Two of the most important things about raising or co-parenting children is tracking their health and progress in school. Keeping up with this information can be difficult if you don’t live with your children or aren’t married to their mother.
However, if you have established parentage in California by obtaining a court order or by signing an official Declaration of Paternity, you have the right to request and access your children’s school and medical records at any time, pursuant to Family Code 3025.
Obtaining School Records
A federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act grants all parents the right to access their children’s academic records. However, this law only applies to public schools that receive funding from the Department of Education.
If your children attend a public school, you can request a copy of their educational records whether you’re a custodial or non-custodial parent. Your rights as a parent include:
- Requesting access to educational records and transcripts
- Requesting changes, updates, and amendments to educational records
- Filing complaints with the Department of Education
- It’s important to note that public schools aren’t required to track or provide information related to things like extracurricular activities or parent-teacher conferences and meetings.
Obtaining Medical Records
Another federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) grants parents access to their children’s medical records. Having access to this information is important, especially if your child has a health condition or needs frequent medical attention from you or other caregivers.
Your rights to access both school and medical records may be limited if your custody is prohibited due to a court order and if you are forbidden to engage in the day-to-day care and parenting of your children.