New Jersey Allows Access for Adoptees to Original Birth Records

On May 27, 2014 New Jersey became one of approximately 10 states to allow adoptees access to their original birth certificates.

Bills had been proposed for well over 15 years in New Jersey, each failing to pass, but recently the Legislature approved one. The Governor conditionally vetoed it in order to provide additional protections for birth parents who placed children prior to its enactment. The Bill was then modified and now provides that for any adoption which has taken or will take place before August 1, 2015, the birth parents may request that their names not be released as part of the original birth certificate. For adoptions thereafter, these records will be available, but only to certain individuals. This would include the adoptee after reaching the age of 18 as well as other specifically named family members.

Along with this is a Contact Preference form. This will allow the birth parent to indicate whether he or she wishes to be contacted once the information is released. It also provides for the method of contact, either through an agency, specifically named intermediary, or by direct contact. It also provides an option for no contact at all.

One of the other important features of this Bill is the request and in some circumstances requirement that updated medical and social background information be supplied to the Office of Vital Statistics so that the adoptee or those permitted to obtain the information will be able to access this which could be very important. There is no requirement, however, that identifying information be included.

For more information about this and its applicability contact an adoption professional, either a local licensed adoption agency in New Jersey or an experienced adoption attorney such as a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

Adoption Attorneys in New Jersey

At the law office of Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC, our lawyers bring more than 25 years of experience to every matter we handle. Attorney Donald C. Cofsky has personally handled more than 1,500 adoption proceedings since joining the bar in 1974. Attorney Bruce D. Zeidman has protected the interests of clients in state and federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1984. We understand the challenges you face, and can help you identify all your options so that you can make good decisions that are in your best long-term interests. Contact our office online or call us at (856) 429-5005 in Haddonfield, NJ, at (856) 429-5005 in Woodbury, NJ, or in Philadelphia, PA, at (856) 429-5005. We also provide a free initial consultation in personal injury and workers’ compensation matters.

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