Please help my wife stop crying when she sees her Church records

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
nielsondc-p40
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Please help my wife stop crying when she sees her Church records

Postby nielsondc-p40 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:04 am

After my first wife passed away, I remarried and my new wife adopted our five children. Even though she has legally adopted these children and cares for them daily, her Church records being generated from MLS bluntly say "No children." This leaves her feeling very badly for days. She keeps saying to me, "The Church doesn't recognize that I have any children."

Is there anything that can be done to fix this. Ideally, there would be a way for legally adopted children to appear on her records. If that cannot be done, please at least leave that line blank if there are no children.

This may seem like a little thing, but it is a BIG deal to her (and perhaps others). Can you please help me out? Thanks.

scion-p40
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Postby scion-p40 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:57 am

This is odd. I show up as the child of my mother's second husband, who adopted my sister and me.

He was abusive. I'd rather have biodad's name there, but cannot get that changed.

Her second husband died recently and he showed up on new FamilySearch as my dad. I quit chasing my tail in circles.

edwardlalone
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Postby edwardlalone » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:28 am

Talk to your Ward Clerk or Membership Clerk. It's easy to add adopted children to your current wife's membership records.

They will need to know if her adopted children already have a membership record or whether they will need to create one but either way it will take them a few minutes to make the necessary corrections but she will need to be the legal adoptive parent of your children.

My advice is to take any adoption records with you in case the Ward Clerk or Bishop will require legal proof to change their membership records which is normally the case to avoid legal issues which may arise if they are not legally adopted.

I hope this helps but the Church doesn't normally update the records of its members without their permission. So, if your wife would like her record to show her adopted children she should ask the Membership Clerk or Ward Clerk. They may or may not know how to do it depending on whether they have done it before. If that is the case tell them to open her membership record and go to children and click on add children.

Again, I hope this helps.

nielsondc-p40
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Postby nielsondc-p40 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:30 am

Thanks for the tip, Edward. I will give that a try. Will this work even if my children are sealed to my deceased wife?

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:50 am

nielsondc wrote:Thanks for the tip, Edward. I will give that a try. Will this work even if my children are sealed to my deceased wife?

That's a good question. I could see it go either way, the possibility of a restriction in the software for this situation. Perhaps someone with the MLS test data loaded could try this out and report back.

One thing I would like to add to this entire situation, is that depending on the age of your children, you may want to consult with them about which mother should show up on their individual records. This would assume something like an age limit of 18 or older (or old enough to decide). If they are younger, then I would assume you have the sufficient authority to make the decision on their behalf. :)
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:32 am

mkmurray wrote:That's a good question. I could see it go either way, the possibility of a restriction in the software for this situation. Perhaps someone with the MLS test data loaded could try this out and report back.

One thing I would like to add to this entire situation, is that depending on the age of your children, you may want to consult with them about which mother should show up on their individual records. This would assume something like an age limit of 18 or older (or old enough to decide). If they are younger, then I would assume you have the sufficient authority to make the decision on their behalf. :)


You can add a child to an individual record. Note that this is entirely different from adding a child to a household -- it's possible to add people to a household (such as a foster child) who are not related at all, either biologically or by adoption.

In any case, when you start the process of adding a child to an individual's record, MLS asks you to confirm that the member is "either the biological or adoptive parent for this child." If you answer no, you can't add the child.

But if you answer yes, then you have three choices:

  1. The child actually has a record in the ward. In this case, you just select them from the ward list and add them.
  2. Create a membership record for the child.
  3. The child does has a membership record, but not in this ward. In this case you have to fill in more information (including the record number).
After you answer those questions, you are asked if the spouse of the parent is also the biological or adoptive parent. This makes it easy to add the child to both parents at once.

Near the end of the process, you are asked if the child is sealed, and to enter the sealing date and temple. It doesn't ask if the child is sealed to the parents in question, just if the child is sealed. But read the MLS help information on this topic to make sure your actions don't appear to be contradicting recorded sealing information.

greggo
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Postby greggo » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:47 am

I just wanted to mention that if you plan to 2. Create a membership record for the child, they will need to be under 8 years of age. MLS will not let you create the record otherwise - they would need to get baptized to do so.

But since you mentioned the children are sealed to you and your first wife, they must have had membership records already created.

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Adopted children: I've cried about church records too!

Postby owentami1 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:26 am

I also adopted children when I married my spouse. I thought that since these children were already born in the covenant to their biological parents that they couldn't appear on my record as well. We've had additional children and my spouse and I have worked very hard to be a unified family. But I've dreaded tithing settlement when we get a printout of our membership information and it doesn't list ALL of my children. It may be just a computer thing, but it can have a very big impact on people if they translate that as the church not accepting their family as a unit. I hope this can be corrected. Also I think there should be a way on the child's record to list both their biological parent and adoptive parent. Is this possible? And when a child gets a patriarchal blessing can it list their biological parent who died and their adoptive parent? Do patriarchal blessing forms get their information from MLS? Please help!

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:36 am

You will need to go to your Bishop and/or Ward Clerk and show them the adoption papers. They are the ones that hold the keys to your membership record. There's nothing we in this forum can do.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Postby idjeeper2 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:23 am

oats wrote:I also adopted children when I married my spouse. I thought that since these children were already born in the covenant to their biological parents that they couldn't appear on my record as well. We've had additional children and my spouse and I have worked very hard to be a unified family. But I've dreaded tithing settlement when we get a printout of our membership information and it doesn't list ALL of my children. It may be just a computer thing, but it can have a very big impact on people if they translate that as the church not accepting their family as a unit. I hope this can be corrected. Also I think there should be a way on the child's record to list both their biological parent and adoptive parent. Is this possible? And when a child gets a patriarchal blessing can it list their biological parent who died and their adoptive parent? Do patriarchal blessing forms get their information from MLS? Please help!


Adding the children to your record can be done as Alan described. It's been a while since I've done that so I won't get into details, but your ward clerk or membership clerk should be able to sort it out (they can always ask for help from the stake clerk if necessary).

I have also added children to the records of members so it was clear that they should stay in a family ward instead of a YSA unit. In that case, you need the name, and hopefully a birthdate, place and the other parent. Big Note: you are not creating a child of record, just putting the child's name in there. Creating a record will cause all kinds of problems down the road, especially if the non-member parent finds out and objects.

To your question about patriarchal blessing recommends - the automated form gets it's information from MLS, so the fields will fill with whomever is in MLS as the parent. It is possible to manual-fill the fields with whatever you want (within reason). That is necessary for individuals who have non-member parents who aren't in MLS or for those who don't know who a parent is (a whole other discussion). The recommend only has one field for father and one for mother, so having multiples isn't real practical. I would suggest that you talk with your Bishop and perhaps even the Patriarch about this and see if it is really what you want to do.

I think again that folks are wanting MLS to do things it is not designed to do. It is a system used by church leaders to administer the affairs of the ward and as such, carries the information needed to do that. Like current parents, household, etc. Carrying a lot of historical information about families is just not useful to a bishop. A record will indicate that a person is sealed to a prior spouse, that a child is sealed or born in the covenant, but beyond that, the information doesn't help a bishop see to the needs of the family and can open a lot of wounds that might be best left alone. I know when I was a new clerk I would ask people about things on their records and almost immediately wish I had kept my mouth shut or had a discreet conversation with the bishop. A child with no father because he was the result of a rape is one that comes to mind - really wish I hadn't gone there.


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