What does the Center for Desease Control have to do with genealogical research

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a US government agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, develops the Model State Vital Statistics Act . The National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems [NAPHSIS] is the professional association of state vital records and public health statistics offices in the United States. The CDC proposed a revision to the current Model State Vital Statistics Act entitled : 2011 Revision of the Model State Vital Statistics Act and Regulations. The last revision of the model act was in 1992. The current Model Act may be read at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/model_law_revision.htm

The proposed 2011 Revision of the Model Act was developed by a working group consisting of seven state/local vital statistics executives and one former chief counsel of a local health department. They sought input from all State vital statistics officials  The genealogical community was not consulted. A draft was presented to the states in late 2010 and the revised version was distributed to the jurisdictions and statistics executives.  No public comment or hearing has been held or scheduled.  It is pending Department of Health and Human Services approval, it is not currently known if they will hold a public comment period or hearing.

The NAPHSIS home page is: http://www.naphsis.org/Pages/home.aspx

In several jurisdictions we have seen the attempt by states to try to impose the new and longer wait periods for vital records. The proposed 2011 Model Act states: it is unlawful for the state registrar to permit access to or disclosure of personally identifiable information in vital records or issue a copy of the record unless the person is authorized (and there is no provision for genealogists). The proposed new Model Act has extended the length of time to obtain records:125 years have elapsed after the date of  live birth, or 75 years have elapsed after the date of death or fetal death, or 100 years after the date of marriage, or (divorce, dissolution of marriage, or annulment).

To read the proposed 2011 model act go to: http://www.naphsis.org/Documents/Final%20MODEL%20LAW%20September%207%202011.pdf


The vital statistics of the United States are collected and published through a decentralized, cooperative system. Responsibility for the registration of births, deaths, fetal deaths, marriages, divorces and annulments and the reporting of induced terminations of pregnancy is vested in the 57 vital registration jurisdictions ( 50 states, DC, 5 territories, Puerto Rico and New York City). The first Model Law was developed in 1907 by the Bureau of the Census. Since 1992 NAPHIS believes a number of changes have occurred—ranging from increased security on vital records in order to prevent identity theft for criminal intent or terrorism. In addition, the widespread adoption by states of electronic birth and death registration systems has resulted in improved timeliness and data quality of vital records.

The Model State Vital Statistics Act and Regulations (Model Law) was developed to serve as a model for states in preparing their own laws and regulations.  The Model Law was designed to improve the quality and uniformity of state data by establishing standard reporting requirements, definitions, and procedures for registering vital events.

To read more on the resolution for the proposed 2011 version of the Model Act go to: http://tinyurl.com/cxrgghf

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