S04845 Summary:

BILL NOS04845
 
SAME ASSAME AS A05036
 
SPONSORLANZA
 
COSPNSRBOYLE
 
MLTSPNSR
 
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.
Go to top    

S04845 Actions:

BILL NOS04845
 
03/03/2017REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
Go to top

S04845 Committee Votes:

Go to top

S04845 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
Go to top

S04845 Memo:

Memo not available
Go to top

S04845 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          4845
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                      March 3, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families
 
        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.
    12    § 2. Subdivision 2 of section 114 of the domestic  relations  law,  as
    13  amended  by chapter 559 of the laws of 1992 and as designated by chapter
    14  601 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
    15    2. No person, including the attorney for the  adoptive  parents  shall
    16  disclose the surname of the child directly or indirectly to the adoptive
    17  parents  except  upon  order  of  the  court. No person shall be allowed
    18  access to such sealed records and order and  any  index  thereof  except
    19  upon  an  order  of a judge or surrogate of the court in which the order
    20  was made or of a justice of the supreme court.  [No] Except as  provided
    21  in  subdivisions  four and five of this section, no order for disclosure
    22  or access and inspection shall be granted except on good cause shown and
    23  on due notice to the adoptive parents and to such additional persons  as
    24  the  court  may  direct.  Nothing  contained  herein  shall be deemed to
    25  require the state commissioner of health  or  his  or  her  designee  to
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD09376-01-7

        S. 4845                             2
 
     1  secure  a court order authorizing disclosure of information contained in
     2  adoption or birth records requested pursuant to the authority of section
     3  forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c or section  forty-one  hundred  thirty-
     4  eight-d  of  the public health law; upon the receipt of such request for
     5  information, the court shall transmit the information authorized  to  be
     6  released  thereunder  to  the state commissioner of health or his or her
     7  designee.
     8    § 3. Section 114 of the domestic relations law is amended by adding  a
     9  new subdivision 5 to read as follows:
    10    5.  Notwithstanding  any inconsistent provision of law: (a) an adopted
    11  person who has attained the age of eighteen years may apply to the court
    12  in which the order of adoption was made, or to  the  supreme  court,  to
    13  request  an order releasing a certified copy of his or her original long
    14  form birth certificate, or where no birth certificate is available,  the
    15  identifying  information  of  his  or  her  birth  parent or parents, in
    16  accordance with this subdivision. Such application shall include  suffi-
    17  cient proof of identity of such adopted person.
    18    (b)  Upon  receipt of an application pursuant to paragraph (a) of this
    19  subdivision, the court shall provide the department of health, or  order
    20  that  such  department  be provided, with the identifying information of
    21  the adopted person's birth parent or parents and direct  the  department
    22  of  health  to  make  a  reasonable and good faith effort, documented in
    23  writing and completed within one hundred  twenty  days,  to  notify  the
    24  birth  parent  or  parents  and  advise  such parent or parents that the
    25  adopted person has made an application  pursuant  to  this  subdivision.
    26  Such  notification  and  advisory  given shall comply with any terms and
    27  conditions set forth by the court and shall be made by means designed to
    28  be sensitive to the personal nature of the matter.    Such  notification
    29  shall  also  include  an  advisory  to  such parent or parents about the
    30  adoption medical information registry established by  section  forty-one
    31  hundred  thirty-eight-c  of  the public health law and the procedures by
    32  which a birth parent may provide medical information  to  the  registry.
    33  The  department  of  health  shall,  before making efforts to notify the
    34  birth parent or parents, determine whether such parent or  parents  have
    35  already filed a written confirmation with the court or the department of
    36  health  pursuant  to paragraph (h) of this subdivision or a birth parent
    37  registration consent form with the adoption information registry  pursu-
    38  ant  to  subdivision  ten of section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of
    39  the public health law. Where such confirmation or  consent  form  is  on
    40  file,  the  department  of  health  shall  notify  the court and no such
    41  efforts to notify the parent shall be made.
    42    (c) Upon notification pursuant to paragraph (b) of  this  subdivision,
    43  or  earlier  at the discretion of the birth parent pursuant to paragraph
    44  (h) of this subdivision, such birth parent may complete  a  written  and
    45  notarized confirmation that he or she wishes to maintain confidentiality
    46  of identifying information, or that he or she consents to the release of
    47  identifying information.
    48    (d) Upon receipt of such written confirmation, or where the parent has
    49  completed  a birth parent registration consent form pursuant to subdivi-
    50  sion ten of section  forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c  of  the  public
    51  health  law, the department of health shall notify the court and provide
    52  the court with the written confirmation or consent form, as the case may
    53  be, completed by the birth parent. Where  such  consent  form  has  been
    54  revoked  by a birth parent, the department of health shall so notify the
    55  court and such revocation shall be considered by the court as a  request
    56  for continued confidentiality of identifying information.

        S. 4845                             3
 
     1    (i)  If the birth parent consents to the release of identifying infor-
     2  mation, the court shall (A) order the release of a certified copy of the
     3  long-form birth certificate to the adopted  person,  or  (B)  when  such
     4  birth  certificate is not available, order that the identifying informa-
     5  tion be made available to the adopted person.
     6    (ii) If the birth parent requests continued confidentiality, the court
     7  shall  direct  the  release of a certified copy of the birth certificate
     8  with the identifying information regarding  such  parent  redacted,  and
     9  shall  provide  such  adopted  person with such redacted copy and file a
    10  copy of the redacted version in the court  record.  Such  redacted  copy
    11  shall  include  non-identifying  information  as that term is defined in
    12  subdivision three of section forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c  of  the
    13  public health law.
    14    (iii)  Where  there are two identified birth parents and only one such
    15  parent  has  requested  confidentiality,  the  identifying   information
    16  regarding  the  other  parent  may,  in  the discretion of the court, be
    17  released to the adopted person in accordance with this subdivision.  The
    18  consent  of one parent shall not be construed to be consent by the other
    19  parent.
    20    The court shall issue a written  order  when  making  a  determination
    21  pursuant to subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph.
    22    (e)  (i)  If after reasonable and good faith efforts pursuant to para-
    23  graph (a) of this subdivision, the birth parent is unable to be notified
    24  or does not respond to such notification, the department of health shall
    25  so notify the court. Unless the court, in its discretion, for good cause
    26  specified in its order,  determines  that  the  release  of  such  birth
    27  certificate  or  identifying information would be clearly detrimental to
    28  the welfare of the birth or  adoptive  parents,  the  court  shall:  (A)
    29  release,  or direct the release of, an unredacted, certified copy of the
    30  long-form birth certificate to the adopted person, or (B) if such  birth
    31  certificate is not available, release or direct the release of the iden-
    32  tifying  information  that would have appeared on the original long-form
    33  birth certificate. For the purposes of this paragraph, good cause  shall
    34  include,  but  is  not limited to, evidence concerning the wishes of the
    35  birth parent regarding confidentiality as expressed at the time  of  the
    36  adoption or surrender. The court shall issue a written order when making
    37  a determination pursuant to this paragraph.
    38    (ii)  Where  the  court  determines not to release an unredacted birth
    39  certificate pursuant to subparagraph (i) of this  paragraph,  the  court
    40  shall  direct  the  release of a certified copy of the birth certificate
    41  with the identifying information regarding the birth parent  or  parents
    42  redacted, and shall provide such adopted person with such redacted copy.
    43    (f) Upon the consent of a birth parent to release identifying informa-
    44  tion  pursuant  to  this  subdivision,  the  department  of health shall
    45  provide such parent with  a  contact  preference  form  that  shall,  if
    46  completed  by  the birth parent, accompany a copy of a birth certificate
    47  or other identifying information provided to the  adopted  person  under
    48  this  subdivision  and  be  filed with the adoption information registry
    49  established by section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c  of  the  public
    50  health  law.  The  contact  preference  form shall include the following
    51  content to be completed at the option of the birth parent:
    52    (i) I am willing to or would like to be contacted.
    53    (ii) I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary.
    54    (iii) I have completed a medical history form and have filed  it  with
    55  the department of health.

        S. 4845                             4
 
     1    (iv)  Please do not contact me. If I decide later that I would like to
     2  be contacted, I will submit an updated contact preference  form  to  the
     3  court or the department of health.
     4    (v) Add any additional information here (if desired):
     5    The  medical history form shall be in a form prescribed by the depart-
     6  ment of health and shall be supplied to the birth parent with a  contact
     7  preference form.
     8    The  medical history form and contact preference form are confidential
     9  communications from the birth parent to the person named on  the  sealed
    10  birth  certificate and shall be placed in separate sealed envelopes upon
    11  receipt from the birth parent.
    12    The sealed  envelopes  containing  the  contact  preference  form  and
    13  medical history form shall be released to a person requesting his or her
    14  birth  certificate  under  this subdivision or his or her agent, such as
    15  his or her attorney, with appropriate authorization.  The contact  pref-
    16  erence form and medical history form are private communications from the
    17  birth  parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and no
    18  copies of the forms shall be retained by the court.
    19    (g) The department of health shall develop an affirmative  information
    20  campaign  and  widely  disseminate  to  the public, through its website,
    21  public service announcements and other means, in multiple languages  and
    22  through  multiple  outlets, information concerning the adoption informa-
    23  tion registry established by section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of
    24  the public health law and the provisions of this subdivision, including,
    25  but not limited to, the means by which a birth parent may file a written
    26  confirmation pursuant to paragraph (h)  of  this  subdivision  with  the
    27  court  that  ordered the adoption or the department of health that he or
    28  she wishes to maintain the confidentiality of  identifying  information,
    29  or consents to the release of such identifying information.
    30    (h)  A  birth  parent  may,  at any time, file a written and notarized
    31  confirmation with the court  that  ordered  the  adoption  or  with  the
    32  department of health indicating that he or she wishes to maintain confi-
    33  dentiality  of identifying information or that he or she consents to the
    34  release of identifying information. The department of health shall noti-
    35  fy the court and provide the court with a copy of such written confirma-
    36  tion. The court shall honor such written confirmation unless it is with-
    37  drawn or modified, in notarized writing, by the birth parent.
    38    (i) For the purposes  of  this  subdivision,  "adopted  person"  shall
    39  include  a  person who was surrendered as described in subdivision seven
    40  of section one hundred nine of this article.
    41    § 4. Subdivision 10 of section 4138-c of the  public  health  law,  as
    42  added  by chapter 435 of the laws of 2008, is amended and a new subdivi-
    43  sion 10-a is added to read as follows:
    44    10. The commissioner is directed to develop  an  adoption  information
    45  registry  birth  parent registration consent form to be completed at the
    46  time of surrender or consent to adoption. Such form shall include check-
    47  off boxes to be appropriately marked by the biological parent or parents
    48  whose consent is necessary for the relinquishment of such child indicat-
    49  ing whether or not such parent consents to the  receipt  of  identifying
    50  information  and  a  certified copy of the original birth certificate by
    51  the child to be adopted. A copy of  such  form  shall  be  sent  to  the
    52  department  with  copies of the original and amended birth certificates.
    53  Such form shall state that it is the responsibility of the birth  parent
    54  to update the registry with any changes in contact information. The form
    55  shall additionally advise the biological parents of the adoption medical
    56  information  sub-registry and the procedures by which a birth parent may

        S. 4845                             5
 
     1  provide medical information to  the  sub-registry.  Notwithstanding  any
     2  inconsistent  provision  of  law  to  the  contrary, the commissioner is
     3  directed to develop any rules and regulations necessary to expedite  the
     4  transfer  of  information from any agency, court or department necessary
     5  to implement this subdivision.
     6    10-a. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contra-
     7  ry, for surrenders occurring and orders of adoptions entered  after  the
     8  effective  date  of  this  subdivision,  where  the biological parent or
     9  parents whose consent is necessary for the relinquishment of such  child
    10  consents  to  the  release  of  a certified copy of the child's original
    11  birth certificate  or  does  not  affirmatively  request,  on  the  form
    12  described  in  subdivision ten of this section, that such original birth
    13  certificate remain  confidential,  the  surrendered  or  adopted  person
    14  shall,  after  attaining the age of eighteen and upon application to the
    15  department and adequate proof of identity, have the right to  receive  a
    16  certified copy of their original birth certificate.
    17    §  5.  This  act  shall take effect April 15, 2018, provided, however,
    18  that paragraphs (g) and (h) of subdivision  5  of  section  114  of  the
    19  domestic  relations  law,  as  added by section three of this act, shall
    20  take effect on the thirtieth day after such effective date.
Go to top

S04845 LFIN:

 NO LFIN
Go to top