TN 7 (04-19)

GN 03340.025 Access Rights of a Parent

A. Policy for parental access to a minor's records

For the purpose of these access instructions, the word "parent" means:

  • The birth mother or father of a minor child;

  • A legally adoptive mother or father of a minor child; or

  • A court-appointed legal guardian of a minor child.

We will honor requests for parental access to a minor's records, except medical records (GN 03340.035) provides more information on medical records), only when (1) the requesting parent is acting on behalf of the minor child, and (2) we have verified the parent's identity and relationship to the child.

We will deny access to a minor child’s record if it appears that the requesting parent is not acting on behalf of the child because the request is not in the child’s best interest. A parent not living with, nor having custody of a child may be an indication that the parent is not acting on behalf of the child if no evidence exists to the contrary.

EXAMPLE 1 - Acting on the minor's behalf

A parent requests a child’s earnings record in order to locate the runaway child.

EXAMPLE 2 - Not acting on the minor's behalf

A mother submits an access request seeking the benefit amount that her 11-year-old daughter receives from her father’s Social Security disability claim. The child’s Numident record shows the mother as the birth mother. However, the mother is the non-custodial parent. The mother informs us that she needs the information because it would qualify her for a reduced rental payment. Since the mother does not have custody and the child does not reside with her, releasing information to the mother in order to have her rent reduced is likely not on behalf of the child. Therefore, we cannot honor the mother’s request.

B. Individuals, other than birth parents, who may request access

1. Adoptive parents

  • An access request involving adoption situations can be very sensitive. It is important that we only disclose proper information to the individuals who are entitled to receive it. Send all requests for full Numident queries in adoption situations to ^OGC OPD Controls.

  • Process requests for other records according to current instructions, as long as the request meets the access requirements and the adoptive parent is acting in the best interest of the child.

2. Stepparents

Stepparents do not have access rights unless the stepparent is the legal guardian or legally adoptive parent of a minor child. Proof of legal guardianship or adoption must accompany the request for information or already exist in our records. In all instances, we must have documented proof of the relationship between the parent and the minor child prior to granting access.

C. Procedure for providing parental access to a minor child's record

Before granting parental access to a minor’s records, verify the parent’s identity and:

  1. 1. 

    Obtain documented proof from the parent to establish the parent’s relationship to the minor child, if evidence does not already exist in our records; and

  2. 2. 

    Determine whether the request for information is in the child’s best interest and thus the parent is acting on behalf of the child.

IMPORTANT:If it appears that a parent is not acting in the child’s best interest, deny the request for access. If we deny the parent’s or legal guardian’s request for a minor’s records, we must provide them with a letter stating the reason for the denial and how they may appeal the decision. Please see GN 03340.075 for more information on Privacy Act denials and appeals.

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GN 03340.025 - Access Rights of a Parent - 06/24/2008
Batch run: 04/26/2019