legislative history

OBC Laws

Florida's Surprising History

1885 - 1938

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


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.   


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."  


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.



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 However, the 1939 language was not repealed until 1987.  


HB89 (Stark) is signed by Governor DeSantis, removing the requirement for adoptive parent consent in order for an adult adoptee to obtain records. 

Image: flsenate.gov archives