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Trouble getting an OBC

I saw in a previous thread that Kansas is one of the states that allows unconditional access of the information in the original birth certificate. Is this only after the adoptee is an adult? My DD was born in KS in 2004 and I was not able to get a copy of her OBC. They told me that I cannot request it, and her bmom cannot request it. She has to wait until she is 18 and she can request it. I live in Iowa and I have one for my son. I know that adult adoptees sometimes like to have the original document, and I want to do what I can to help them put the pieces together.

A related question - some people say it is not right for the adoptive parents to put the info together, but that they should allow the adoptee to do it himself or herself. Can any adoptees share how they feel about this? Thanks!


Asked by Iamgr8teful at 6:34 PM on May. 15, 2009 in Adoption

Level 25 (23,279 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Your information is correct, and should be a relief to you that your child's OBC is only available to her as an adult for security reasons. As per your second question, I am not an adoptee, but I am somewhat of a "know-it-all" about adoption:D

    Betty Jean Lifton, a famous adoptee author, wrote in her book "A Journey of the Adopted Self" that the search helped her deal with her issues around adoption. Adoptees generally agree with her, the ones who were found, the ones that are rejected or searching say it's BS and would just love someone to help them search.



    Answer by onethentwins at 12:36 AM on May. 16, 2009

  • i wish my birth parents gave me some info about them. i dont know a damn thing about them and i wont until i turn 21. all i know is that my birth father is from virginia, he is married, and i have a half brother. thats it. it makes me so mad and like they dont want me to know who they are since i dont have any info!

    Answer by kelsey.evans08 at 6:40 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • I've heard (and support the idea) that adult adoptees should lead the pace in search and reunion but I've never heard anyone come down in a negative vein on an adoptive parent that wishes to preserve birth family information for the adoptee.

    In fact, most adoptees are thankful for any little scrap of information that pertains to their birth family. I am from the closed era and my parents received NO written paperwork or information from the adoption agency - only invoices for payment and my amended birth certificate. I do have a scrap of paper on which my adoptive mom frantically tried to write down the details that were related to her verbally about my birth family and that is so precious to me. Simple things like the fact that my birth mom wore glasses, that both parents did well in school, and a partial sentence that says "intend to marry". These things are so precious to me.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 7:01 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • Instead of trying to obtain the actual OBC have you looked at what may be released to the adoption triad in terms of non-identifying information from the state's records? I didn't pay any attention to that until just this last year. While it doesn't provide the last names of the parties, sometimes adoptive parents may receive first names, years of birth, physcial characteristics, and medical history if it was collected. I know it's not the full information on the OBC but it does provide more than most people have and in many states it is all that is releasable (even to the birth mothers and adoptees who are the original owners of that document).

    Best of luck and I think its admirable what you are trying to piece to together for your daughter. If she chooses not to search that is up to her but at least you have done what you can so that if she does choose to search there is something to go on.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 7:05 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • Port - I should have given a little more info. We have all of the information, like names of both birthparents and birthdate for bmom, who is now one of my two closest friends in the world. I was present at the birth, as well as at several prenatal visits. I just wanted to help her get the actual document. My other project is putting together family trees for the birthfamilies for both my kids' baby books. That will be easier for DD than for DS because of the level of contact (DS's bmom is sometimes in contact, but still seems a little uncomfortable and is keeping some distance).

    I'll wait to see any other answers. Thanks to both of you so far.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:16 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • I think that providing information to your duaghter is one of the most loving and supportive things you can do. BTW, everything I have read about reunion says that it almost always strengthens the relationship between the adoptee and her amom, but only if she is truly supportive. Although, I think supplying information and making initial contact are two completely different things. I think surprising the adoptee with a reunion, or forcing one on her could be disastrous.

    Answer by onethentwins at 12:36 AM on May. 16, 2009

  • As a foster parent who hopes to adopt, every bit of info on birth families that I have on a placement is very precious to me & important to save for our child. Going thru the state means that you most likely will not have contact with birth parents, so that IF our child wants to search when they are older, all we have is little to go on. Usually, they move frequently, may change names, may be in trouble with the law, etc. We hope that, even though the birth parents' were terminated on, that maybe they will be in a better place in their lives in years to come. So that if our child wants to search for them, we will be supportive & hopeful that they are doing well. We wouldn't want our child disappointed, but will be right beside him all the way no matter what. That's our job.

    OP-I see no reason to have them dig for info that can be available now. I wouldn't push them, but offer what I had & let them decide if & when to look.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 10:15 PM on May. 16, 2009

  • For what it's worth, I think it's very heartbreaking for an adoptive mother to not wish to help her child find what they need, if she has the information.

    How much more supportive of your child can you be than to preserve and share what information you have and say - let's take this journey together?

    Isn't that what PARENTS do?

    I guess some need to face their own insecurities before they can do that --- wouldn't it be nice if the world was an ideal place? LOL

    Thankfully, I have my son's OBC and keep it right beside his new BC... of course, this thread isn't about that but I think it's a little nuts that the BC is changed in the first place.... again, that's another story - LOL

    Answer by AAAMama at 11:38 AM on May. 17, 2009

  • AAAMama -

    Woo Hoo :) Yes that's what parents are supposed to do. I'm so happy for your son that you've got all of those documents for him. I have such hope that the era of open adoption will be changing some of the things that are such a struggle for adoptees of the closed era.

    Even those of us who had amazingly supportive and open-minded adoptive parents still feel so marginalized by the laws that tell us we need to be forever protected from information that should be available to us - just like any other US citizen.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 9:25 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • OP here - thanks to all of you for your input. I realize that I wasn't very clear in my post, and I think it caused some confusion. We don't need to do a search because we have names and birthdates, as well as face-to-face contact. I was just hoping to help my DD get the OBC so she could have it. I guess I was hoping that someone would tell me the lady at Vital Statistics was wrong, but I think there's nothing I can do.

    I will work on making family trees for both kids for their birthfamilies. I want to find out names for several generations back, as well as ethnic/national origin. We plan to stay in contact, so reunion should not be necessary. Thanks again!

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 12:14 AM on May. 20, 2009