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A09959 Summary:

BILL NOA09959B
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07631-B
 
SPONSORWeprin
 
COSPNSRCarroll, D'Urso, Colton, Woerner, Gottfried, Seawright, Rivera, Thiele, Blake, Rosenthal L, Johns, Skoufis, Barron, Murray, Brabenec, Pellegrino, Schimminger, McDonough, Smith, Lavine, Simon
 
MLTSPNSRButler, Cook
 
Add 4138-e, amd 4138, 4138-d & 4104, Pub Health L; amd 114, Dom Rel L
 
Establishes the right of adoptees to receive a certified copy of their birth certificate upon reaching the age of 18; such birth certificate shall include information on the medical history of the birth parents.
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A09959 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         9959--B
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      March 1, 2018
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. WEPRIN, CARROLL, D'URSO, COLTON, WOERNER, GOTT-
          FRIED, SEAWRIGHT, RIVERA, THIELE, BLAKE, L. ROSENTHAL, JOHNS, SKOUFIS,
          BARRON,  MURRAY,  BRABENEC,  PELLEGRINO,  SCHIMMINGER,  McDONOUGH   --
          Multi-Sponsored by -- M.  of A. BUTLER, COOK -- read once and referred
          to  the  Committee  on  Health  -- committee discharged, bill amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --
          recommitted  to  the  Committee  on Health in accordance with Assembly
          Rule  3,  sec.  2  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the public health law and the domestic relations law, in
          relation  to  authorizing adoptees to obtain a certified copy of their
          birth certificate
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The  public health law is amended by adding a new section
     2  4138-e to read as follows:
     3    § 4138-e. Adoptee's right to a certified copy  of  his  or  her  birth
     4  certificate.  1. The legislature hereby states its intention to acknowl-
     5  edge, support and encourage the life-long health and well-being needs of
     6  persons who have been and will be adopted in this state. The legislature
     7  further  recognizes  that  the denial of access to accurate and complete
     8  medical and self-identifying data  of  any  adopted  person,  known  and
     9  wilfully  withheld  by  others,  may result in such person succumbing to
    10  preventable disease, premature death or otherwise unhealthy life,  is  a
    11  violation of that person's human rights and is contrary to the tenets of
    12  governance.  As  such,  the provisions of this section seek to establish
    13  considerations under the law for adopted persons equal to such consider-
    14  ations permitted by law to all non-adopted persons; this section does so
    15  while providing for the privacy of an adopted  person  and  his  or  her
    16  birth.
    17    2. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner or
    18  a  local  registrar  or  any  person authorized by the commissioner or a
    19  local registrar, upon application, proof of identity and  payment  of  a
    20  nominal  fee, shall issue certified copies of original long form line by
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD14534-07-8

        A. 9959--B                          2
 
     1  line, vault copy birth certificates and  any  change  attached  to  that
     2  certificate  by  a  birth  parent or parents, and, if available, medical
     3  history forms upon specific request therefor (i) by an  adopted  person,
     4  if  eighteen  years  of  age  or  more, or (ii) if the adopted person is
     5  deceased, the adopted person's direct line  descendants,  or  (iii)  the
     6  lawful representatives of such adopted person, or lawful representatives
     7  of  such  deceased adopted person's direct line descendants, as the case
     8  may be.
     9    (b) When it shall be impossible through good-faith efforts to  provide
    10  a  copy  of  an adult adopted person's original birth certificate (as in
    11  the case of an adopted person born outside of, but adopted  within,  the
    12  state),  the  true  and  correct identifying information that would have
    13  appeared on such original birth certificate shall be provided by a court
    14  of competent jurisdiction or the adoption agency, upon specific  request
    15  therefor, to:  (i) the adult adopted person, if eighteen years of age or
    16  more,  or  (ii)  if the adopted person is deceased, the adopted person's
    17  direct line descendants, or (iii) lawful representatives of such adopted
    18  person, or lawful representatives  of  such  deceased  adopted  person's
    19  direct  line  descendants,  as  the case may be. In such case the agency
    20  shall be held harmless from any liability arising out of the disclosure.
    21    (c) For purposes of this subdivision:
    22    (i) The term "commissioner" shall include the commissioner  of  health
    23  and  mental  hygiene  of  the  city of New York and for records of birth
    24  prior to January first, nineteen hundred fourteen, the local  registrars
    25  of the cities of Albany, Buffalo and Yonkers; and
    26    (ii)  The term "department" shall include the department of health and
    27  mental hygiene of the city of New York and, for records of  birth  prior
    28  to January first, nineteen hundred fourteen, the office of vital statis-
    29  tics  of  the city of Albany, the office of vital records of the city of
    30  Buffalo and the office of clerk of the city of Yonkers.
    31    § 2.   Subdivision 4 of section 4138 of  the  public  health  law,  as
    32  amended  by  chapter  559  of  the  laws  of 1992, is amended to read as
    33  follows:
    34    4. The commissioner may make a microfilm or other suitable copy of the
    35  original certificate of birth and  all  papers  pertaining  to  the  new
    36  certificate of birth. In such event, the original certificate and papers
    37  may  be  destroyed.  All  undestroyed certificates and papers and copies
    38  thereof shall be confidential and the  contents  thereof  shall  not  be
    39  released  or  otherwise divulged except by order of a court of competent
    40  jurisdiction or pursuant to  section  forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-c
    41  [or],  forty-one  hundred  thirty-eight-d  or  forty-one hundred thirty-
    42  eight-e of this [article] title.
    43    § 3. Subdivision 5 of section  4138  of  the  public  health  law,  as
    44  amended  by  chapter  201  of  the  laws  of 1972, is amended to read as
    45  follows:
    46    5. Thereafter, when a certified copy or certified  transcript  of  the
    47  certificate  of  birth of such a person, or a certification of birth for
    48  such person is issued, it shall be based upon  the  new  certificate  of
    49  birth,  except  when an order of a court of competent jurisdiction shall
    50  require the issuance of a copy of the original certificate of  birth  or
    51  upon application by an adopted person eighteen years of age or more once
    52  proper proof of identity is provided to the registrar.
    53    §  4.  Paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision 3 of section 4138 of the public
    54  health law, as added by chapter 201 of the laws of 1972, is  amended  to
    55  read as follows:

        A. 9959--B                          3
 
     1    (b)  Thereafter,  when a verified transcript or certification of birth
     2  of such  person is issued by the registrar, it shall be based  upon  the
     3  new  certificate, except when an order of a court of competent jurisdic-
     4  tion shall require the issuance of  a  verified  transcript  or  certif-
     5  ication  based  upon the original local record of birth or upon applica-
     6  tion by an adopted person eighteen years of  age  or  more  once  proper
     7  proof of identity is provided to the registrar.
     8    §  5.  Subdivision  7  of  section  4138  of the public health law, as
     9  amended by chapter 644 of the laws  of  1988,  is  amended  to  read  as
    10  follows:
    11    7.  Whenever  the  commissioner  makes a new birth certificate for any
    12  person pursuant to the provisions of subdivision one of this section, he
    13  or she shall forward to (i) such person, if eighteen  years  of  age  or
    14  more,  [or  to  the  parents  of such person,] or (ii) if the adoptee is
    15  deceased, the adoptee's direct line descendants, or (iii) lawful  repre-
    16  sentatives  of  such adoptee, or lawful representatives of such deceased
    17  adoptee's direct line descendants, as the case may be, a certified copy,
    18  a certified transcript [or] and a certification of birth, [whichever  he
    19  deems  appropriate  under  the circumstances,] without making any charge
    20  therefor.
    21    § 6. Section 4138 of the public health law is amended by adding a  new
    22  subdivision 8 to read as follows:
    23    8.  An  adopted  person  eighteen  years of age or older, or the birth
    24  parent or parents, may submit to the registrar a  notice  of  change  of
    25  name  and/or  address  and  such  information  shall  be attached to the
    26  original birth certificate of the adopted person.
    27    § 7.  Paragraph (b) of subdivision 3 of section 4138-d of  the  public
    28  health law, as amended by chapter 181 of the laws of 2010, is amended to
    29  read as follows:
    30    (b)  If  the  agency  determines  that the agency was involved in such
    31  adoption, it shall transmit the registration to the adoption information
    32  registry operated by the department and the  agency  shall  release  the
    33  non-identifying  information,  as  defined  in section forty-one hundred
    34  thirty-eight-c of this title, to the [adoptee registrant. The agency may
    35  restrict the nature of the non-identifying information released pursuant
    36  to this section upon a reasonable determination that disclosure of  such
    37  non-identifying  information  would not be in the adoptee's, the biolog-
    38  ical sibling's or parent's best interest] adopted person.
    39    § 8. Section 4104 of the public health law, as amended by chapter  153
    40  of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
    41    §  4104.  Vital  statistics; application of article. The provisions of
    42  this article except for the provisions contained  in  paragraph  (i)  of
    43  subdivision  two  and  subdivision  four  of  section  four thousand one
    44  hundred, section four thousand one hundred  three,  subdivision  two  of
    45  section four thousand one hundred thirty-five, section four thousand one
    46  hundred  thirty-five-b,  subdivision  eight of section four thousand one
    47  hundred seventy-four, paragraphs (b) and (e) of subdivision  one,  para-
    48  graph  (b)  of subdivision three, and subdivisions five, seven and eight
    49  of section four thousand one hundred thirty-eight, subdivision eleven of
    50  section four thousand  one  hundred  thirty-eight-c,  paragraph  (b)  of
    51  subdivision  three  of section four thousand one hundred thirty-eight-d,
    52  section four thousand one hundred thirty-eight-e and section four  thou-
    53  sand  one  hundred  seventy-nine of this article, shall not apply to the
    54  city of New York.

        A. 9959--B                          4
 
     1    § 9. Subdivision 1 of section 114 of the domestic  relations  law,  as
     2  amended by chapter 751 of the laws of 1989 and designated by chapter 601
     3  of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
     4    1.  If satisfied that the best interests of the adoptive child will be
     5  promoted thereby, the judge or surrogate shall make an  order  approving
     6  the  adoption and directing that the adoptive child shall thenceforth be
     7  regarded and treated in all  respects  as  the  child  of  the  adoptive
     8  parents  or  parent.  In  determining  whether the best interests of the
     9  adoptive child will be promoted by the adoption, the judge or  surrogate
    10  shall give due consideration to any assurance by a local commissioner of
    11  social  services that he or she will provide necessary support and main-
    12  tenance for the adoptive child pursuant to the social services law. Such
    13  order shall contain the full name, date and place of birth and reference
    14  to the schedule annexed to the petition containing the  medical  history
    15  of  the  child  in  the  body  thereof and shall direct that the child's
    16  medical history, heritage of the  birth  parents,  which  shall  include
    17  nationality,  ethnic  background and race; education, which shall be the
    18  number of years of school completed by the birth parents at the time  of
    19  the  birth  and  also  at  the  time of surrender of the adoptive child;
    20  general physical appearance of the birth parents  at  the  time  of  the
    21  birth  and  also  at  the time of surrender of the adoptive child, which
    22  shall include height, weight, color of hair, eyes, skin;  occupation  of
    23  the  birth  parents  at  the  time  of the birth and also at the time of
    24  surrender of the adoptive child; health and medical history of the birth
    25  parents at the time of the birth and also at the time  of  surrender  of
    26  the  adoptive  child,  including all available information setting forth
    27  conditions or diseases believed to be hereditary, any drugs  or  medica-
    28  tion  taken  during  the  pregnancy by the child's mother; and any other
    29  information which may be a factor influencing  the  child's  present  or
    30  future  health,  including the talents, hobbies and special interests of
    31  the birth parents as contained in the  petition,  be  furnished  to  the
    32  adoptive  parents.    If  the  judge or surrogate is also satisfied that
    33  there is no reasonable objection to the change  of  name  proposed,  the
    34  order shall direct that the name of the adoptive child be changed to the
    35  name  stated  in the agreement of adoption and that henceforth he or she
    36  shall be known by that name. All such orders  made  by  a  family  court
    37  judge  of  Westchester  county  since  September first, nineteen hundred
    38  sixty-two, and on file in the office of the county clerk of such  county
    39  shall  be  transferred  to the clerk of the family court of such county.
    40  Such order and all the papers in the proceeding shall be  filed  in  the
    41  office of the court granting the adoption and the order shall be entered
    42  in  books  which  shall be kept under seal and which shall be indexed by
    43  the name of the adoptive parents and by the full original  name  of  the
    44  child. Such order, including orders heretofore entered, shall be subject
    45  to  inspection  and  examination  only as hereinafter provided. Notwith-
    46  standing the fact that adoption records shall be sealed and secret, they
    47  may be microfilmed and processed pursuant to  an  order  of  the  court,
    48  provided  that  such  order  provides  that  the confidentiality of such
    49  records be maintained. If the confidentiality is violated, the person or
    50  company violating it can be found guilty of contempt of court. The  fact
    51  that  the adoptive child was born out of wedlock shall in no case appear
    52  in such order. The written report of the investigation together with all
    53  other papers pertaining to the adoption shall be kept by  the  judge  or
    54  surrogate as a permanent record of his or her court and such papers must
    55  be  sealed by him or her and withheld from inspection. No certified copy
    56  of the order of adoption shall issue unless authorized by  court  order,

        A. 9959--B                          5
 
     1  except  that certified copies may issue to the agency or agencies in the
     2  proceeding prior to the sealing of the  papers.  Before  the  record  is
     3  sealed,  such  order may be granted upon written ex parte application on
     4  good cause shown and upon such conditions as the court may impose. After
     5  the  record  is  sealed,  such  order may be granted only upon notice as
     6  hereinafter provided for disclosure or access and inspection of records.
     7  The clerk upon request of a person  or  agency  entitled  thereto  shall
     8  issue  certificates of adoption which shall contain only the new name of
     9  the child and the date and place of birth of the child, the name of  the
    10  adoptive  parents  and  the  date  when and court where the adoption was
    11  granted, which certificate as to the facts recited  therein  shall  have
    12  the same force and effect as a certified copy of an order of adoption.
    13    §  10. This act shall take effect January 15, 2019, provided, however,
    14  that, effective immediately, the commissioner of health is  directed  to
    15  promulgate  such  rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out
    16  the provisions of this act.
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