Some Missourians can prove they were adopted. But they cannot prove they were born. They’re asking the legislature to let them get that proof
Access by adoptees to their birth certificates is a civil rights issue for those backing a change in Missouri law. Several of them support bills in the House and Senate letting adults see those certificates and suggesting that mothers who give up children for adoption fill out medical history forms that can be given adoptees later.
Ina Lewis of Blue Springs, who was born to a 16-year old girl at the Willows Maternity Home in Kansas City, says access to a birth certificate is “nothing more than a basic civil right.” She tells a Senate Committee, “The government…should never be in the business of stealing anyone’s identity. How would you like to be told because of your birth history you do not have the right to know your heritage?”
She says most adult adoptees are not looking for a mommy or a daddy; their adoptive parents have filled those roles. Lewis says they are looking for their heritage, their genetic identity and their roots.
Another person has told the committee the law makes adotees into second class citizens because of something they had nothing to do with and had no say in the decision.
The Bill is SB594. Two bills have been introduced in the House: HB1237 and HB1665.
Note: Technical problems in the Senate committee hearing room where testimony on SB594 was taken resulted in varying levels of volumes. The beginning of testimony by May Helen Allen of Columbia is briefly distorted about 13:00 into the hearing. Committee Hearing 46:10 mp3