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Published Sunday April 12th, 2009 at 12:13pm

Original Article

As co-founder of Adoption Triad Connection of Mid-Missouri, based in Columbia, I support pending legislation in Missouri, HB48. It would allow adopted adults 21 or older to receive a copy of their original, unaltered birth certificate and adoption records, something now denied except by court order.

We have numerous adoptees and birth parents seeking information that would help them find family they were separated from by adoption. Many want updated health information. Many yearn to know whether they have siblings. Many consider it a civil right.

Adoptees can get original birth certificates in numerous states, including Kansas, Alaska, Oregon, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Maine and others. Reputable organizations such as the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and the American Adoption Congress support access to the records.

The usual argument of protecting birth parents from contact from the children they gave up is disputed by statistics of these organizations. Birth mothers in the past were often pressured, essentially forced, to surrender their children by adoption agencies, their parents and society itself. The majority of birth parents and siblings welcome contact. If they don’t, at least they should provide adoptees with health information.

Missouri’s mutual consent registry is failing many who seek its services because of restrictive rules, including requiring consents of adoptive parents and both birth parents. Adoptees who are adults should not need parental consent. Birth parents cannot always be located. HB48 would eliminate government interference in reuniting those separated by adoption.

Judith Bock
Co-founder, Adoption Triad Connection of Mid-Missouri
7650 W. Highway 124
Harrisburg