Governor Jay Nixon (D) has agreed that adoptees need a way to get a copy of their original birth certificates.
The sponsor of the law signed last week by Nixon, Representative Don Phillips (R-Kimberling City), said people born before 1941 will be able to get their certificates when it takes effect, August 28.
“The rest of the folks in the state will have to wait until January 1, 2018. The reason being there’s a couple of provisions in there that require taking time to really notify, as much as possible, what some options are within the bill for the birth mother,” said Phillips.
Birth mothers can fill out a form to say whether they’re willing to be contacted by the child they gave up for adoption.
“Either say, ‘Yes, I want to be contacted,’ ‘No, I don’t want to be contacted at all,’ or, ‘Yes I’d like to be contacted, but with an intermediary source,” said Phillips. “With any of the options the can fill out a medical history form and leave that with the birth certificate no matter what.”
Phillips says many adoptees want to learn about their birth families to be able to learn medical histories.
“The real important thing is the medical history. In this day and age you just can’t get it from anywhere except directly from the source,” said Phillips.
When the contact preference form and medical history form are developed, birth mothers will be able to get them from the state registrar.
One of the reasons Phillips sponsored the bill was an encounter he had with a constituent – a 71-year-old great grandmother.
“She also encouraged me to sponsor this legislation because she can’t get a copy of her original birth certificate without a court order and unnecessary expenses,” said Phillips.