Pre-1917 St. Louis City
Deeds of Adoption
Pre-1917 Deeds of Adoption were recorded with county Recorders of Deeds and are public records. Deeds of Adoption were recorded with property transactions in land record deed books.
Research Warning: When recorded, a Deed of Adoption was indexed by date of recording not date of deed. Submitting and paying for recordation of a deed, real estate deed and deed of adoption alike, in a timely matter was not the norm in Missouri in the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century. While the last Deeds of Adoption were contracted in 1917, some of these deeds were recorded much later in the Century. This is an important consideration when researching Deeds of Adoption recorded in county Recorder offices which do not have adoptions re-indexed as a separate collection of records. It could be that a 1916 Deed of Adoption will be found in a 1950 Land Deeds Index.
St. Louis City
Deeds of Adoption Index
The Recorder and Registrar's Archives maintains index cards with Adoptee and Adoptive Parent names and deed Book and Page.
- Abbreviations or initials often replaced first names.
- In the indexing of married couple adoptive parents, "& wife" was usually used in lieu of the adoptive mother's name.
- While mention of a biological parent's name in a Deed of Adoption was rare, such names were not indexed.
It is believed, but there is at this time no documentation to verify, that this first re-indexing of Deeds of Adoption occurred during the Great Depression by the Works Progress Administration, possibly as part of the Historical Records Survey, and was finished by City Workhouse inmates.
The Recorder and Registrar's new Deeds of Adoption Index was a labor of love by our greatly missed colleague, the late Ann Grisham, Archivist, Archives Dept., St. Louis City Recorder and Registrar.
Ms. Grisham reviewed each microfilmed Deed of Adoption (recorded handwritten transcriptions); abstracted the full names of adoptees, adoptive parents, biological parents, date of adoption; verified the record's Book and Page; and completed all the data entry for this Index.
Search Deeds of Adoption Index
- By Adoptee Name
- By Adoptive Parent Name
- By Biological Parent Name
Purchase Copy of Deed of Adoption