As of last Sunday adults who were adopted in Missouri are able to learn the identify (name, date of birth, place of birth, and last known address) of their birth parents if the biological parent authorizes the information to be released.
You can read the news article from the Missourian here.
Before Sunday, permission had to be obtained from both the biological and adoptive parents before the identifying information would be released and if the biological parents were deceased the records would be sealed.
Imagine if you had to get permission from your parents to do anything once you were legally considered to be an adult. Absurd, isn’t it? This new law is indeed progress toward treating adopted adults like adults and not children.
I have all of the identifying information about my own birth parents and recently I made inquiries to see if I could obtain a copy of my own original birth certificate (OBC) from Saskatchewan where I was adopted. The answer is complicated as both of my birth parents have deceased; in order to obtain a copy of my OBC I need to have permission granted from another relative like a sibling of my birth parents, which is also complicated since they have all deceased as well.
Continuing on down the family line: I am in contact with a distant cousin on my mother’s side and my sister on my father’s side so receiving “permission” is not impossible, but I have to confess that the idea of obtaining “permission” to have my own birth certificate is very distasteful to me. I’m not yet sure if I will pursue it.
I’m celebrating for the adult adoptees in Missouri today. It’s one more step toward transparency and honesty in the adoption climate.