In 1962 the adoption law was amended regulating what was to be put on an adoptee birth certificate, but was in practice open to interpretation. What was included on the birth certificate was left up to the imagination of the social worker or the court in Frankfort, Kentucky. Any type of information could purposefully be excluded or included, even by accident. The uniform regulations of adoption laws were lax to say the least. A parent of an adoptee of this generation might be surprised to find out what was on the certificate once they opened it. Some were even sent back for a reworking of the information by the adoptive parents.
Laws for adoption in Kentucky today are stringent. For the adoptive parent the production of a new birth certificate is beneficial. Name changes replace the original name of the child and sometimes the parents. In most cases, if a child was born in the state of Kentucky the biological parent(s) will be the only name(s) listed. Surprisingly adoptive parents can have a court order to allow the non – identifying such as doctor, midwife, city state, and birth place information is included on the birth certificate.
Controversy seems to exist in the adoption law of allowing place of birth by court order, and the legal issue of the fact that the parent’s place of residential domain is the birth place of the child. If no certificate of birth is found for the adopted child then the state will automatically issue a new one.
The adoption law in Kentucky for a child born in another US state is handled by the Department of Social Services or Adoption Services of that state. If a child is born overseas then federal regulations over take the state of Kentucky adoption laws by the participation of a federal agency in the adoption. Also if for any reason the adoption is overturned or changed by any means it’s the courts responsibility to contact the Health and Family Services of Kentucky. Families that have adopted foreign children and did not know it was overturned are not liable for any crimes.
Changes in documentation like birth certificates will be made by the Social Services Department or Health Department in the State in which the child was born. In Kentucky you can apply for and obtain a new birth record at any public county office building. Bring valid ID and any records of your birth you have and go to the Health Department. They will be able to assist you with applying for a new birth certificate.
In the last 50 years Kentucky laws concerning adoption have seen lots of change and it represents the changing social attitudes and beliefs about adoption. Many states like Kentucky still pass laws concerning adoption that are believed to be in everyone’s best interest, but many of the laws actually stop adoptees from finding family members. There are no national federal regulations concerning the issues of adoption. In truth it’s hard to know what the best interest is of each state or individual case will be. Some types of negotiation are apparent already like allowing adoptee parents the right to petition the court for inclusion of other non – identifying information to be placed on the birth certificate. It is only a single step but a rather large one for the adopted community.
To opponents this is viewed as a violation of basic human rights such as the right to privacy. But how can we or anybody else stop someone from finding their family? What gives us the right? In truth for many adopted children, who are now adults are glad that there was a little information available to find their birth families. Matters of the heart for both the adoptive parent and adoptee are a hard and emotional balancing act for the state of Kentucky to legislate, or any state for that matter.