Adoption transparency measure poised to move in the Assembly – Albany Times Union


A long-stalled measure that would enable adopted New Yorkers to receive a certified copy of their original long-form birth certificate has life in the Assembly in the waning hours of the legislative session.

The proposal, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate this month, is expected to move through the Assembly’s committee process on Wednesday.

“I think it’s a go,” said Assemblyman David Weprin, a Queens Democrat pushing the issue. He also expects Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to sign it.

While state law allows adopted New Yorkers to obtain “non-identifying” information about their past, a judicial action is generally necessary to obtain an original birth certificate. The legislation is designed to give adult adoptees the same unimpeded right as non-adopted New Yorkers.

Describing the new process, Weprin said, “The courts aren’t involved. You have to prove who you are and you basically get the birth certificate. It’s pretty simple.” 

Proponents of the legislation maintain that the information currently available to adopted New Yorkers isn’t adequate, in part because it fails to present a complete medical history.

“(Adoptees) feel like that piece of paper is identifying information that is part of their history,” Weprin said. “They look at it like a human rights issue.”

As the legislation has made it through the Capitol, Weprin said he has heard from adoptees and advocates all over the country.

 





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