I've been tracking a historical figure in Kansas City and I came across this, does it sound familiar? Apparently it is standard procedure, but it does mention a consideration for relatives, but immediate family carries a different interpretation than a distant descendant.
Kansas Records Only:
Eligibility: "Birth, death, marriage, and divorce records (vital records) in Kansas are not public records. Certified copies of vital records are released to the person named on the record, immediate family, a legal representative, or anyone who can prove a direct interest, such as a named beneficiary or someone who jointly owns property with the person whose record is requested. The record must be necessary for the determination of personal or property rights. Proof of legal representation, direct interest, or written authorization is required if the requestor is not named on the record or an immediate family member."