New Jersey Law Grants Adoptees Right to Birth Certificate
More than 70 years ago, the New Jersey legislature passed a law sealing the birth records of anyone who had been adopted, claiming that it needed to be done to protect the rights of birth mothers. However, as adoption has lost a lot of its social stigma and more and more adoptees have sought to connect with birthparents, for health or other reasons, advocates have sought to repeal the law and allow adoptees to obtain original copies of their birth records. They have finally succeeded.
In May, 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law that will allow any of the following parties to request an uncertified copy of an adoptee’s birth certificate:
- The adoptee
- A direct descendant of the adoptee
- An adoptive parent
- A legal guardian or representative of the adoptee
- A state or federal agency
The law will go into effect in 2017. Until then, an adoptee may obtain an original birth certificate only by court order.
The repeal of the law had met with significant resistance from anti-abortion and pro-life groups, who feared that, without the confidentiality formerly granted, fewer women would be willing to put a child up for adoption and would instead opt for abortion.
Contact Adoption Attorneys Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC
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.