Bill granting adoptees access to records wins approval

A bill that permits adoptees and certain others access to an adoptee’s original birth certificate was approved in the Assembly Monday 44-26-2. 

The bill, S799, dubbed the Adoptees Birthright Bill, would allow adopted adults 18 or over to receive a copy of their original birth certificate upon request. 

To protect birth parents who want no contact with children they gave up for adoption, the bill would allow one year to redact the parents’ name and address from the certificate.

Supporters of the bill have been battling for 31 years to see it become law.  The bill gained full Assembly support in 1992 and 1994 and was approved by the Senate in 2004, 2006, 2008. In March 2010, it was approved 27 to 10 by the Senate and today’s Assembly vote marked the first time the bill had a chance to make it to the governor’s desk.

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto said on the floor of the chamber that this bill is crucial for adoptees. He said many people misunderstand that confidentiality was somehow guaranteed to birth parents. 

He said this was long overdue and the bill has been around for 30 years in some form or another. “It’s the right thing to do,’’ he said.  

  Bill granting adoptees access to records wins approval