A05036 Summary:

BILL NOA05036
 
SAME ASSAME AS S04845
 
SPONSORWeprin
 
COSPNSRMosley, Otis, Benedetto, Hooper, Titus, Sepulveda, Ortiz, Mayer, Aubry, Pichardo, Cusick, Brindisi, Skoufis, 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 NOA05036
 
02/06/2017referred to health
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A05036 Committee Votes:

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A05036 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          5036
 
                               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,  SKOUFIS,
          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 -- Multi-Sponsored by --  M.  of  A.  ARROYO,
          BARRETT,  BUCHWALD,  BUTLER,  COOK,  CURRAN,  DAVILA, DINOWITZ, ENGLE-
          BRIGHT, 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,
          ROSENTHAL, RYAN, SIMANOWITZ, SKARTADOS, SOLAGES, STEC, WALTER, WRIGHT,
          ZEBROWSKI -- read once and referred to the Committee on Health
 
        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:

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD09376-01-7

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

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

        A. 5036                             4
 
     1  completed by the birth parent, accompany a copy of a  birth  certificate
     2  or  other  identifying  information provided to the adopted person under
     3  this subdivision and be filed with  the  adoption  information  registry
     4  established  by  section  forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of the public
     5  health law. The contact preference  form  shall  include  the  following
     6  content to be completed at the option of the birth parent:
     7    (i) I am willing to or would like to be contacted.
     8    (ii) I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary.
     9    (iii)  I  have completed a medical history form and have filed it with
    10  the department of health.
    11    (iv) Please do not contact me. If I decide later that I would like  to
    12  be  contacted,  I  will submit an updated contact preference form to the
    13  court or the department of health.
    14    (v) Add any additional information here (if desired):
    15    The medical history form shall be in a form prescribed by the  depart-
    16  ment  of health and shall be supplied to the birth parent with a contact
    17  preference form.
    18    The medical history form and contact preference form are  confidential
    19  communications  from  the birth parent to the person named on the sealed
    20  birth certificate and shall be placed in separate sealed envelopes  upon
    21  receipt from the birth parent.
    22    The  sealed  envelopes  containing  the  contact  preference  form and
    23  medical history form shall be released to a person requesting his or her
    24  birth certificate under this subdivision or his or her  agent,  such  as
    25  his  or her attorney, with appropriate authorization.  The contact pref-
    26  erence form and medical history form are private communications from the
    27  birth parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and  no
    28  copies of the forms shall be retained by the court.
    29    (g)  The department of health shall develop an affirmative information
    30  campaign and widely disseminate to  the  public,  through  its  website,
    31  public  service announcements and other means, in multiple languages and
    32  through multiple outlets, information concerning the  adoption  informa-
    33  tion registry established by section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of
    34  the public health law and the provisions of this subdivision, including,
    35  but not limited to, the means by which a birth parent may file a written
    36  confirmation  pursuant  to  paragraph  (h)  of this subdivision with the
    37  court that ordered the adoption or the department of health that  he  or
    38  she  wishes  to maintain the confidentiality of identifying information,
    39  or consents to the release of such identifying information.
    40    (h) A birth parent may, at any time,  file  a  written  and  notarized
    41  confirmation  with  the  court  that  ordered  the  adoption or with the
    42  department of health indicating that he or she wishes to maintain confi-
    43  dentiality of identifying information or that he or she consents to  the
    44  release of identifying information. The department of health shall noti-
    45  fy the court and provide the court with a copy of such written confirma-
    46  tion. The court shall honor such written confirmation unless it is with-
    47  drawn or modified, in notarized writing, by the birth parent.
    48    (i)  For  the  purposes  of  this  subdivision, "adopted person" shall
    49  include a person who was surrendered as described in  subdivision  seven
    50  of section one hundred nine of this article.
    51    §  4.  Subdivision  10  of section 4138-c of the public health law, as
    52  added by chapter 435 of the laws of 2008, is amended and a new  subdivi-
    53  sion 10-a is added to read as follows:
    54    10.  The  commissioner  is directed to develop an adoption information
    55  registry birth parent registration consent form to be completed  at  the
    56  time of surrender or consent to adoption. Such form shall include check-

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