It is now easier for adoptees to obtain records

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JEFFERSON CITY – Adopted adults will no longer have to go through a long process to get their original birth certificates.

The Missouri Adoptee Rights Act took effect Tuesday, and several people gathered in Jefferson City for a celebration. 

The bill allows Missouri-born adoptees age 18 or older to get a copy of their original birth certificate. People can do this by applying through the Department of Health and Senior Services and Bureau of Vital Statistics. 

State Rep. Don Phllips, R-Kimberling City, said he first thought about the issue when he was contacted by a constituent who needed help getting access to her original birth certificate. 

“I’m also adopted, however it didn’t occur to me to really sponsor a bill like that until she contacted me," Phillips said. "So I knew exactly how she felt as an adoptee and I was fortunate enough to be able to sponsor the bill.”

Before the Missouri Adoptee Rights Act took effect, Phillips said, obtaining the original birth certificate used to require a court order and “unnecessary expenses.” 

Dianne Magnusson is the woman Phillips helped. About four years ago a friend suggested she write a letter to her representatives.

“The senator didn’t write me back right away,” she said. “But Don wrote me back and said he would like to help me.”

Tuesday, Magnusson was honored by being the first person to receive her original birth certificate. 

“It’s closure,” she said. “You’re curious. You want to know who you look like, that kind of thing. But to get this was just closure. It’s a missing puzzle piece. It’s just a treasure.”

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