New York State Assembly Passes ‘Bill of Adoptee Rights’

Albany, New York – Following a multi-year campaign to grant adoptees increased access to their original birth certificates, Assemblyman David Weprin announced the passage of the Adoptee Rights Bill in the New York State Assembly with a final vote count of 125-19. The bill (A2901C / Weprin) would allow an adopted person who is at least eighteen years of age to request from the court from which the order of adoption was made, or from the Supreme Court, a certified copy of his or her original birth certificate and/or a medical history form if available.

“Adoptees in New York State often lack crucial information about their own lives and background, placing them in confusing and unfair situations where they might not have access to their medical records or family history” said Assemblyman David Weprin. “Providing adult adoptees with access to their own birth certificates is not only common sense but the right thing to do in today’s day and age. Adoptee rights are human rights and although I prefer a clean Bill of Adoptee Rights with full access to an unredacted birth certificate; I am glad that we have taken a step towards providing adoptees with their full rights in New York State with the passage of this bill”

Under the proposal:

  • An adult adopted person over the age of 18 may request from the court where the adoption was made or the Supreme Court a certified copy of his or her original long form birth certificate or identifying information in the case where a birth certificate is not available.
  • Upon the adult adoptee’s request, the Department of Health of the State of New York will make a reasonable and good faith effort to contact and advise birth parent(s) that the adopted person has filed an application to receive their original long-form birth certificate.
  • If the parent has already consented to a release of information or does not respond within 120 days, a certified copy of the long-form birth certificate or appropriate identifying information will be provided to the adopted person.

The matching version of A2901C, S05964B (Lanza), is currently pending passage in the State Senate.