legislative history

OBC Laws

Florida's Surprising History

1885 - 1938

Adoption records were public, and amended birth certificates were not issued in adoptions. 

1939

SB 72 mandated that upon an adoption, the state would create an amended birth certificate and seal the original. Adoptees had access to the document upon request and proof of identification.   

1947

The Florida legislature enacted a new law in which Section 72.27 required sealing court records related to an adoption "upon entry of a final decree."  

1976

The First District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of appellant Betty Mullarkey (formerly Berkowitz), affirming that Florida statute still allowed adult adoptees to obtain a copy of their OBC "and all papers pertaining thereto" upon request.

 

1977

The Florida legislature seals the OBC and requires judicial review of requests by adult adoptees. However, the 1939 language was not repealed until 1987.  

Image: flsenate.gov archives

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