Friday, September 10, 2010

Record Sealing?

We’ve been working with an attorney in Austin via phone and email for our second parent adoption. The initial motion is in place, my fingerprints have been taken, and the social worker has been contacted. As the balls are in motion, I was sent a copy of the initial filing, a draft copy of what the judge will sign, etc. Both the initial filing and draft of what the judge will sign call for the records of the adoption to be sealed. As an adopted person who worked incredibly hard against my sealed records to find out about my background, my heart sank. I don’t want my son’s record sealed. There is NEVER a reason in existence to justify sealing an adoption record.

I have a call out to find out if we can have the clause changed or if it’s required. I really wish she would call me back because just thinking about it makes me angry.


Anonymous said...

Oh Merideth,

I'd never thought of it from the adoptee's perspective. I'm sorry you've faced so much pain over sealed records.

In this context, I think the main thing they seal in second-parent adoptions are older versions of the birth certificate, so that there isn't more than one floating around. It doesn't feel like anything is being covered up.

Perhaps you could make an adoption time capsule and include copies of all of the documents you're signing now, his first birth certificate, etc., and give it to him when you're ready to explain how you built your family.

Again, I'm sorry this is causing you pain. Hugs.

Tyler Tuszynski said...

Sec. 162.021. SEALING FILE. (a) The court, on the motion of a party or on the court's own motion, may order the sealing of the file and the minutes of the court, or both, in a suit requesting an adoption.

(b) Rendition of the order does not relieve the clerk from the duty to send information regarding adoption to the bureau of vital statistics as required by this subchapter and Chapter 108.

It doesn't appear to be mandatory - only upon the motion of one of the parties. So you should be able to have the record remain open.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I have been lurking on your blog and I was reading old posts and came across something that has got me in a tizzy trying to get to the bottom of it. In one of your posts you said that you knew that you would never be able to second parent adopt if your child was born in Florida. I was wondering if you knew the specifics about this. I know that gay adoption of any sort is not legal, but does that limit if the child is born in Florida than moves to another state that it is allowed? I'm sorry for posting if you have no idea on the matter. I've been googling for hours now trying to get to the bottom of it. (I tried posting on the original post and it wouldn't let me) Thank you so much for any information you have on it.. Ashley

Meredith said...


Thanks, I found the link as well. The lawyer however, still has not called me back. Grrr.

All things lucky,
My research shows that if a child is born in Florida, the only way to complete a second parent adoption is to establish residency in a state that does enable second parent adoption and complete the adoption there. While living in Florida the only thing you can do is set up a conservatorship.