Adoptees’ access to birth certificate bill passed by Senate

The Senate passed a bill that would enable adoptees to have access to their birth certificates.

The measure passed 30-8.

The bill, S2814, has previously been vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.

Sen. Joe Vitale, (D-19), of Woodbridge, a sponsor of the bill, said having access enables them to learn such pertinent information, such as medical history.

“It helps to shape us who we are,” he said.

The bill provides adult adoptees the opportunity to obtain an original birth certificate and other related documents, with certain restrictions to protect birth parents’ privacy.

It calls for amending current law to allow 1) the adopted person; 2) a direct descendant, sibling, or spouse of the adopted person; 3) the adoptive parent, legal guardian, or other legal representative of the adopted person; or 4) a State or federal agency, access to such information.

Under current law, the only way to obtain an adopted person’s original birth certificate is by court order.

The bill would also amend current law to eliminate language that allows a court to replace the child’s place of birth on the birth certificate with that of the adopting parents’ residence. 

Sen. Diane Allen, (R-7), Burlington, said the current system makes adoptive persons “second-class citizens.”

“It’s a civil rights issue. It’s a human rights issue,” she said.

Adoptees’ access to birth certificate bill passed by Senate