Adoptees access to original birth records

California and New York are two of the most liberal states, while conservatives control the statehouses in Texas and Florida, yet the adoptee-rights movement has struggled in all four to make headway on the birth certificate issue.

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State Rep. The bill never received a hearing in committee; Stark said there was opposition from some adoption lawyers and adoption agencies.

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One key opponent was Rep. Jason Brodeur, who like Stark was adopted as an infant. Brodeur said he would oppose any bill that set the stage for birth parents to be found against their wishes by any adult offspring they had made available for adoption. Acknowledging that some are frustrated in trying to find their birth parents, he suggested that the state health department could become more active in helping birth parents and adoptees make contact voluntarily.

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Stark said he plans to reintroduce his bill next session and noted that the lead sponsor of a similar bill in Illinois fought for a decade before the measure prevailed. If necessary, Stark said he would accept modification of his bill so that, as in some states, birth parents would have a chance for their names to be redacted from the birth certificate before the adoptee obtained it. For adoptee-rights activists, New York has been perhaps the most frustrating state. For many years, there have been efforts at the legislature in Albany to expand access to original birth certificates, and all have failed.

This year, legislators passed a bill that would enable some adoptees to more easily obtain those records.

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Yet many activists, outraged by restrictions in the bill, want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto it. Rather than letting adoptees access birth certificates on the same basis as other adults, the bill would require them to apply to a court, and the state health department would then try to contact the birth parents to inform them of the application.

Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin said he supported a no-restrictions bill that failed to advance, but he rejected the argument that the successful bill was harmful.

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Among the adoptees who hope to benefit is Larry Dell, 68, who grew up in New York City with parents he loved. He learned only nine years ago that he had been adopted as an infant, and that he was one of five siblings in his birth family.

Why is accessing the birth certificate so important? Who are they?

Hard-line groups such as Bastard Nation denounced a provision that birth certificates would not be released if a birth parent objected; they wanted no restrictions whatsoever. States where reform legislation is currently pending or where newly enacted laws are still being implemented. Most adopted persons know what an original birth certificate OBC is.

Many non-adopted people do not. An original birth certificate is the initial birth certificate created shortly after a person's birth. For most people, it is their only birth certificate.

Where Can I Find My Original Birth Certificate? |

For persons born and adopted in the United States, a new or "amended" birth certificate replaces the OBC once the adoption is final. In addition to replacing the original, the names of the birth parents are also replaced with the names of the adoptive parents. Some states may also alter or omit additional information on a new certificate, including the adoptee's specific place of birth. Depending on state law, an original birth certificate is sealed and remains unavailable to the adopted person, even when they become an adult.

If you are not adopted, your original birth certificate is your only birth certificateand it is always available to you upon request. Legal representation limited to issues involving Minnesota law and federal immigration law. Join Us.