New Law Gives Adoptees Access to Birth Certificates

A new law allows for the first time anyone adopted to receive a certified copy of their birth certificate when they turn 18-years-old, giving them access to information about their birth parents.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill, passed by the legislature earlier this year, into law on Thursday. “Where you came from informs who you are, and every New Yorker deserves access to the same birth records,” he said. “It’s a basic human right.”

Currently, government agencies has the right to restrict which information was made available to those adopted if biological parents chose to remain anonymous. This could happen if parents were forced to give away their child and did not want to have to explain their decision years down the road.

If an adopted child dies before their 18th birthday, their representative or descendants will also be able to get access the birth certificate.

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