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Ask Bill Fix Your Own Question
Bill Fix
Bill Fix, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 79
Experience:  Attorney at Fix Law, PLLC
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My husband and I adopted our son officially last July.

Customer Question

Hi, my husband and I adopted our son officially last July. He was born in Perham, MN and the official adoption took place in Minneapolis, MN (Hennepin County). The adoption is technically open but for all intensive purposes it is closed. The birth mother, a minor, wants nothing to do with the child until he is older. We took extra precautions to not let her name being known to the public. The only people that know the birth mother's name are us, the adoption agency and the hospital.
I just got a post card in the mail from Hennepin County Public Health addressed to my son's birth mother with the words For: Coleman Schmidt (my son's name) below it. It was in regards ***** ***** vaccines. I am upset because I feel like that may be a HIPPA violation since her name was illegally released and is floating around in the post office. Do I have any legal authority here?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Bill Fix replied 5 months ago.
It sounds like a stretch for this to be a HIPAA violation. The local health department likely got the information from either the hospital or the birth mother and is sending out a card to schedule vaccines, which are extremely important for the baby. Any potential violation seems like it was an oversight and done for the reason of getting important info about vaccines out. Generally, to win a lawsuit for something like this, you would need to show how you were damaged, and I don't see a court saying that you or your son suffered real damage in a name on a postcard mailed to you that could have possibly been seen by postal employees who don't know anyone involved.

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