New York has historically had some of the most restrictive laws for the sealing of adoption records. But decades of effort have turned the tides, and soon those adopted in New York will have access to their original birth certificate. You can learn more about the battle for adoptee rights by visiting the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition.
But when and how will this go into effect? We are currently working with adoptees who want to get their birth certificates now. And since we are not the type of people to sit our hands, we started reaching out to find where the request can be made, and the timeline for response. In other words, we want to be at the front of the line when the doors open!
So, I sent this message to the New York Department of Health:
We are assisting several adoptees in the search for their birth parents who were born in New York state. All the current process online are for acquiring their updated birth certificates. With the recent change in the law, can you direct me to where we can submit a request for their original birth certificates?
Troy Olson Co-Founder DiscoverFamily.net”
I sent this message in June of 2019. A short 75 days later I got this response:
“The bill has passed in both houses but it remains a bill. The Governor has not signed the bill and it is not a law. Also, if he does sign the bill their will be procedures that need to be placed in effect and trainings for staff members along with applications made and fees to be determined. If he signs the bill it will not go into effect until January 15, 2020.”
So the answer seems to be, not for a while. We are monitoring the situation and will provide updates as we are able to get birth certificates for New York adoptees. The coalition is doing a great job of monitoring, and we recommend you check out their steps here: https://nyadopteerights.org/ny-adoptee-rights-whats-next/
In the meantime, have you considered getting our help? Have you considered a DNA Test? Getting a birth certificate from a state can be very helpful, but there are many paths to discovering your family!