CHILD WELFARE MANUAL

3.6.3 Adopted Adult Requesting Information

This Procedure is Based on 453.121, RSMo:

The adopted adult is the only person who can petition the court for a release of identifying information, unless the adopted adult is deceased, in which case lineal descendents may petition the court.  “Lineal descendants” include adopted children and their descendants. (Section 472.010 RSMo.)

Any adopted adult whose adoption was completed in this state or whose biological parents had their parental rights terminated in the state may request the court to secure and disclose identifying information concerning a biological parent or an adult sibling.

When the adopted adult makes a written request to the court, identifying information about biological parents or siblings is released only by the court which granted the adoption.

The Circuit Court having original jurisdiction will:

  1. Within ten (10) days notify in writing the child-placing agency of the request. 
  2. Within three (3) months after receiving notice of the request, the court will receive a report from the child-placing agency stating if the biological parents were located and given the required information.
  3. Receive information from the child-placing agency if the biological parents were unable to be notified.
  4. Disclose identifying information if the biological parent has filed a release with the court or if the biological parent is found to be deceased, the court will disclose identifying information as to that biological parent to the adopted adult, or the adopted adult’s lineal descendents if the adopted adult is deceased, provided that the other biological parent is either:
    1. unknown;
    2. known but cannot be found and notified;
    3. deceased; or
    4. has filed with the court an affidavit authorizing the release of information.
  5. Disclose identifying information pertaining exclusively to the biological sibling upon consent of that biological sibling.
  6. Not accept additional requests for the same information within one year from the end of the (3) three month period, provided that the biological parents were unable to be notified, unless a good cause is shown and leave of court is granted.
  7. Not accept additional requests within (3) three years of the time the biological parent fails or refuses to give consent authorizing the release of identifying information.

The Children’s Service Worker will:

  1. Receive written notice from court that an adopted adult has made written request for release of identifying information about biological parents or siblings.
    1. If appropriate, report to court that the information requested was made by an adopted adult who made a similar request less than (1) one year from the date of current request and the biological parent/siblings could not be located at the time of the previous request.
    2. If appropriate, report to court that the adopted adult made a similar request within the last three (3) years and the biological parent/siblings refused to consent to the release of identifying information.

      NOTE: 453.121, RSMo, does not require another search until the above time frames have elapsed.

  2. Review appropriate Division records to gather identifying information on adopted adult, biological parents, adoptive parents, and biological siblings.
  3. Make reasonable efforts to notify the biological parents or the biological siblings of the request of adopted adult through a “confidential and personal” contact, which may include contact by telephone or face to face contact.
    1. Determine that either or both biological parents are deceased and document information source regarding this fact.
    2. Determine that a biological parent is unknown, after review and search of adoption records and other materials, and document the information source regarding this information.
    3. Determine that a biological parent is known, but cannot be located, and document the attempts to locate the specific biological parent.
    4. Determine that the biological parent has previously filed an affidavit with the court, if the biological parent indicates this has been done, and obtain identifying information about the court receiving the affidavit.
    5. Request assistance from another county office or state if biological parent is located out of state. Inform person contacted of need for confidential contact.
  4. Inform the biological parent(s) at the time of notification of the following:
    1. A report to the court will be made which includes the following information:
      • The nature of the identifying information contained in Division records.
      • The nature of the non-identifying information contained in Division records.
      • The date of the request of the adopted adult.
      • That the Division has informed the biological parent of the necessity to file an affidavit with the court permitting the release of identifying information.
      • That the Division informed the biological parent of the effect of a failure to file an affidavit consenting to the release of identifying information.
    2. The necessity to file an affidavit with the court which granted the adoption stating that the identifying information should be disclosed.
    3. That identifying information will not be released to the adopted adult if the affidavit is not filed with the court.
    4. The identifying information will be released only by the court to the adopted adult.
  5. File report with the court at the end of three (3) months, or as soon as information is secured, which includes the following information:
    1. That each biological parent was/was not located.
    2. The nature of the identifying information requested.
    3. The date of the request of the adopted adult.
    4. The fact that the biological parent was informed of the right to file an affidavit with the court stating that identifying information should be disclosed.
    5. The fact that the biological parent was informed of the effect of a failure to file the affidavit.

      NOTE: “Effect of a failure” is that identifying information cannot be released to the adopted adult.

    6. A summary of the discussion with each biological parent, if applicable.
  6. Record all activities in the case narrative within ten (10) working days in the adoptive parent(s) case record:
    1. File copies of reports and other correspondence in the “Adopted Adult Information Request” section of the case record.

Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 1/31/07)

Memoranda History: