Queens, NY – One year ago, the Adoptee Rights Bill was passed by the New York State Assembly and signed into law. This historic bill was sponsored by Assemblyman David Weprin. For more than eighty years, adoptees were denied the right to receive their own birth certificate. Now, adult adoptees and their lineal descendants can access their vital records. January marks the one-year anniversary of this life changing legislation.
C. Catherine Swett, an attorney and downstate coordinator for New York Adopt Equality had this to say on the matter: “Our records are still sealed. But now adults can get access. We are very grateful to David Weprin for working on this for years.”
Joyce Bahr, President of the Sealed Initiative added: “New York Adoptees age, eighteen and older, feel liberated from being denied a copy of their original birth certificates; liberated from being denied the ineligible right to know the basic facts of their birth. Many are looking forward to getting answers easier than adoptees have in the past.”
“I am proud to have sponsored this equal rights legislation. It proves that through hard work and dedication, change is possible,” said Assemblyman David Weprin. “For far too long, adoptees were denied access to documents that every other person born in New York State has the right to obtain. Family history is important. The one-year anniversary of this bill honors the right for each person in New York to know his or her heritage.”
“It remains a basic human right to know where you come from. Therefore, it is a basic civil right to have
unrestricted access to the document that establishes you as a citizen of your state, and of your nation.” said Tim Monti-Wohlpart, of the American Adoption Congress. He added, “We thank Governor Cuomo for his historic leadership, as well as our sponsors, Assemblymember Weprin and former Senator Montgomery. As with so many
other issues, the Empire State is helping lead the way towards vital progress for equality.”