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Published Wednesday January 13th, 2010 at 12:12pm

A8410 and S5269 enacts a Bill of Adoptee Rights clarifying language and procedures for obtaining birth certificates and medical histories of New York adoptees; allows adopted adults to learn who their birth parents are when they reach the age of 18, subject to a contact preference filed by the birth parents.

Supporting and notable issues for the "Bill of Adoptee Rights", a piece of legislation that seeks to do more than just gain adoptees' rights -- it is legislation that cares for everyone involved.

1. This legislation fully encourages the New York State Assembly and Senate Members to acknowledge and support within a law, the lifelong health and well-being of adults who have been or will be adopted in this state. It also has them by law recognize that the denial of access to accurate and complete medical and self-identifying data of any citizen, is a violation of that citizen's civil rights.

2. This legislation clearly states that adoptees be given equal considerations permitted by law to all non-adopted citizens. But it does so while providing for the need of privacy for that adopted citizen and his/her birth and adoptive families.

3. All adoptees (whether adopted in or outside of NYS) shall at the age of 18 be granted the right -- To have access to and attain his/her Original (long form, line by line vault copy) Birth Certificate. All adoptees will have the right to obtain from a court of competent jurisdiction or the adoption agency the true and correct identifying information that would have appeared on his/her original Birth Certificate, with a "hold harmless clause" for releasing such information from any liability arising out of the disclosure.

4. This legislation insures that all updated information shall also be released to all parties involved. Adoptees, under this legislation, are guaranteed their right to updated and current birth family medical histories.

5. The contact preference protects the civil rights of all birth parents and adoptees that do not want contact. This preference can be rescinded at any time by the filing party.

6. Regardless of the Contact Preference it will not diminish the right of the Adopted Person to receive updated health information and their Birth Certificate.

7. This legislation also assures within two years of passage that the Governor form a citizen's task force to review, assess and report on the progress and administration of this legislation. It states the individuals that shall be a part of this task force (equal numbers of adopted persons, birth parents, adoptive parents and adoption professionals). It allows these individuals to have full access to files from Children & Family Services, Surrogate courts to enable complete and accurate reporting without comprise. It also within this law states that this task force within one year will submit a written report to the legislature and the public on:

  • The number of Birth Certificates requested by adopted persons.
  • The number of original uncertified Birth Certificates provided to adopted persons.
  • The number of contact preferences filled by birth parent(s).
  • The number of contact preferences rescinded by same parent or parents.

8. This legislation also assures that additional information and data will be collected and accepted from birth relatives and updated continuously. It further states that this data will be provided within 90 days to either the adoptive parents of a minor or directly to the adult adopted person.

9. This legislation also presents the importance and use of a Law Guardian or Guardian Ad Litem to honestly protect the rights of the child.

10. This legislation also presents the importance within its wording, behind all adopted persons having the right to grow up into adulthood, leaving the stigma of forever being a child behind in the laws of this state.

Remember this -- some adoptees have been totally denied access to medical information and testing for certain genetic diseases due to their lack of a family history. If ever there was a reason for the adoption laws in NY to change, this is it. No one in this country should be denied their right to practice preventative health care, but that is what is truly happening to adoptees. Why should the status of adoption keep someone from knowing what medical conditions their true blood line holds? Why should the status of adoption keep people from knowing information or people? Adoptees are people and should have the same rights as any other citizens in the USA -- but sadly they do not! Now we must come together to change that and get NY State to recognize all of its citizens, adopted or not. We as people all deserve to be complete, fulfilled beings with a true history and true identity of self.

To express your support for approving this bill for New York adoptees to obtain original birth certificates, call phone number 518-455-3791 or send fax to 518-455-5459.

The Bill of Adoptee Rights amends the Health Law by adding a new section, 4138-e Allows all adoptees when they reach the age of eighteen the ability to receive a copy of their original birth certificate provided they have proper identification and pay a nominal fee, and to receive an updated medical history form submitted to the health department by the birth parent. The medical history form shall be prescribed by the Health Department.

A birth parent may at any time request a contact preference form that shall accompany a birth certificate issued under this title. The contact preference form shall provide the following information to be completed at the option of the birth parent.
(1) I would like to be contacted
(2) I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary
(3) I prefer not to be contacted at this time. If I decide later that I would like to be contacted, I will submit an updated preference form to the health department. I have completed an updated medical history form and have filed it with the health department.

The health department shall provide updated health information from the birth parent to the adoptive parents of a minor and directly to the adopted person who has reached the age of eighteen.

When it shall be impossible through good-faith efforts to provide a copy of the birth certificate (as in the case of an adopted person born outside of, but adopted within the state of New York), the adopted person shall have the right to secure from a court of competent jurisdiction or the adoption agency true and correct identifying information.

This bill will become law one year after the governor signs it. Within two years of the effective date the governor shall appoint a voluntary citizens task force to review, assess and report on the progress and administration of initiatives established with the new law.

To express your support for approving this bill for New York adoptees to obtain original birth certificates, call phone number 518-455-3791 or send fax to 518-455-5459.

SPONSOR Montgomery
Co Sponsors Larkin, Krueger
Also there are 25 supporters

Co Sponsors Arroyo, Dinowitz, Gianaris, Gordon, Gottfried, Peoples, Powell, Rivera P, Wright, Butler, P. Rivera, Bradley,Eddington, Pretlow Ramos, Schroeder., P. Lopez, Fields, Gabryszak, Mayersohn and Jaffee, Delmonte, Maisel, Rosental, Titone

MLTSPNSR Alfano, Aubertine, Bing, Cook, Galef, Gunther, Lopez, Magnarelli, Miller J, Millman, Nolan, Paulin, Perry, Quinn, Rivera J, Thiele, Towns, Townsend, Weisenberg, Barra, Farrell, Mckevitt, Magee, Seminerio, Spano, Hooper, Lupardo, Lifton, Camara, Errigo, Hyer-Spencer,
Also there are 32 supporters