Requesting Adoption Information

I. Parties and Their Roles in Release of Adoption Information A. Adopted Adult (any adopted person 18 years old or over
Lineal descendant (a legal descendant of a person as defined in section 472.010 R.S.Mo.) 
Adult sibling (any brother or sister of the whole or half blood who is eighteen years of age or over) 
Adopted child (any adopted person who is less than eighteen years of age)
 

    • An adopted adult, or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased, may make a request for adoption records.
    • Non-identifying information regarding the biological parent(s) or siblings may be obtained by applying to the court that finalized the adoption. 
    • An adopted adult, or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased, may request identifying information about the biological parent(s).If requested by the adoptive adult or the adopted adult's lineal descendants, the court will authorize a confidential intermediary searcher to locate the biological parent(s) to inform them of the request of the adopted adult, or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased. The decision to retain an intermediary searcher is completely voluntary. The biological parent(s) may release information, maintain confidentiality, or choose to update medical history information. Identifying information is only released in accordance with Missouri law (Senate Bill No. 351)
    • Only adoptions finalized in this jurisdiction will be investigated.

 

  • The request should include as much of the following as is known: adoptive (amended) name of adoptee; date of birth or year adopted; city, county of birth; adoptive parents names; county where adoption finalized. This information is needed to locate the adoption file.

 

B. Adoptive Parents 

  • If an adopted child is under 18 years of age, the adoptive parents may submit a written request for non-identifying social history information on the adopted child's behalf.

 

C. Biological Parents 

  • Missouri Law (Senate Bill No. 351) requires the consent of the biological parent(s), if living, for the release of identifying information. If a biological parent(s) is deceased, identifying information as to that biological parent shall be disclosed to the adopted adult (adoptee), or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased, provided that the other biological parent either:

1) is unknown;
2) is known but cannot be found and notified pursuant to subsection 5 of this section;
3) is deceased; or
4) has filed with the court an affidavit authorizing release of identifying information..

    • The biological parent(s) may excute a proper consent to release of identifying information to be placed in the adoption file in the event the adopted adult initiates a search or request identifying information. (see form)
    • Biological parent(s) may keep the court adoption file updated with information which may include current address, telephone number, medical history, or correspondence to the adopted adult for future use should the adopted adult contact the court.

 

  • Non identifying information concerning the adopted adult, or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is desceased, or the adoptive parents, is not authorized by Missouri law to be disclosed to the biological parent(s).

 

D. Adult Sibling (any brother or sister of the whole or half-blood who is 18 years old or over)

An adopted adult may request identifying information pertaining to an adult sibling. The identifying information will be disclosed only upon the written consent of the adult sibling. (see form).

II. What Information Can Be Disclosed

A. Identifying Information

Identifying information includes the name, date and place of birth, and last known address of the biological parent(s) or adult sibling(s). (see form)

An adoption file, which is located in the circuit court that finalized an adoption, is sealed. This means that identifying information can only be released after age 18 to the adopted adult, or the adopted adults lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased, or to an adult sibling(s), by court order. A court order can be obtained by petitioning the court. (see forms) The court requires one or both of the following forms to release identifying information:

1. Consent from biological parent(s). (see form)
2. Consent from adult sibling(s). (see form)

The court may charge costs to the adopted adult, or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased, for the cost of making a search for the biological parent(s) or adult sibling(s). The choice to retain an intermediary searcher voluntary.

If biological parent(s) or adult sibling(s) have previously consented to disclosure through the Missouri Division of Social Services' (DSS) registry, identifying information can be disclosed to the adopted adult, or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased. DSS registry disclosures are handled by DSS, not by the Court.

B. Non-Identifying Information

Relates to a specific set of information given to an adopted adult or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased, regarding the biological family (see form).

General nonidentifying information includes some or all of the following information about the biological parent(s) or sibling(s): physical description, nationality, religious background and/or medical history of the biological parent(s) or sibling.

Nonidentifying information regarding the biological parent(s) is only available to the adopted adult, or the adopted adult's lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased, or the adoptive parents/legal guardian on behalf of the adopted child.

Not all court adoption files contain social or medical history regarding the biological parent(s). If none was obtained, or if it was not forwarded to the Court at the time of adoption, then the present location of the records is unknown to this Court. If a private agency was involved in the adoption, you will need to contact that agency directly with your request.

C. Amended Birth Certificate  

Missouri statutes provide that when an individual is adopted, an amended record is established in the name of the adoptive parent(s)(Section 193.135 RSMo).     Visit the Missouri State Vital Records website for directions on how to obtain copies of Missouri Vital Records, such as birth certificates.      

- OR -

Visit the Vital Records Kansas City, Missouri website.

D. Original birth certificate

• When a person is adopted, their original birth certificate will be sealed, and a new certificate with all reference to the biological parent(s) names, and the adoptee's original name removed, is issued.

• Original birth certificates are held at Vital Records in the birth state of the adoptee and the court of jurisdiction will not order an original birth certificate released to an adoptee.

E. Judicial Notice Order

• Some government agencies require proof of adoption for administrative purposes. The Court may provide an adoptee with a certified copy of an order that includes the adoptee's adopted name, date of adoption, and date of birth for administrative purposes.