Saturday, November 1, 2014

A "True Certification of Facts"

A "True Certification of Facts" may not always be certifying what you think.

This is a current Missouri Birth Certification form, with all identifying information removed.
(And in gray scale to prevent it from being used for illegitimate purposes.)

This is actually an amended certificate, but there is no way to tell that, is there?

[I have removed nothing except the names, dates, ages, gender, locations and state file number.]

The individual was born in the spring of 2013. The amending took place in October of 2014. The Date Filed still reflects the original filing date of the original certificate. The date at the bottom of the form is just the date the certified document was requested at the local Vital Records office.

The state registrar signed that this is a "true certification of name and birth facts as recorded...." However, the name of the child, the name and age of the mother, and the name and age of the father are all different from the original certificate.

Legally, I agree with the statement. The Mother and Father on the form are now (as of October 2nd, the date their adoption was legally finalized) the mother and father. The words 'Natural' or 'Birth' are not used to describe "Mother" and "Father" on the form.

Decades from now, if a genealogy researcher obtained this certificate, without any other knowledge, they would likely make that assumption, wouldn't they? They'd be wrong.

In this case, the individual (and his brother) are going to grow up knowing that they are adopted. But if the parents chose not to tell them, the birth certificate would in no way give it away.

Keep this in mind when looking at documents.
Know the difference between what is stated, and what you only assume is stated.


Julie Goucher said...

Interesting John. So there is absolutely no link between the birth certificate and the adoption file?

John said...

There could be additional info in the "State File" the researcher could request with the state file number, but Missouri is s Closed Adoption state, so the records are closed. I'm unsure if there is a number of years on the closure.

John said...

Just a note: Missouri recently passed a law that at age 18 an adoptee can request their original certificate.

Of course, they need to know that they were adopted. As I said in the post, if they weren't told, the amended certificate in no way gives it away.

Anonymous said...

I have a son who was adopted in Missouri. I was able to get a copy of the "original" birth certificate (with the birth mother's name), and a copy AFTER the adoption paperwork was finalized (with his AMENDED last name). The way you can tell an amended certificate is that the birth registration number (the number that starts with 124) has an astrisk after the number. That is your clue that the record is amended.