What happens at an Adoption Concerns Triangle (ACT) monthly meeting? Our meeting starts with general announcements about upcoming events/conferences and sharing recent articles in the news that concern adoption. An explanation is given about confidentiality within ACT and then everyone takes a turn to tell their name (last name optional) and state their relationship to adoption. The rest of the meeting involves discussion on such issues as search strategies and relationships between adoptive and birth family members. When ACT was first started, guest speakers were invited to present to the group and the support meeting followed. That resulted in meetings that lasted very late and, upon request from the membership, guest speakers (on a regular basis) were discontinued.
What resources are available through ACT? ACT has over 200 books, videotapes, DVDs, audiotapes and CDs available for checkout by members. These media references include multiple aspects of adoption, reunion, assisted reproductive technologies, surrogate parenthood, and much more.
Is this support group only for adoptees? ACT believes that all sides of the Triad (adoptee, adoptive family and birth family) can learn from each other. For that reason our support group welcomes and encourages everyone involved with adoption to attend meetings.
I work late on Tuesday evenings; can I arrive after the 7:15 pm start time? Absolutely! Since our group’s chairs are in a circle, it is very easy to quietly join the meeting (or leave early) and not disrupt any of the discussion.
Is there a membership fee? There is no fee to become an ACT member. New Hope Methodist Church does charge us a $25 fee each month so we “pass the hat” for optional donations each month. We do encourage ACT members to also become members of American Adoption Congress (www.americanadoptioncongress.org).
How can I, as an adoptee who was born in Kansas, access my ORIGINAL birth certificate? Kansas adoption records have NEVER been closed. The records have always been accessible to adult adoptees (in KS that is age 18); the original birth certificate (OBC) comes from KS Vital Statistics and the adoption record comes from KS Social and Rehabilitative Services (SRS) Children and Family Policy. The often stated confusion arises from the fact that this was not clearly spelled out in the law and, in the early 1950s when many states were closing their records, the KS legislature passed a 1953 law that clearly spelled out that the records belong to adult adoptees. The OBC is available only to the adult adoptee. The adoptee's descendants cannot get the OBC (which many want when the adoptee is deceased). The OBC is stamped, in red, VOID so that the document cannot be used for fraud. It has only been in the past 15 years or so that this has been done. The same form and fee, is used for ALL Kansans whether adopted or not adopted. This form may be accessed at: www.kdheks.gov/vital/birth.html
How does a Kansas adoptee access the state adoption record? If an adoptee is born in KS but the adoption was completed in another state, they still get the OBC. If the adoptee was born elsewhere but the adoption was completed in KS, the adoptee can still obtain the state adoption record but the OBC stays with the state (and their laws) where the adoptee was born. For a Kansas state adoption record form for all adoptions completed in Kansas, click here. At the present time there is no fee for the Kansas adoption record or for requesting a search for a birth family member or adoptee.
Can birth family members receive assistance in contacting an adult adoptee? Birth parents/siblings can request a search, though SRS, and forward their identifying information to the adult adoptee. It then is the decision of the adoptee whether or not to directly contact that particular birth family member. Identifying information about the adult adoptee cannot be released to any birth family member without the written, notarized consent of the adoptee. For a Kansas state adoption record form for all adoptions completed in Kansas, click here. At the present time there is no fee for the Kansas adoption record or for requesting a search for a birth family member or adoptee.
What help can ACT offer those who were born and/or adopted outside of Kansas? We have connections nationwide, as well as in many countries, with members and groups involved with adoption search and support. In the United States the adoption laws, and adult adoptee access to information, vary from state to state. ACT can connect you with caring people that can assist.
Can ACT help me find an adoption support group for family members living outside the Topeka area? ACT has members that drive in from Kansas City, Lawrence, Manhattan, Emporia and other neighboring towns. We can assist you in finding a carpool or refer you to another adoption search and support group in Kansas or any of the US states.