There is often much confusion and concern when a medical office receives a request for copies of a child’s medical record from someone other than the parent with which that office is familiar. Complicating matters further, a medical office could be familiar with both parents who then get a divorce and enter a custody battle; then parents are both requesting records and the medical office is left in the middle, wondering how to handle the situation.

Releasing Children’s Records: Custody Battles & Other Situations

Sometimes less is more, and this would be one of those times. First and foremost, ensure that whoever is requesting the record provides the proper documentation establishing authority to access the records they are requesting. If there is a custody battle, the best action is to avoid being placed in the middle. You can wait until the custody case has been settled and ask to see the parenting order which will clearly explain who has the right of access. If there is an issue with Child Protective Services (CPS) involving abuse or neglect claims by one parent, or both, then it’s again best to stay out of the middle and release records only to the government agency in order to assist with the investigation.

Always remember that a patient request for medical records is discretionary, meaning you get to use your best judgment to decide whether or not to act on the request. The first consideration should be the health and safety of the patient. If you feel that releasing records might negatively affect the child in any way, simply refuse to release the records on that basis and provide that in writing as your response to the request. You have every right to do so, regardless of how angry they may get.


Simplify Record Release with Diversified

Record release can be complicated. With Diversified, you get a cost-free expert in medical record release. We securely process thousands of records every week for physicians, healthcare networks, and hospitals across the nation. Let us provide you with the comfort of knowing that your records will be released correctly every time.

If you would like to find out more about how our service works, please send us an email at sales@dmrs.net.