Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New statute clarification

The new statute basically modifies the current search process and the information the Court is allowed to release.  This is all as the effective date of August 28, 2011

The adoptive parent consent is no longer needed to request a full search. 

The Court will still provide the non-id info in the same manner as before.

The identifying information found in the Court file will be allowed to be released at the conclusion of a search if the birth parent is found alive and provides their consent OR is found to be deceased.  Basically it is the same statute as before with the addition of the "or if deceased" added to the language.  The same conditions are presented regarding the other birth parent having to be consenting, deceased as well, unknown or known but cannot be found.

This will not include the OBC filed with Vital Records in Jeff City. The Court has no jurisdiction over this record.   It only includes what is currently in the Court file and still requires a Judge to provide the approval for the release of any information.  I suppose if there is a copy of an OBC in the Court file, it could be released.  Usually that is not the case. 

If a search has been done in the past and you were told your birth parents are deceased, you would not need to do another search.  The info should be in the Court file already.  If you did not do a search but know that the birth parent is deceased and have some form of proof, the Court should provide the info without requiring a search.  The hope is also there that the Court will use some common sense in determining when it will release info.  If the birth parent would be over 100 years old by now but no search has been done and there is no proof of death, the fact that they would be over 100 should play into their agreeing to release the information to the requesting party.

I would be happy to answer any questions regarding the new statute and what it means.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

SB351 has been signed!

Just got the call.  The Bill has been signed by the Governor!  Congrats to all those who have worked for this.  Adoptees or their decedents will now have more access to the adoption information and adoptees will not have to ask their adoptive parents for permission.  (That has always been an odd requirement anyway.)  I have not yet seen the final copy of the Bill to see how the final wording ended up but should be helpful to many people.  Still not a total disclosure for all adoptees but that may come in time.  For now, I have a guess as to who will be the first people in line to get this newly available info. 

It will take time to get the Courts educated on the new statute but plans are in the works for that.  Still, I am very pleased.  Some progress is better then none.