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NY adoptees can receive a certified birth certificate at 18

Metro logo Metro 11/15/2019 Becca Glasser-Baker
Andrew Cuomo wearing a suit and tie: Photo: Getty Images © Provided by SB New York, Inc. Photo: Getty Images

Governor Cuomo signed new legislation, allowing for 18-year-old adoptees to receive their certified birth certificates. 

Gov. Cuomo hopes that this helps ensure that adoptees are provided the right to information about their birth and biological parents. 

Governor Cuomo said in a press release that, “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 added that “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.”

This new legislation removes the right of government officials to restrict the type of information available for adopted persons. It also removes previous barriers about adopted persons’ biological parents in hopes that the medical data can be used to prevent disease and or death. 

This new law also allows an adopted person’s representatives or descendants to get access to the birth certificates if the adoptee is deceased.

The new law has garnered the support of quite a few officials. 

Assemblyman David I. Weprin said in a press release that, “The signing of this adoptee rights bill is a momentous step forward for adoptees across New York State. After many decades, adoptees will finally share in the same human and civil rights as other New Yorkers who are free to access their family histories and medical backgrounds.” 

Additionally, Senator Velmanette Montgomery, who carried the bill to the Senate, said in a press release, “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. This has been long overdue.”

Montgomery continued and said, “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.”

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