New Iowa law helps adult adoptees get original birth certificates

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed legislation which makes it easier for adult adoptees to get their original birth certificates.

Iowa Legislation has been working with adoptees since 2014 on the issue. They needed to meet certain requirements and be born before a certain year but now, that’s changing.

“For me, in my situation, my wife, she actually was the one who went in and did everything that needed to be done, and I know the process was somewhat rigorous,” Andrew Pearson, an adoptee, said.

State lawmakers are working to lessen that burden.

“Before the bill, you either had to seek this information, you had to have been born before 1941, or you could only seek the information that helped explain your developmental and medical history,” Iowa State Rep. Chris Hall said.

“I’ve got high blood pressure, I’ve got atrial fibrillation, I’ve had arthritis in my joints, had two hips replaced, a knee replaced, so for me, I guess at some point it can be pretty important,” Pearson said.

According to Hall, access to their original certificates now comes with an eased requirement.

“The changes after this bill, it switches that date to 1971, which should capture a larger segment of our adopted population in Iowa just by way of age,” Hall said.

And for adoptees, it’s more than just finding out who their birth parents are.

“I’ve never really had a curiosity as to who my biological parents are. I did have my biological son inquire if I would mind if he got a hold of my biological parents, because he wanted to get information as far as our medical history,” Pearson said. “I’m just grateful for the mother God placed me with.”

The new law will also add options for biological parents who will have to fill out a “contact preference” form to indicate whether or not they want to be contacted by the adoptee or if they want to remove their names from the birth certificate.

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