Friday, April 1, 2011

CLARIFICATION

I received an inquiry regarding both the SB and the HB.  It is clear there are some misunderstandings and I hope to be as helpful as possible.  For more specific info, refer to the actual copy of the Bills on the MO legislative web site.  Remember to watch for the brackets showing items being removed from the statute as well as the bold of what is being added.

The three main revisions: no adoptive parent consent requirement, release of identifying information (adoption record) if birth parent is deceased, and the ability of the lineal descendents to make a request are included in both SB351 and HB427 and would apply to adoptions completed prior to August 28, 2011.

HB247 contains a provision that would allow for the release of the original birth certificate in the same situations that would allow for the release of the adoption record described above.  SB351 contains no provision of any kind regarding the original birth certificate.   Senator Lamping would only agree to including a bc provision if it was on death of birth parent plus 20 years.  This is not very helpful so was a better strategy to leave it out and hope to do just the adoption record this time and concentrate on a birth certificate Bill after we get the adoption record release passed.  Then when we come back and can show that the information is being released anyway, it would not be too far a stretch to let the original bc's be released too.

HB427 will allow for the release of the original bc for adoptions completed after August 28, 2011 unless the birth parent has placed a "no release" form in the file at the time of the adoption.  Even if there is a "no release" form in the file, the adult adoptee can request the birth parent be contacted to see if they have changed their mind.  SB351 would allow for the release of the adoption record in the same fashion but does not include original bc's in any fashion as described above so would be the adoption record only.

The differences between the adoption record and the birth certificate.  The adoption record would/should include information about the birth parents such as their birth dates, where they were from, their parents names, the birth father's name, medical history information obtained at the time of the adoption, etc.  The birth certificate would only include the birth mother's name, her age (not a specific date), the state where she was born (not a specific city), usually no birth father name except in those adoptions in more recent times.  That is usually all there is on the birth mother on an original birth certificate.  There are also those cases where the birth mother used a false name for the official records.  The adoption record would/should have the correct names where the birth certificate would not in these cases.  Obtaining an original bc would be wonderful and is eagerly sought by many but for those who do not yet know the identity of their birth parent, they would obtain much more helpful information by obtaining the adoption record rather then just the birth certificate.

Hope this helps.

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