents are deceased, the adoptee’s guardian.

2. An adoptee if the adoptee is at least eighteen years of age.

3. If an adoptee is deceased, the adoptee’s spouse if the spouse is the legal parent or guardian of any child of the adoptee.

4. If an adoptee is deceased, any progeny of the adoptee who is at least eighteen years of age.

5. Either of the birth parents of an adoptee.

6. The biological grandparent of the adoptee or other members of the adoptee’s extended biological family.

7. A biological sibling of the adoptee if the sibling is at least eighteen years of age.

B. An adoption agency licensed by this state, the division or an individual who meets the requirements adopted pursuant to subsections I and J of this section may serve as a confidential intermediary.

C. Notwithstanding sections 8-120 and 8-121, a confidential intermediary may inspect documents compiled pursuant to this article. Documents include the court records, division records, agency records and maternity home records. The confidential intermediary shall keep confidential all information obtained during the course of the investigation. The intermediary shall use confidential information only to arrange a contact or share information between the person who initiates the search and the person who is the subject of the search. A confidential intermediary shall review the court record before making any contact with an adoptee to determine if an affidavit has been filed pursuant to subsection E of this section. Except as provided pursuant to subsection A, paragraphs 1, 2, 4 and 7 and subsection G of this section, a confidential intermediary shall not contact persons under twenty-one years of age.

D. The confidential intermediary shall obtain written consent from the person who initiated the search and the person who is the subject of the search before arranging for the sharing of identifying information or a contact between them. If the confidential intermediary discovers the subject of the search is deceased or that the identity of the birth father was unknown to or not revealed by the birth mother, the confidential intermediary shall share this information with the person initiating the search. If the confidential intermediary, after a diligent effort, is unable to locate the subject of the search to obtain written consent to share information, the confidential intermediary shall share this information with the person initiating the search and prepare and place with the compiled documents a written report describing search efforts. If the person who initiated the search petitions the court to release identifying information, the court shall review the report prepared by the confidential intermediary and shall decide if the information may be released and in what manner the information may be released if the court determines there is good cause.

E. An adoptive parent who has not informed an adoptee that the adoptee was adopted may file an affidavit so stating with the court where the adoption took place. The affidavit may be withdrawn at any time by the adoptive parent. If an affidavit is a part of the court record, the confidential intermediary shall not make contact with the adoptee unless the adoptive parent withdraws the affidavit and grants permission in writing or the adoptee has filed an affidavit stating that the adoptee knows about the adoption and wishes to make contact with the birth parent.

F. A birth parent who has not informed the parent’s biological offspring of the existence of the adoptee may file an affidavit so stating with the court where the adoption took place. The affidavit may be withdrawn at any time by the birth parent. If an affidavit is a part of the court record, the confidential intermediary shall not make contact with the biological sibling unless the birth parent withdraws the affidavit and grants permission in writing or the biological sibling has filed an affidavit stating that the biological sibling knows about the adoptee and wishes to make contact with the adoptee.

G. On receipt of a written statement from a physician or a registered nurse practitioner that explains in detail how a health condition may seriously affect the health of the adoptee or a direct descendant of the adoptee, the court shall order the confidential intermediary program to appoint a confidential intermediary. The confidential intermediary shall make a diligent effort to notify an adoptee who has attained eighteen years of age, an adoptive parent or guardian of an adoptee who has not attained eighteen years of age or a direct descendant of a deceased adoptee that the nonidentifying information is available and shall be provided on written request.

H. On receipt of a written statement from a physician or a registered nurse practitioner that explains in detail why a serious health condition of the adoptee or a direct descendant of the adoptee should be communicated to the birth parent or biological sibling to enable the birth parent or biological sibling to make an informed medical decision, the court shall order the confidential intermediary program to appoint a confidential intermediary. The confidential intermediary shall make a diligent effort to notify those individuals that the nonidentifying information is available and shall be provided on written request.

I. The Arizona supreme court shall administer the confidential intermediary program. The court shall adopt rules and procedures necessary to implement the program, including qualifications, required fees, minimum standards for certification, training and standards of conduct of confidential intermediaries, and shall establish the fees that may be charged by a confidential intermediary.

J. A person shall not act as a confidential intermediary unless the person possesses a confidential intermediary certificate issued by the supreme court. In order to be certified as a confidential intermediary a person shall meet and maintain the minimum standards prescribed by this section and the rules adopted by the supreme court.

K. In carrying out the provisions of this section the supreme court shall require applicants for a confidential intermediary certificate to furnish fingerprints and the supreme court shall obtain criminal history record information pursuant to section 41-1750. The applicant for certification shall pay a fee to the department of public safety to reimburse the department of public safety for the cost of obtaining the applicant’s criminal history record information required by this section. The fee shall not exceed the actual cost of obtaining the applicant’s criminal history record information.

L. The actual and reasonable cost to the agency, division or court of providing information pursuant to the confidential intermediary program shall be paid by the person requesting the services of a confidential intermediary. If the juvenile court of a county is supplying the information, the actual and reasonable costs shall be paid to the clerk of the court of that county who shall transmit the monies to the county treasurer of that county for deposit in the juvenile probation services fund to be utilized by the juvenile court of that county for reimbursing the court for costs associated with providing information pursuant to the confidential intermediary program. If the division is supplying the information, the actual and reasonable costs shall be paid to the division. If an agency is supplying the information, the actual and reasonable costs shall be paid to the agency.

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