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A02691 Summary:

COSPNSRHunter, Thiele
Amd 114, Dom Rel L; amd 4132, Pub Health L
Grants access to a certified copy of the birth certificate of an adopted person without requiring judicial review; requires such birth certificate to state that the certificate is a certified copy of a sealed record and is not valid for identification with the adoption facts recited.
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A02691 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Benedetto
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the domestic relations law and the public health law, in relation to access to birth records by adoptees   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would allow an adopted person who is at least eighteen years Of age to obtain a certified copy of their original birth certificate with a notation that the document is a certified copy of a sealed record, not valid for identification, with a recitation of the facts of adoption, or of each adoption if adopted more than once. The document required to be provided to the adoptee is certified, it clearly establishes that the person whose birth is recorded was adopted and the document is NOT valid as ID. It links the pre-and postadoption identities allowing access to birth right privileges such as society membership, dual passport and religious affiliation. For people adopted after infancy the connection between pre and post adoption identities is important to access their medical and educational records along with ancestral information and heritage.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 2 of this bill amends § 114 of the Domestic Relations Law to allow an adult adopted person over the age of 18, their descendants or lawful agent, or the adoptive parent(s) of an adopted person who has not attained the age of 18 to request from the department of health a certi- fied copy of his or her original long form birth certificate or identi- fying birth information in the case where a birth certificate is not available marked as not valid for identification. Section 3 of this bill amends Article 41 Title 3 of the Public Health Law to add Section 5 requiring a notation stating the facts of the adoption on any certified birth record issued. This bill takes effect on April 15, 2019.   JUSTIFICATION: A non-adopted person has a legal right to obtain their original birth record. The birth record of adopted person is sealed and a replacement record listing the adoptive parent(s) "as if born to" is issued. This bill will restore the adopted person's access to their original birth record. The same procedure applicable to non-adopted persons shall be used by adopted persons to request and receive a certified copy of the Sealed Record with a notation that the original birth certificate has been replaced by Adoption and is NOT valid as Identification. Adoptees will be treated equally with the not adopted under the laws of the State of New York.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2018: new bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on April 15, 2019.
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A02691 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 25, 2019
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  BENEDETTO  --  read once and referred to the
          Committee on Judiciary
        AN ACT to amend the domestic relations law and the public health law, in
          relation to access to birth records by adoptees
          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 ensure equal access to vital records  and  end  decades  of
     3  discrimination  against  adoption  and  adopted persons. The legislature
     4  finds that an adopted person should have access to his or  her  original
     5  birth  record in the same manner as a non-adopted person. The provisions
     6  of this act establish an  absolute  right  under  the  law  for  adopted
     7  persons to access their birth certificates while referencing the fact of
     8  their adoption.
     9    §  2.  Subdivision  2 of section 114 of the domestic relations law, as
    10  amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 1992 and as designated by  chapter
    11  601 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
    12    2.  (a)  No  person,  including  the attorney for the adoptive parents
    13  shall disclose the surname of the child directly or  indirectly  to  the
    14  adoptive  parents  except  upon  order  of the court. No person shall be
    15  allowed access to such sealed records and order and  any  index  thereof
    16  except  upon  an order of a judge or surrogate of the court in which the
    17  order was made or of a justice  of  the  supreme  court.  No  order  for
    18  disclosure  or  access  and  inspection  shall be granted except on good
    19  cause shown and on due notice to the adoptive parents and to such  addi-
    20  tional  persons  as the court may direct. Nothing contained herein shall
    21  be deemed to require the state commissioner of  health  or  his  or  her
    22  designee  to  secure a court order authorizing disclosure of information
    23  contained in adoption or birth records requested pursuant to the author-
    24  ity of section forty-one hundred  thirty-eight-c  or  section  forty-one
    25  hundred  thirty-eight-d  of  the  public health law; upon the receipt of

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

        A. 2691                             2
     1  such request for information, the court shall transmit  the  information
     2  authorized to be released thereunder to the state commissioner of health
     3  or his or her designee.
     4    (b)  Notwithstanding  paragraph  (a) of this subdivision and any other
     5  section of law to the contrary, an adoptee over the age of eighteen, the
     6  adoptive parents of an adoptee who has not yet attained the age of eigh-
     7  teen, and any lawful descendant or agent of an  adoptee  may  apply  for
     8  access  to  a  certified  copy  of the birth certificate of such adoptee
     9  marked as not valid for identification and with a  notation  referencing
    10  the  circumstance  of  the adoption. Such certified copy shall be issued
    11  for the same fee charged for a certified  copy  of  the  unsealed  birth
    12  record  of a non-adoptee. No judicial review of the application shall be
    13  necessary for an adoptee to receive a  certified  copy  of  his  or  her
    14  original  birth certificate marked as "Certified copy of a Sealed Record
    15  - Not valid for identification with the adoption facts recited".
    16    § 3. Section 4132 of the public health law is amended by adding a  new
    17  subdivision 5 to read as follows:
    18    5. In the case of an adopted person, the certified copy of the certif-
    19  icate  of  birth  issued upon request shall: (a) contain a notation that
    20  the document is not valid for identification; and (b) recite  the  facts
    21  of the adoption in the form as follows:
    22    "I  certify  that  the  record  above  is a copy of the original birth
    23  record  of  _________(insert   birth   name),   who   was   adopted   by
    24  _________(adoptive  parent)  and  _________ (adoptive parent, if two) on
    25  _________ (adoption decree date). This original birth  record  is  main-
    26  tained  in a sealed file by the State of New York. This copy is released
    27  pursuant to the laws of the State of New York."
    28    § 4. This act shall take effect April 15, 2020.
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