|SAME AS||SAME AS S05964-B|
|COSPNSR||Mosley, Otis, Benedetto, Hooper, Titus, Sepulveda, Ortiz, Mayer, Aubry, Pichardo, Cusick, Brindisi, Murray, Thiele, Brabenec, DiPietro, Titone, Galef, Raia, Stirpe, Colton, Dilan, Wozniak, Lavine, Linares, Kearns, Steck, Lopez, Walker, Richardson, Kim, Hikind, Cahill, Jean-Pierre, Hevesi, Bichotte, Joyner, Santabarbara, DenDekker, Blake, Hunter|
|MLTSPNSR||Arroyo, Barrett, Buchwald, Butler, Ceretto, Cook, Curran, Davila, Dinowitz, Duprey, Englebright, Fahy, Farrell, Giglio, Gjonaj, Gottfried, Graf, Hawley, Johns, Katz, Kolb, Lalor, Lifton, Lupardo, Lupinacci, Magee, Malliotakis, McDonald, McDonough, McKevitt, Miller, Moya, Oaks, Palmesano, Palumbo, Paulin, Peoples-Stokes, Perry, Pretlow, Ra, Ramos, Rivera, Robinson, Rodriguez, Rosenthal, Ryan, Schimel, 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.|
Go to top
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2901--C Cal. No. 131 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 20, 2015 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. WEPRIN, MOSLEY, OTIS, BENEDETTO, HOOPER, TITUS, GOLDFEDER, SEPULVEDA, ORTIZ, MAYER, AUBRY, PICHARDO, CUSICK, BRINDISI, SKOUFIS, MURRAY, THIELE, BRABENEC, DiPIETRO, TITONE, GALEF, RAIA, STIRPE, COLTON, DILAN, WOZNIAK, LAVINE, LINARES, KEARNS, STECK, LOPEZ, WALKER, RICHARDSON, KIM, HIKIND, CAHILL, JEAN-PIERRE, HEVESI, BICHOTTE, JOYNER, SANTABARBARA, DenDEKKER, BLAKE, HUNTER -- Multi- Sponsored by -- M. of A. ARROYO, BARRETT, BUCHWALD, BUTLER, CERETTO, COOK, CURRAN, DAVILA, DINOWITZ, DUPREY, ENGLEBRIGHT, FAHY, FARRELL, GIGLIO, GJONAJ, GOTTFRIED, GRAF, HAWLEY, JOHNS, KATZ, KOLB, LALOR, LIFTON, LUPARDO, LUPINACCI, MAGEE, MALLIOTAKIS, McDONALD, McDONOUGH, McKEVITT, MILLER, MONTESANO, MOYA, OAKS, PALMESANO, PALUMBO, PAULIN, PEOPLES-STOKES, PERRY, PRETLOW, RA, RAMOS, RIVERA, ROBINSON, RODRI- GUEZ, ROSENTHAL, RYAN, SCHIMEL, SIMANOWITZ, SKARTADOS, SOLAGES, STEC, WALTER, WRIGHT, ZEBROWSKI -- read once and referred to the Committee on Health -- reported and referred to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- advanced to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third read- ing -- again amended on third reading, ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third reading 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 EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07428-09-6A. 2901--C 2 1 provisions of this act seek to establish considerations under the law 2 for adopted persons to access their birth information while providing 3 for the privacy of an adopted person and his or her birth and adoptive 4 families. 5 § 2. Subdivision 2 of section 114 of the domestic relations law, as 6 amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 1992 and as designated by chapter 7 601 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows: 8 2. No person, including the attorney for the adoptive parents shall 9 disclose the surname of the child directly or indirectly to the adoptive 10 parents except upon order of the court. No person shall be allowed 11 access to such sealed records and order and any index thereof except 12 upon an order of a judge or surrogate of the court in which the order 13 was made or of a justice of the supreme court. [ No] Except as provided 14 in subdivisions four and five of this section, no order for disclosure 15 or access and inspection shall be granted except on good cause shown and 16 on due notice to the adoptive parents and to such additional persons as 17 the court may direct. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to 18 require the state commissioner of health or his or her designee to 19 secure a court order authorizing disclosure of information contained in 20 adoption or birth records requested pursuant to the authority of section 21 forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c or section forty-one hundred thirty- 22 eight-d of the public health law; upon the receipt of such request for 23 information, the court shall transmit the information authorized to be 24 released thereunder to the state commissioner of health or his or her 25 designee. 26 § 3. Section 114 of the domestic relations law is amended by adding a 27 new subdivision 5 to read as follows: 28 5. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law: (a) an adopted 29 person who has attained the age of eighteen years may apply to the court 30 in which the order of adoption was made, or to the supreme court, to 31 request an order releasing a certified copy of his or her original long 32 form birth certificate, or where no birth certificate is available, the 33 identifying information of his or her birth parent or parents, in 34 accordance with this subdivision. Such application shall include suffi- 35 cient proof of identity of such adopted person. 36 (b) Upon receipt of an application pursuant to paragraph (a) of this 37 subdivision, the court shall provide the department of health, or order 38 that such department be provided, with the identifying information of 39 the adopted person's birth parent or parents and direct the department 40 of health to make a reasonable and good faith effort, documented in 41 writing and completed within one hundred twenty days, to notify the 42 birth parent or parents and advise such parent or parents that the 43 adopted person has made an application pursuant to this subdivision. 44 Such notification and advisory given shall comply with any terms and 45 conditions set forth by the court and shall be made by means designed to 46 be sensitive to the personal nature of the matter. Such notification 47 shall also include an advisory to such parent or parents about the 48 adoption medical information registry established by section forty-one 49 hundred thirty-eight-c of the public health law and the procedures by 50 which a birth parent may provide medical information to the registry. 51 The department of health shall, before making efforts to notify the 52 birth parent or parents, determine whether such parent or parents have 53 already filed a written confirmation with the court or the department of 54 health pursuant to paragraph (h) of this subdivision or a birth parent 55 registration consent form with the adoption information registry pursu- 56 ant to subdivision ten of section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c ofA. 2901--C 3 1 the public health law. Where such confirmation or consent form is on 2 file, the department of health shall notify the court and no such 3 efforts to notify the parent shall be made. 4 (c) Upon notification pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision, 5 or earlier at the discretion of the birth parent pursuant to paragraph 6 (h) of this subdivision, such birth parent may complete a written and 7 notarized confirmation that he or she wishes to maintain confidentiality 8 of identifying information, or that he or she consents to the release of 9 identifying information. 10 (d) Upon receipt of such written confirmation, or where the parent has 11 completed a birth parent registration consent form pursuant to subdivi- 12 sion ten of section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of the public 13 health law, the department of health shall notify the court and provide 14 the court with the written confirmation or consent form, as the case may 15 be, completed by the birth parent. Where such consent form has been 16 revoked by a birth parent, the department of health shall so notify the 17 court and such revocation shall be considered by the court as a request 18 for continued confidentiality of identifying information. 19 (i) If the birth parent consents to the release of identifying infor- 20 mation, the court shall (A) order the release of a certified copy of the 21 long-form birth certificate to the adopted person, or (B) when such 22 birth certificate is not available, order that the identifying informa- 23 tion be made available to the adopted person. 24 (ii) If the birth parent requests continued confidentiality, the court 25 shall direct the release of a certified copy of the birth certificate 26 with the identifying information regarding such parent redacted, and 27 shall provide such adopted person with such redacted copy and file a 28 copy of the redacted version in the court record. Such redacted copy 29 shall include non-identifying information as that term is defined in 30 subdivision three of section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of the 31 public health law. 32 (iii) Where there are two identified birth parents and only one such 33 parent has requested confidentiality, the identifying information 34 regarding the other parent may, in the discretion of the court, be 35 released to the adopted person in accordance with this subdivision. The 36 consent of one parent shall not be construed to be consent by the other 37 parent. 38 The court shall issue a written order when making a determination 39 pursuant to subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph. 40 (e) (i) If after reasonable and good faith efforts pursuant to para- 41 graph (a) of this subdivision, the birth parent is unable to be notified 42 or does not respond to such notification, the department of health shall 43 so notify the court. Unless the court, in its discretion, for good cause 44 specified in its order, determines that the release of such birth 45 certificate or identifying information would be clearly detrimental to 46 the welfare of the birth or adoptive parents, the court shall: (A) 47 release, or direct the release of, an unredacted, certified copy of the 48 long-form birth certificate to the adopted person, or (B) if such birth 49 certificate is not available, release or direct the release of the iden- 50 tifying information that would have appeared on the original long-form 51 birth certificate. For the purposes of this paragraph, good cause shall 52 include, but is not limited to, evidence concerning the wishes of the 53 birth parent regarding confidentiality as expressed at the time of the 54 adoption or surrender. The court shall issue a written order when making 55 a determination pursuant to this paragraph.A. 2901--C 4 1 (ii) Where the court determines not to release an unredacted birth 2 certificate pursuant to subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the court 3 shall direct the release of a certified copy of the birth certificate 4 with the identifying information regarding the birth parent or parents 5 redacted, and shall provide such adopted person with such redacted copy. 6 (f) Upon the consent of a birth parent to release identifying informa- 7 tion pursuant to this subdivision, the department of health shall 8 provide such parent with a contact preference form that shall, if 9 completed by the birth parent, accompany a copy of a birth certificate 10 or other identifying information provided to the adopted person under 11 this subdivision and be filed with the adoption information registry 12 established by section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of the public 13 health law. The contact preference form shall include the following 14 content to be completed at the option of the birth parent: 15 (i) I am willing to or would like to be contacted. 16 (ii) I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary. 17 (iii) I have completed a medical history form and have filed it with 18 the department of health. 19 (iv) Please do not contact me. If I decide later that I would like to 20 be contacted, I will submit an updated contact preference form to the 21 court or the department of health. 22 (v) Add any additional information here (if desired): 23 The medical history form shall be in a form prescribed by the depart- 24 ment of health and shall be supplied to the birth parent with a contact 25 preference form. 26 The medical history form and contact preference form are confidential 27 communications from the birth parent to the person named on the sealed 28 birth certificate and shall be placed in separate sealed envelopes upon 29 receipt from the birth parent. 30 The sealed envelopes containing the contact preference form and 31 medical history form shall be released to a person requesting his or her 32 birth certificate under this subdivision or his or her agent, such as 33 his or her attorney, with appropriate authorization. The contact pref- 34 erence form and medical history form are private communications from the 35 birth parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and no 36 copies of the forms shall be retained by the court. 37 (g) The department of health shall develop an affirmative information 38 campaign and widely disseminate to the public, through its website, 39 public service announcements and other means, in multiple languages and 40 through multiple outlets, information concerning the adoption informa- 41 tion registry established by section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of 42 the public health law and the provisions of this subdivision, including, 43 but not limited to, the means by which a birth parent may file a written 44 confirmation pursuant to paragraph (h) of this subdivision with the 45 court that ordered the adoption or the department of health that he or 46 she wishes to maintain the confidentiality of identifying information, 47 or consents to the release of such identifying information. 48 (h) A birth parent may, at any time, file a written and notarized 49 confirmation with the court that ordered the adoption or with the 50 department of health indicating that he or she wishes to maintain confi- 51 dentiality of identifying information or that he or she consents to the 52 release of identifying information. The department of health shall noti- 53 fy the court and provide the court with a copy of such written confirma- 54 tion. The court shall honor such written confirmation unless it is with- 55 drawn or modified, in notarized writing, by the birth parent.A. 2901--C 5 1 (i) For the purposes of this subdivision, "adopted person" shall 2 include a person who was surrendered as described in subdivision seven 3 of section one hundred nine of this article. 4 § 4. Subdivision 10 of section 4138-c of the public health law, as 5 added by chapter 435 of the laws of 2008, is amended and a new subdivi- 6 sion 10-a is added to read as follows: 7 10. The commissioner is directed to develop an adoption information 8 registry birth parent registration consent form to be completed at the 9 time of surrender or consent to adoption. Such form shall include check- 10 off boxes to be appropriately marked by the biological parent or parents 11 whose consent is necessary for the relinquishment of such child indicat- 12 ing whether or not such parent consents to the receipt of identifying 13 information and a certified copy of the original birth certificate by 14 the child to be adopted. A copy of such form shall be sent to the 15 department with copies of the original and amended birth certificates. 16 Such form shall state that it is the responsibility of the birth parent 17 to update the registry with any changes in contact information. The form 18 shall additionally advise the biological parents of the adoption medical 19 information sub-registry and the procedures by which a birth parent may 20 provide medical information to the sub-registry. Notwithstanding any 21 inconsistent provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner is 22 directed to develop any rules and regulations necessary to expedite the 23 transfer of information from any agency, court or department necessary 24 to implement this subdivision. 25 10-a. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contra- 26 ry, for surrenders occurring and orders of adoptions entered after the 27 effective date of this subdivision, where the biological parent or 28 parents whose consent is necessary for the relinquishment of such child 29 consents to the release of a certified copy of the child's original 30 birth certificate or does not affirmatively request, on the form 31 described in subdivision ten of this section, that such original birth 32 certificate remain confidential, the surrendered or adopted person 33 shall, after attaining the age of eighteen and upon application to the 34 department and adequate proof of identity, have the right to receive a 35 certified copy of their original birth certificate. 36 § 5. This act shall take effect April 15, 2017, provided, however, 37 that paragraphs (g) and (h) of subdivision 5 of section 114 of the 38 domestic relations law, as added by section three of this act, shall 39 take effect on the thirtieth day after such effective date.