Access to Adoption Records - Missouri

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Who May Access Information

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.121

Nonidentifying information is available to the following:

  • The adoptive parents
  • The child's legal guardians
  • The adult adoptee
  • The adult adoptee's lineal descendants if the adoptee is deceased

Identifying information is available to the adult adoptee or the adult adoptee's lineal descendants if the adoptee is deceased.

Access to Nonidentifying Information

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.121

Nonidentifying information, if known, concerning undisclosed birth parents or siblings shall be provided upon written request. Nonidentifying information can include the physical description, nationality, religious background, and medical history of the birth parents or siblings.

All papers, records, and information known to or in the possession of an adoptive parent or adoptive child that pertain to an adoption, regardless of whether part of any permanent record or file, may be disclosed by the adoptive parent or adoptive child. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to create a right to have access to information not otherwise allowed under this section.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 453.121;193.128

An adult adoptee, or his or her lineal descendants if he or she is deceased, may make a written request to the court for information identifying his or her birth parents. If the birth parents have consented to the release of identifying information, the court shall disclose that information.

Any adult adoptee whose adoption was finalized in this State, or whose birth parents had their parental rights terminated in this State, may request the court to secure and disclose identifying information concerning an adult sibling. Identifying information pertaining exclusively to the adult sibling, whether part of the permanent record of a file in the court or in an agency, shall be released only upon consent of that adult sibling.

The Department of Social Services shall maintain a registry for birth parents, adult siblings, and adult adoptees to indicate their desire to be contacted by each other. At the time of registration, a birth parent or adult sibling may consent in writing to the release of identifying information to an adult adoptee. If such consent has not been executed and the Division of Family Services believes that a match has occurred, the division shall make confidential contact with the birth parents or adult siblings and with the adult adoptee. The birth parent, adult sibling, or adult adoptee may refuse to go forward with any further contact between the parties when contacted by the division.

A birth parent or adoptee may, at any time, request from the State registrar a contact preference form that shall accompany the original birth certificate of an adoptee. The contact preference form shall indicate whether the person wants contact, prefers contact through an intermediary, or wants no contact. A contact preference form may be updated by a birth parent or adoptee at any time upon the request of the birth parent or adoptee.

A birth parent may, at any time, request a medical history form from the State registrar. A medical history form may be updated by a birth parent at any time upon the request of the birth parent. A contact preference form or a medical history form received by the State registrar shall be placed in a sealed envelope and shall be considered a confidential communication from the birth parent to the adoptee. The sealed envelope shall only be released to the adoptee requesting his or her own original birth certificate.

If a birth parent indicates on the contact preference form that he or she would prefer not to be contacted, the adoptee shall have access to a copy of the medical history form with identifying information of such birth parent redacted.

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 193.128

An adoptee or the adoptee's attorney or birth parents may obtain a copy of the adoptee's original certificate of birth from the State registrar in accordance with this section. For an adoptee to receive a copy of his or her original certificate of birth, the adoptee shall be at least age 18, have been born in this State, and file a written application with and provide appropriate proof of identification to the State registrar.

Upon receipt of a written application and proof of identification, the State registrar shall issue an uncertified copy of the unaltered original certificate of birth to the applicant. The copy of the certificate of birth shall have the following statement printed on it: 'For genealogical purposes only€”not to be used for establishing identity.'

A contact preference form completed by a birth parent or adoptee at the time of the adoption shall accompany the original birth certificate of the adoptee. If both birth parents indicate on the contact preference form that they would prefer not to be contacted, a copy of the original birth certificate of the adoptee shall not be released. If only one birth parent indicates on the contact preference form that he or she would prefer not to be contacted, his or her identifying information shall be redacted from a copy of the original birth certificate of the adoptee and the copy of the original birth certificate then shall be released.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Missouri Adoption Information Registry