Adoptees will be able to obtain a certified copy of their birth certificate when they turn 18 under a new law approved on Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The measure will provide New York adoptees the right to information about their birth and biological parents.
“Where you came from informs who you are, and every New Yorker deserves access to the same birth records – it’s a basic human right,” Cuomo said. “For too many years, adoptees have been wrongly denied access to this information and I am proud to sign this legislation into law and correct this inequity once and for all.”
The new law is meant to remove the restriction placed by government agencies on information made available to adopted people, which in turn would give them a better chance of identifying medical data that can detect and prevent diseases.
The measure was sponsored by Assemblyman David Weprin and Sen. Velmanette Montgomery.
“I am so proud to have been the Senate sponsor of the Clean Bill of Adoptee Rights and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this historic piece of legislation,” Montgomery said. “This has been long overdue. We owe our success to the advocacy of thousands of adult adoptees who have fought tirelessly on this issue for over 20 years. The level of support I received for this legislation from adult adoptees all across the state and the nation was astounding. It is important that they have the right to seek answers about their health, their family history and their heritage.”