Missouri

Missouri

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

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Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.121

Nonidentifying information is available to:

  • The adoptive parents
  • The child’s legal guardians
  • The adult adopted person
  • The adult adopted person’s lineal descendants if the adopted person is deceased

Identifying information is available to the adult adopted person or the adult adopted person’s lineal descendants if the adopted person 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.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.121

An adult adopted person, 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. If the birth parents have not consented to the release of the information, the court shall, within 10 days of receipt of the request, notify in writing the child-placing agency or juvenile court having access to the requested information.

If the agency or court is unable to notify the birth parent within 3 months, the identifying information shall not be disclosed to the adult adopted person. If an affidavit executed by a birth parent authorizing the release of information is filed with the court, the court shall disclose the identifying information.

Any adult adopted person 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 shall maintain a registry for birth parents, adult siblings, and adult adopted persons 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 adopted person. If such consent has not been executed and the division believes that a match has occurred, the division shall make confidential contact with the birth parents or adult siblings and with the adult adopted person. The birth parent, adult sibling, or adult adopted person may refuse to go forward with any further contact between the parties when contacted by the division.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 193.125

The State Registrar shall file the original certificate of birth with the certificate of decree of adoption and such file may be opened by the State Registrar only upon receipt of a certified copy of an order as decreed by the court of adoption.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Missouri Division of Family Services, Adoption Information Registry

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Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

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Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.026
The person placing the child for adoption shall furnish to the court, guardian ad litem, and prospective adoptive parent a written report regarding the child.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.026
The Department of Social Services, Division of Family Services, shall promulgate rules and regulations regarding all written information that shall be furnished to the court, guardian ad litem, and prospective adoptive parent.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.121
Nonidentifying information, if known, concerning undisclosed birth parents or siblings shall be furnished by the child-placing agency or the juvenile court to the adoptive parents, legal guardians, adopted adult, or the adopted adult’s lineal descendants, if the adopted adult is deceased, upon written request.Nonidentifying information includes the physical description, nationality, religious background, and medical history of the birth parent or sibling.

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 453.026
The report about the child must be compiled as early as is practical before the prospective adoptive parent accepts physical custody of the child.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

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Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

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Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 453.090; 474.060
When a child is adopted, all legal relationships and all rights and duties between such child and his or her birth parents shall cease.If, for purposes of intestate succession, a relationship of parent and child must be established to determine succession by, through, or from a person, an adopted person is the child of an adopting parent and not of the birth parents, except that adoption of a child by the spouse of a birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and such birth parent.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 453.090; 453.150
When a child is adopted, he or she shall be capable of inheriting from his or her parent(s) by adoption as fully as though born to them. The parent(s) by adoption shall be capable of inheriting from their adopted child as fully as though such child had been born to them. The adopted child shall be capable of inheriting from or taking through his or her parent(s) by adoption property limited expressly to heirs of the body of such parent(s) by adoption.

Any person adopted by deed of adoption or agreement of adoption in writing prior to 1917 shall hereafter be deemed and held to be for every purpose the child of his or her parent(s) by adoption as fully as though born to them in lawful wedlock, and such adoption shall have the same force and effect as an adoption under the provisions of this chapter, including all inheritance rights.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 474.240; 474.435
If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any child who was adopted after the execution of his or her will, the omitted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to that which he or she would have received if the testator had died intestate, unless:

  • It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • When the will was executed, the testator had one or more children and gave substantially all his or her estate to the other parent of the omitted child.
  • The testator provided for the child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision.

Adopted persons are included in class gift terminology and terms of relationship in accordance with rules for determining relationships for purposes of intestate succession.

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State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

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Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.170(2)

When an adoption occurs in a foreign country and the adopted child migrates to the United States with the permission of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service,* this State shall recognize the adoption.[*As of March 1, 2003, the responsibility for providing immigration-related services was transferred from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The statutes do not yet reflect this change.]

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.170(3)

The adoptive parent or parents may petition the court pursuant to this section to request a change of name. The petition shall include a certified copy of the decree of adoption issued by the foreign country and documentation from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that shows the child lawfully entered the United States. The court shall recognize and give effect to the decree of the foreign country and grant a decree of recognition of the adoption and shall change the name of the adopted child to the name given by the adoptive parent, if such a request has been made.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 453.170(2); 193.125(9)

The Department of Health and Senior Services shall issue a birth certificate for the adopted child upon request and upon receipt of proof of adoption as required in § 193.125(7).

The department, upon receipt of proof that a person has been adopted by a Missouri resident pursuant to laws of countries other than the United States, shall prepare a birth certificate in the name of the adoptee as decreed by the court of such country.

If such proof contains the surname of either adoptive parent, the department shall prepare a birth certificate as requested by the adoptive parents. Any subsequent change of the name of the adoptee shall be made by a court of competent jurisdiction. The proof of adoption required by the department shall include:

  • A copy of the original birth certificate and adoption decree
  • An English translation of the birth certificate and adoption decree
  • A copy of the approval of the immigration of the adopted person by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that shows the child lawfully entered the United States

The authenticity of the translation of the birth certificate and adoption decree shall be sworn to by the translator in a notarized document. The State Registrar shall file the documents relating to the adoption, and the documents may be opened by the State Registrar only by an order of a court.

A birth certificate shall be issued upon request of one of the adoptive parents or the adoptee if he or she is of legal age. The birth certificate prepared pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall have the same legal weight as evidence as a delayed or altered birth certificate, as provided in §§ 193.005 to 193.325.


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