(AP) A law passed after 34 years of relentless lobbying that will allow adopted people to obtain their original birth certificates containing information about their parents, their medical history and identity will take effect in January.
The final bill was a compromise with adoption advocates who fought for the law citing a civil right to know their identity, and New Jersey Right to Life, the New Jersey Catholic Conference, the ACLU of New Jersey and the N.J. Bar Association which argued birth parents expected anonymity.
State Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett released an announcement late Friday as a reminder that birth parents who wish to have these documents redacted of their name must make that request by no later than Dec. 31, 2016.
So far, 166 birth parents have filed a request to hide their name and identifying information, 77 have requested direct contact, and six have requested to be contacted through an intermediary, such as an adoption agency, health department spokeswoman Donna Leusner told NJ.com.
The department has received 476 applications from adopted people seeking their birth certificates.
That’s out of a universe of 170,000 envelopes containing birth records from adoption from 1940 to 2015, some of which contain information about more than one child, Leusner said. [More]