Adoptees Born in New York Could Soon Access Birth Certificates
Fans of the cable television series “Long Lost Family” often hear how difficult it is for the hosts to find the birth-families of adoptees if those children were born in New York, often publicizing that the Empire State has some of the most strict and restrictive rules concerning access to information. That may soon be coming to an end.
Adoptees can soon obtain a certified birth certificate under a new law passed by the State Legislature.
Governor Andrew Cuomo November 14 that is set to take effect January 15.
The new law allows adults who were placed for adoption, their descendants or legal representatives to obtain a certified copy of their original birth certificate.
The current law has adoptees going before a judge to request access to their birth certificate and that access isn’t always guaranteed.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says about half of states still require a court order. Some critics worry about privacy rights of birth parents.
Governor Cuomo says "every New Yorker deserves access to the same birth records-it;s a basic human right."
Advocates of the change say, aside from piecing together the family picture for adoptees, the information gathered through birth records can be important when it comes to genetic and medical histories.