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A05036 Summary:

BILL NOA05036A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S04845-A
 
SPONSORWeprin
 
COSPNSRMosley, Otis, Benedetto, Hooper, Titus, Sepulveda, Ortiz, Mayer, Aubry, Pichardo, Cusick, Brindisi, Murray, Thiele, Brabenec, DiPietro, Titone, Galef, Raia, Stirpe, Colton, Dilan, Lavine, Kearns, Steck, Lopez, Walker, Richardson, Kim, Hikind, Cahill, Jean-Pierre, Hevesi, Bichotte, Joyner, Santabarbara, DenDekker, Blake, Hunter
 
MLTSPNSRArroyo, Barrett, Buchwald, Butler, Cook, Curran, Davila, Dinowitz, Englebright, Fahy, Farrell, Giglio, Gjonaj, Gottfried, Graf, Hawley, Johns, Kolb, Lalor, Lifton, Lupardo, Lupinacci, Magee, Malliotakis, McDonald, McDonough, McKevitt, Miller MG, Moya, Oaks, Palmesano, Palumbo, Paulin, Peoples-Stokes, Perry, Pretlow, Ra, Ramos, Rivera, Rodriguez, Rosenthal, Ryan, Simanowitz, Skartados, Solages, Stec, Walter, Wright, Zebrowski
 
Amd 114, Dom Rel L; amd 4138-c, Pub Health L
 
Relates to adoptee rights; clarifies language and procedures for obtaining birth certificates and medical histories of adoptees; permits an adopted adult to access certain records when they reach the age of 18; creates a contact preference to be filed by birth parents.
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A05036 Actions:

BILL NOA05036A
 
02/06/2017referred to health
05/01/2017amend and recommit to health
05/01/2017print number 5036a
05/16/2017reported referred to codes
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A05036 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         5036--A
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 6, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. WEPRIN, MOSLEY, OTIS, BENEDETTO, HOOPER, TITUS,
          SEPULVEDA, ORTIZ, MAYER, AUBRY, PICHARDO,  CUSICK,  BRINDISI,  MURRAY,
          THIELE,  BRABENEC,  DiPIETRO,  TITONE,  GALEF,  RAIA,  STIRPE, COLTON,
          DILAN, LAVINE, KEARNS, STECK, LOPEZ, WALKER, RICHARDSON, KIM,  HIKIND,
          CAHILL,  JEAN-PIERRE, HEVESI, BICHOTTE, JOYNER, SANTABARBARA, DenDEKK-
          ER, BLAKE, HUNTER -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.  ARROYO,  BARRETT,
          BUCHWALD,  BUTLER,  COOK, CURRAN, DAVILA, DINOWITZ, ENGLEBRIGHT, FAHY,
          FARRELL, GIGLIO, GJONAJ, GOTTFRIED, GRAF, HAWLEY, JOHNS, KOLB,  LALOR,
          LIFTON,  LUPARDO,  LUPINACCI, MAGEE, MALLIOTAKIS, McDONALD, McDONOUGH,
          McKEVITT,  M. G. MILLER,  MOYA,  OAKS,  PALMESANO,  PALUMBO,   PAULIN,
          PEOPLES-STOKES,  PERRY,  PRETLOW, RA, RAMOS, RIVERA, RODRIGUEZ, ROSEN-
          THAL, RYAN, SIMANOWITZ,  SKARTADOS,  SOLAGES,  STEC,  WALTER,  WRIGHT,
          ZEBROWSKI  --  read  once  and  referred to the Committee on Health --
          committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
          recommitted to said committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the domestic relations law and the public health law, in
          relation to adoptee rights
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Legislative findings. The  legislature  hereby  states  its
     2  intention to acknowledge, support and encourage the life-long health and
     3  well-being  of persons who have been and will be adopted in the state of
     4  New York. The legislature  further  recognizes  that  the  inability  to
     5  access  accurate  and  complete medical and self-identifying data of any
     6  adopted person may result  in  such  person  succumbing  to  preventable
     7  disease,  premature  death  or  otherwise  unhealthy  life. As such, the
     8  provisions of this act seek to establish considerations  under  the  law
     9  for  adopted  persons  to access their birth information while providing
    10  for the privacy of an adopted person and his or her birth  and  adoptive
    11  families.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD09376-02-7

        A. 5036--A                          2
 
     1    §  2.  Subdivision  2 of section 114 of the domestic relations law, as
     2  amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 1992 and as designated by  chapter
     3  601 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
     4    2.  No  person,  including the attorney for the adoptive parents shall
     5  disclose the surname of the child directly or indirectly to the adoptive
     6  parents except upon order of the  court.  No  person  shall  be  allowed
     7  access  to  such  sealed  records and order and any index thereof except
     8  upon an order of a judge or surrogate of the court in  which  the  order
     9  was  made or of a justice of the supreme court.  [No] Except as provided
    10  in subdivisions four and five of this section, no order  for  disclosure
    11  or access and inspection shall be granted except on good cause shown and
    12  on  due notice to the adoptive parents and to such additional persons as
    13  the court may direct.  Nothing  contained  herein  shall  be  deemed  to
    14  require  the  state  commissioner  of  health  or his or her designee to
    15  secure a court order authorizing disclosure of information contained  in
    16  adoption or birth records requested pursuant to the authority of section
    17  forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c  or section forty-one hundred thirty-
    18  eight-d of the public health law; upon the receipt of such  request  for
    19  information,  the  court shall transmit the information authorized to be
    20  released thereunder to the state commissioner of health or  his  or  her
    21  designee.
    22    §  3. Section 114 of the domestic relations law is amended by adding a
    23  new subdivision 5 to read as follows:
    24    5. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law: (a)  an  adopted
    25  person who has attained the age of eighteen years may apply to the court
    26  in  which  the  order  of adoption was made, or to the supreme court, to
    27  request an order releasing a certified copy of his or her original  long
    28  form  birth certificate, or where no birth certificate is available, the
    29  identifying information of his  or  her  birth  parent  or  parents,  in
    30  accordance  with this subdivision. Such application shall include suffi-
    31  cient proof of identity of such adopted person.
    32    (b) Upon receipt of an application pursuant to paragraph (a)  of  this
    33  subdivision,  the court shall provide the department of health, or order
    34  that such department be provided, with the  identifying  information  of
    35  the  adopted  person's birth parent or parents and direct the department
    36  of health to make a reasonable and  good  faith  effort,  documented  in
    37  writing  and  completed  within  one  hundred twenty days, to notify the
    38  birth parent or parents and advise  such  parent  or  parents  that  the
    39  adopted  person  has  made  an application pursuant to this subdivision.
    40  Such notification and advisory given shall comply  with  any  terms  and
    41  conditions set forth by the court and shall be made by means designed to
    42  be  sensitive  to  the personal nature of the matter.  Such notification
    43  shall also include an advisory to  such  parent  or  parents  about  the
    44  adoption  medical  information registry established by section forty-one
    45  hundred thirty-eight-c of the public health law and  the  procedures  by
    46  which  a  birth  parent may provide medical information to the registry.
    47  The department of health shall, before  making  efforts  to  notify  the
    48  birth  parent  or parents, determine whether such parent or parents have
    49  already filed a written confirmation with the court or the department of
    50  health pursuant to paragraph (h) of this subdivision or a  birth  parent
    51  registration  consent form with the adoption information registry pursu-
    52  ant to subdivision ten of section forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c  of
    53  the  public  health  law.  Where such confirmation or consent form is on
    54  file, the department of health  shall  notify  the  court  and  no  such
    55  efforts to notify the parent shall be made.

        A. 5036--A                          3
 
     1    (c)  Upon  notification pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision,
     2  or earlier at the discretion of the birth parent pursuant  to  paragraph
     3  (h)  of  this  subdivision, such birth parent may complete a written and
     4  notarized confirmation that he or she wishes to maintain confidentiality
     5  of identifying information, or that he or she consents to the release of
     6  identifying information.
     7    (d) Upon receipt of such written confirmation, or where the parent has
     8  completed  a birth parent registration consent form pursuant to subdivi-
     9  sion ten of section  forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c  of  the  public
    10  health  law, the department of health shall notify the court and provide
    11  the court with the written confirmation or consent form, as the case may
    12  be, completed by the birth parent. Where  such  consent  form  has  been
    13  revoked  by a birth parent, the department of health shall so notify the
    14  court and such revocation shall be considered by the court as a  request
    15  for continued confidentiality of identifying information.
    16    (i)  If the birth parent consents to the release of identifying infor-
    17  mation, the court shall (A) order the release of a certified copy of the
    18  long-form birth certificate to the adopted  person,  or  (B)  when  such
    19  birth  certificate is not available, order that the identifying informa-
    20  tion be made available to the adopted person.
    21    (ii) If the birth parent requests continued confidentiality, the court
    22  shall direct the release of a certified copy of  the  birth  certificate
    23  with  the  identifying  information  regarding such parent redacted, and
    24  shall provide such adopted person with such redacted  copy  and  file  a
    25  copy  of  the  redacted  version in the court record. Such redacted copy
    26  shall include non-identifying information as that  term  is  defined  in
    27  subdivision  three  of  section  forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of the
    28  public health law.
    29    (iii) Where there are two identified birth parents and only  one  such
    30  parent   has  requested  confidentiality,  the  identifying  information
    31  regarding the other parent may, in  the  discretion  of  the  court,  be
    32  released  to the adopted person in accordance with this subdivision. The
    33  consent of one parent shall not be construed to be consent by the  other
    34  parent.
    35    The  court  shall  issue  a  written order when making a determination
    36  pursuant to subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph.
    37    (e) (i) If after reasonable and good faith efforts pursuant  to  para-
    38  graph (a) of this subdivision, the birth parent is unable to be notified
    39  or does not respond to such notification, the department of health shall
    40  so notify the court. Unless the court, in its discretion, for good cause
    41  specified  in  its  order,  determines  that  the  release of such birth
    42  certificate or identifying information would be clearly  detrimental  to
    43  the  welfare  of  the  birth  parents,  the court shall: (A) release, or
    44  direct the release of, an unredacted, certified copy  of  the  long-form
    45  birth  certificate  to  the adopted person, or (B) if such birth certif-
    46  icate is not available, release or direct the release of the identifying
    47  information that would have appeared on  the  original  long-form  birth
    48  certificate.  For  the  purposes  of  this  paragraph,  good cause shall
    49  include, but is not limited to, evidence concerning the  wishes  of  the
    50  birth  parent  regarding confidentiality as expressed at the time of the
    51  adoption or surrender. The court shall issue a written order when making
    52  a determination pursuant to this paragraph.
    53    (ii) Where the court determines not to  release  an  unredacted  birth
    54  certificate  pursuant  to  subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the court
    55  shall direct the release of a certified copy of  the  birth  certificate

        A. 5036--A                          4
 
     1  with  the  identifying information regarding the birth parent or parents
     2  redacted, and shall provide such adopted person with such redacted copy.
     3    (f) Upon the consent of a birth parent to release identifying informa-
     4  tion  pursuant  to  this  subdivision,  the  department  of health shall
     5  provide such parent with  a  contact  preference  form  that  shall,  if
     6  completed  by  the birth parent, accompany a copy of a birth certificate
     7  or other identifying information provided to the  adopted  person  under
     8  this  subdivision  and  be  filed with the adoption information registry
     9  established by section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c  of  the  public
    10  health  law.  The  contact  preference  form shall include the following
    11  content to be completed at the option of the birth parent:
    12    (i) I am willing to or would like to be contacted.
    13    (ii) I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary.
    14    (iii) I have completed a medical history form and have filed  it  with
    15  the department of health.
    16    (iv)  Please do not contact me. If I decide later that I would like to
    17  be contacted, I will submit an updated contact preference  form  to  the
    18  court or the department of health.
    19    (v) Add any additional information here (if desired):
    20    The  medical history form shall be in a form prescribed by the depart-
    21  ment of health and shall be supplied to the birth parent with a  contact
    22  preference form.
    23    The  medical history form and contact preference form are confidential
    24  communications from the birth parent to the person named on  the  sealed
    25  birth  certificate and shall be placed in separate sealed envelopes upon
    26  receipt from the birth parent.
    27    The sealed  envelopes  containing  the  contact  preference  form  and
    28  medical history form shall be released to a person requesting his or her
    29  birth  certificate  under  this subdivision or his or her agent, such as
    30  his or her attorney, with appropriate authorization.  The contact  pref-
    31  erence form and medical history form are private communications from the
    32  birth  parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and no
    33  copies of the forms shall be retained by the court.
    34    (g) The department of health shall develop an affirmative  information
    35  campaign  and  widely  disseminate  to  the public, through its website,
    36  public service announcements and other means, in multiple languages  and
    37  through  multiple  outlets, information concerning the adoption informa-
    38  tion registry established by section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of
    39  the public health law and the provisions of this subdivision, including,
    40  but not limited to, the means by which a birth parent may file a written
    41  confirmation pursuant to paragraph (h)  of  this  subdivision  with  the
    42  court  that  ordered the adoption or the department of health that he or
    43  she wishes to maintain the confidentiality of  identifying  information,
    44  or consents to the release of such identifying information.
    45    (h)  A  birth  parent  may,  at any time, file a written and notarized
    46  confirmation with the court  that  ordered  the  adoption  or  with  the
    47  department of health indicating that he or she wishes to maintain confi-
    48  dentiality  of identifying information or that he or she consents to the
    49  release of identifying information. The department of health shall noti-
    50  fy the court and provide the court with a copy of such written confirma-
    51  tion. The court shall honor such written confirmation unless it is with-
    52  drawn or modified, in notarized writing, by the birth parent.
    53    (i) For the purposes  of  this  subdivision,  "adopted  person"  shall
    54  include  a  person who was surrendered as described in subdivision seven
    55  of section one hundred nine of this article.

        A. 5036--A                          5
 
     1    § 4. Subdivision 10 of section 4138-c of the  public  health  law,  as
     2  added  by chapter 435 of the laws of 2008, is amended and a new subdivi-
     3  sion 10-a is added to read as follows:
     4    10.  The  commissioner  is directed to develop an adoption information
     5  registry birth parent registration consent form to be completed  at  the
     6  time of surrender or consent to adoption. Such form shall include check-
     7  off boxes to be appropriately marked by the biological parent or parents
     8  whose consent is necessary for the relinquishment of such child indicat-
     9  ing  whether  or  not such parent consents to the receipt of identifying
    10  information and a certified copy of the original  birth  certificate  by
    11  the  child  to  be  adopted.  A  copy  of such form shall be sent to the
    12  department with copies of the original and amended  birth  certificates.
    13  Such  form shall state that it is the responsibility of the birth parent
    14  to update the registry with any changes in contact information. The form
    15  shall additionally advise the biological parents of the adoption medical
    16  information sub-registry and the procedures by which a birth parent  may
    17  provide  medical  information  to  the sub-registry. Notwithstanding any
    18  inconsistent provision of law  to  the  contrary,  the  commissioner  is
    19  directed  to develop any rules and regulations necessary to expedite the
    20  transfer of information from any agency, court or  department  necessary
    21  to implement this subdivision.
    22    10-a. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contra-
    23  ry,  for  surrenders occurring and orders of adoptions entered after the
    24  effective date of this subdivision the  surrendered  or  adopted  person
    25  shall,  after  attaining the age of eighteen and upon application to the
    26  department and adequate proof of identity, have the right to  receive  a
    27  certified copy of their original birth certificate.
    28    §  5.  This  act  shall take effect April 15, 2018, provided, however,
    29  that paragraphs (g) and (h) of subdivision  5  of  section  114  of  the
    30  domestic  relations  law,  as  added by section three of this act, shall
    31  take effect on the thirtieth day after such effective date.
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