S04845 Summary:

BILL NOS04845B
 
SAME ASSAME AS A05036-B
 
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.
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S04845 Actions:

BILL NOS04845B
 
03/03/2017REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
05/02/2017AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
05/02/2017PRINT NUMBER 4845A
06/12/2017AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
06/12/2017PRINT NUMBER 4845B
06/21/2017COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
06/21/2017ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.2207
06/21/2017SUBSTITUTED BY A5036B
 A05036 AMEND=B Weprin
 02/06/2017referred to health
 05/01/2017amend and recommit to health
 05/01/2017print number 5036a
 05/16/2017reported referred to codes
 06/09/2017amend and recommit to codes
 06/09/2017print number 5036b
 06/14/2017reported referred to rules
 06/15/2017reported
 06/15/2017rules report cal.381
 06/15/2017ordered to third reading rules cal.381
 06/20/2017passed assembly
 06/20/2017delivered to senate
 06/20/2017REFERRED TO RULES
 06/21/2017SUBSTITUTED FOR S4845B
 06/21/20173RD READING CAL.2207
 06/21/2017PASSED SENATE
 06/21/2017RETURNED TO ASSEMBLY
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S04845 Committee Votes:

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S04845 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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S04845 Memo:

Memo not available
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S04845 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         4845--B
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                      March 3, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by Sens. LANZA, BOYLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and
          when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families
          -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered  reprinted  as  amended
          and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --  committee  discharged, bill
          amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
          tee
 
        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
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD09376-05-7

        S. 4845--B                          2
 
     1  or access and inspection shall be granted except on good cause shown and
     2  on  due notice to the adoptive parents and to such additional persons as
     3  the court may direct.  Nothing  contained  herein  shall  be  deemed  to
     4  require  the  state  commissioner  of  health  or his or her designee to
     5  secure a court order authorizing disclosure of information contained  in
     6  adoption or birth records requested pursuant to the authority of section
     7  forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c  or section forty-one hundred thirty-
     8  eight-d of the public health law; upon the receipt of such  request  for
     9  information,  the  court shall transmit the information authorized to be
    10  released thereunder to the state commissioner of health or  his  or  her
    11  designee.
    12    §  3. Section 114 of the domestic relations law is amended by adding a
    13  new subdivision 5 to read as follows:
    14    5. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law: (a)  an  adopted
    15  person who has attained the age of eighteen years may apply to the court
    16  in  which  the  order  of adoption was made, or to the supreme court, to
    17  request an order releasing a certified copy of his or her original  long
    18  form  birth certificate, or where no birth certificate is available, the
    19  identifying information of his  or  her  birth  parent  or  parents,  in
    20  accordance  with this subdivision. Such application shall include suffi-
    21  cient proof of identity of such adopted person.
    22    (b) Upon receipt of an application pursuant to paragraph (a)  of  this
    23  subdivision,  the court shall provide the department of health, or order
    24  that such department be provided, with the  identifying  information  of
    25  the  adopted  person's birth parent or parents and direct the department
    26  of health to make a reasonable and  good  faith  effort,  documented  in
    27  writing  and  completed  within  one  hundred twenty days, to notify the
    28  birth parent or parents and advise  such  parent  or  parents  that  the
    29  adopted  person  has  made  an application pursuant to this subdivision.
    30  Such notification and advisory given shall comply  with  any  terms  and
    31  conditions set forth by the court and shall be made by means designed to
    32  be  sensitive  to  the personal nature of the matter.  Such notification
    33  shall also include an advisory to  such  parent  or  parents  about  the
    34  adoption  medical  information registry established by section forty-one
    35  hundred thirty-eight-c of the public health law and  the  procedures  by
    36  which  a  birth  parent may provide medical information to the registry.
    37  The department of health shall, before  making  efforts  to  notify  the
    38  birth  parent  or parents, determine whether such parent or parents have
    39  already filed a written confirmation with the court or the department of
    40  health pursuant to paragraph (h) of this subdivision or a  birth  parent
    41  registration  consent form with the adoption information registry pursu-
    42  ant to subdivision ten of section forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c  of
    43  the  public  health  law.  Where such confirmation or consent form is on
    44  file, the department of health  shall  notify  the  court  and  no  such
    45  efforts to notify the parent shall be made.
    46    (c)  Upon  notification pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision,
    47  or earlier at the discretion of the birth parent pursuant  to  paragraph
    48  (h)  of  this  subdivision, such birth parent may complete a written and
    49  notarized confirmation that he or she wishes to maintain confidentiality
    50  of identifying information, or that he or she consents to the release of
    51  identifying information.
    52    (d) Upon receipt of such written confirmation, or where the parent has
    53  completed a birth parent registration consent form pursuant to  subdivi-
    54  sion  ten  of  section  forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c of the public
    55  health law, the department of health shall notify the court and  provide
    56  the court with the written confirmation or consent form, as the case may

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

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

        S. 4845--B                          5
 
     1  to update the registry with any changes in contact information. The form
     2  shall additionally advise the biological parents of the adoption medical
     3  information sub-registry and the procedures by which a birth parent  may
     4  provide  medical  information  to  the sub-registry. Notwithstanding any
     5  inconsistent provision of law  to  the  contrary,  the  commissioner  is
     6  directed  to develop any rules and regulations necessary to expedite the
     7  transfer of information from any agency, court or  department  necessary
     8  to implement this subdivision.
     9    10-a. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contra-
    10  ry,  for  surrenders occurring and orders of adoptions entered after the
    11  effective date of this  subdivision,  where  the  biological  parent  or
    12  parents  whose consent is necessary for the relinquishment of such child
    13  consents to the release of a certified  copy  of  the  child's  original
    14  birth  certificate  or  does  not  affirmatively  request,  on  the form
    15  described in subdivision ten of this section, that such  original  birth
    16  certificate  remain  confidential,  the  surrendered  or  adopted person
    17  shall, after attaining the age of eighteen and upon application  to  the
    18  department  and  adequate proof of identity, have the right to receive a
    19  certified copy of their original birth certificate.
    20    § 5. This act shall take effect April  15,  2018,  provided,  however,
    21  that  paragraphs  (g)  and  (h)  of  subdivision 5 of section 114 of the
    22  domestic relations law, as added by section three  of  this  act,  shall
    23  take effect on the thirtieth day after such effective date.
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S04845 LFIN:

 NO LFIN
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