senate Bill S2490B

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to adoptee rights

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 16, 2014 print number 2490b
amend (t) and recommit to health
Jan 08, 2014 referred to health
Jan 29, 2013 print number 2490a
amend (t) and recommit to health
Jan 17, 2013 referred to health

Bill Amendments

Original
A
B (Active)
Original
A
B (Active)

S2490 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A909A
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Domestic Relations Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §4138-c Pub Health L; amd §114, Dom Rel L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5783A, A2003, A8910A, S7286
2009-2010: A8410A, S5269A

S2490 - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to adoptee rights.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S2490

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
creating the bill of adoptee rights

PURPOSE: To establish the Bill of Adoptee Rights.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill amends the public health law by
adding a new section, § 4136-e, to establish the "Sill of Adoptee
Rights", as of January 1, 2014 an adoptee, who is at least 18 years
old, may request and receive a certified copy of his or her original
birth. Such copy shall include a legend, appearing prominently on each
page of the document that states:"This is a certified copy of an
original birth certificate. This original birth certificate has been
superseded by another certificate on file with the appropriate
government agency."

Prior to January 1, 2014 a birth parent may, in writing confirm that
they wish to maintain the confidentiality of the certificate.

A person 18 years or older, born in New York State and adopted, and
whose long form birth certificate was sealed, may obtain a certified
copy of such certificate upon supplying proof that a.11 birth parents
listed on the document have died.

The department shall promulgate and make publicly available forms that
a birth parent may use to provide the department with a written
confirmation or withdrawal of confirmation under this section, and for
confirming that a person who has made such a written confirmation or
withdrawal is, in fact, a person identified on the birth certificate
as a birth parent, and for confirming the sufficiency of proof of the
death of a person listed on a birth certificate as a birth parent.

A birth parent may at any time request from the department a contact
preference form that shall accompany a birth certificate issued under
this title. The contact preference form shall provide the following
information to be completed at the option of the birth parent: (i)
would like to be contacted, (ii) I would prefer to be contacted only
through an intermediary, (iii) I have completed a medical history form
and have filed it with the department, (iv) Please do not contact me.
If I decide later that I would like to be contacted, I will submit an
updated contact preference form to the department.

The medical history form shall be in a form prescribed by the
department and shall be supplied to the birth parent upon request of a
contact preference form from the department. Only those persons who
are authorized to process applications made under this title may
process contact preference forms, medical history forms, and
correspondence and requests made pursuant to this section.

The medical history and contact preference forms described in this
subdivision are confidential communications from the birth parent to
the person named on the confidential long-form birth certificate and
shall be placed in separate sealed envelopes upon receipt from the
birth parent. The sealed envelopes shall be matched with and placed in
the file containing the confidential original long-form birth


certificate. Such sealed envelopes containing the contact preference
form and medical history form shall be released to a person authorized
to receive a certified copy of his or her original long-form birth
certificate pursuant to this section.

The contact preference and medical history forms described in this
subdivision are private communications from the birth parent to the
person named on the sealed birth certificate and no copies of such
forms shall be retained by the department. Where only a medical
history form is requested, the certified copy of the long-form birth
certificate and contact preference forms shall not be provided, but
may be requested and provided at a later date.

The department shall develop an affirmative information campaign and
widely disseminate to the public, though its website, public service
announcements and other means, in multiple languages and through
multiple outlets, information concerning the provisions of this
section including but not limited to the means by which a birth parent
may confirm that he or she wishes to maintain the confidentiality of a
long form birth certificate held by the department in which such birth
parent is named, and by which such birth parent may withdraw such a
confirmation.

JUSTIFICATION: The "Bill of Adoptee Rights" will provide adult
adoptees with access to information that a non-adopted person has a
legal right to obtain. In New York, an adoptee cannot access his or
her original birth certificate unless the adoptee goes through
judicial means, and even then, the outcome does not guarantee that
access will be granted. This bill will allow adult adoptees to
request and receive a certified copy of an original birth certificate.

Adoptees will be able to gain knowledge of their religious and ethnic
heritage as well as medical history- A birth parent may seek to
protect his or her privacy by completing a contact preference form
certificate. The contact preference form provides the birth parent
with the option to be contacted by the adoptee, through an
intermediary or not be contacted at all.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S.5783 - Referred to Health/A.2003-B
Referred to Health 2011: S.5783-A- Referred to Health/A.2003-A
referred to Health

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of January
next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law,
provided, however, that, effective immediately, the commissioner of
health is directed to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be
necessary to carry out provisions of this act.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2490

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 17, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to creating the  bill
  of adoptee rights

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding  a  new  section
4138-e to read as follows:
  S  4138-E. BILL OF ADOPTEE RIGHTS. 1. (A) COMMENCING ON JANUARY FIRST,
TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OR THREE  OF
THIS  SECTION,  AND  NOTWITHSTANDING  THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW, A
PERSON EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR MORE WHO WAS BORN IN THIS STATE AND THEN
ADOPTED AND WHOSE LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE WAS THEN  SEALED  IN  THIS
STATE,  MAY  OBTAIN A CERTIFIED COPY OF SUCH LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE
FROM THE DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION. (B) SUCH  A  CERTI-
FIED  COPY  OF  A LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE SUPPLIED BY THE DEPARTMENT
SHALL INCLUDE A LEGEND, APPEARING PROMINENTLY ON EACH PAGE OF THE  DOCU-
MENT PROVIDED, STATING AS FOLLOWS:
  THIS  IS  A  CERTIFIED  COPY  OF  AN  ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE. THIS
ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY ANOTHER CERTIFICATE ON
FILE WITH THE APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT AGENCY.
  2. AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, A  PERSON
LISTED  AS  A BIRTH PARENT ON A CONFIDENTIAL LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE
MAY, IN WRITING, CONFIRM THAT HE OR SHE WISHES TO MAINTAIN THE CONFIDEN-
TIALITY OF SUCH DOCUMENT. IF A WRITTEN CONFIRMATION AS DESCRIBED IN THIS
SUBDIVISION IS RECEIVED FROM SUCH A BIRTH PARENT BY THE DEPARTMENT ON OR
BEFORE JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, THEN PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDI-
VISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL  NOT  APPLY  TO  SUCH  LONG-FORM  BIRTH
CERTIFICATE  PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF
THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY ON OR AFTER THAT DATE IF, AFTER SUCH  CONFIRMA-
TION  IS  RECEIVED  BY  THE  DEPARTMENT,  SUCH  BIRTH PARENT DIES OR THE

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02906-01-3

S. 2490                             2

CONFIRMATION IS WITHDRAWN BY SUCH BIRTH PARENT IN WRITING, AND NO  OTHER
TIMELY  CONFIRMATION  REMAINS  ON FILE WITH THE DEPARTMENT FROM A LIVING
BIRTH PARENT.
  3.  A  PERSON EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR MORE WHO WAS BORN IN THIS STATE
AND THEN ADOPTED AND WHOSE LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE WAS  THEN  SEALED
IN THIS STATE, MAY OBTAIN A CERTIFIED COPY OF HIS OR HER LONG-FORM BIRTH
CERTIFICATE,  AS  DESCRIBED  IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS
SECTION, UPON SUPPLYING PROOF THAT ALL  BIRTH  PARENTS  LISTED  ON  SUCH
DOCUMENT HAVE DIED.
  4.  THE  DEPARTMENT SHALL PROMULGATE AND MAKE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE FORMS
THAT A BIRTH PARENT MAY USE TO PROVIDE THE  DEPARTMENT  WITH  A  WRITTEN
CONFIRMATION  OR  WITHDRAWAL OF CONFIRMATION UNDER THIS SECTION, AND FOR
CONFIRMING THAT A PERSON WHO HAS MADE SUCH  A  WRITTEN  CONFIRMATION  OR
WITHDRAWAL  IS, IN FACT, A PERSON IDENTIFIED ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE AS
A BIRTH PARENT, AND FOR CONFIRMING THE SUFFICIENCY OF PROOF OF THE DEATH
OF A PERSON LISTED ON A BIRTH CERTIFICATE AS A BIRTH PARENT.
  5. (A) A BIRTH PARENT MAY AT ANY TIME REQUEST FROM  THE  DEPARTMENT  A
CONTACT  PREFERENCE FORM THAT SHALL ACCOMPANY A BIRTH CERTIFICATE ISSUED
UNDER THIS TITLE. THE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM SHALL PROVIDE THE  FOLLOW-
ING INFORMATION TO BE COMPLETED AT THE OPTION OF THE BIRTH PARENT:
  (I) I WOULD LIKE TO BE CONTACTED.
  (II) I WOULD PREFER TO BE CONTACTED ONLY THROUGH AN INTERMEDIARY.
  (III)  I  HAVE COMPLETED A MEDICAL HISTORY FORM AND HAVE FILED IT WITH
THE DEPARTMENT.
  (IV) PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME. IF I DECIDE LATER THAT I WOULD LIKE  TO
BE  CONTACTED,  I  WILL SUBMIT AN UPDATED CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM TO THE
DEPARTMENT.
  (B) THE MEDICAL HISTORY FORM SHALL BE IN  A  FORM  PRESCRIBED  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  AND  SHALL BE SUPPLIED TO THE BIRTH PARENT UPON REQUEST OF A
CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM FROM THE DEPARTMENT. ONLY THOSE PERSONS WHO  ARE
AUTHORIZED  TO  PROCESS  APPLICATIONS  MADE UNDER THIS TITLE MAY PROCESS
CONTACT PREFERENCE FORMS, MEDICAL HISTORY FORMS, AND CORRESPONDENCE  AND
REQUESTS MADE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
  (C) THE MEDICAL HISTORY AND CONTACT PREFERENCE FORMS DESCRIBED IN THIS
SUBDIVISION ARE CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE BIRTH PARENT TO THE
PERSON  NAMED  ON THE CONFIDENTIAL LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND SHALL
BE PLACED IN SEPARATE SEALED  ENVELOPES  UPON  RECEIPT  FROM  THE  BIRTH
PARENT.    THE  SEALED ENVELOPES SHALL BE MATCHED WITH AND PLACED IN THE
FILE CONTAINING THE CONFIDENTIAL ORIGINAL LONG-FORM  BIRTH  CERTIFICATE.
SUCH SEALED ENVELOPES CONTAINING THE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM AND MEDICAL
HISTORY  FORM  SHALL  BE  RELEASED  TO  A PERSON AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE A
CERTIFIED COPY OF HIS OR HER ORIGINAL LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE PURSU-
ANT TO THIS SECTION.
  (D) THE CONTACT PREFERENCE AND MEDICAL HISTORY FORMS DESCRIBED IN THIS
SUBDIVISION ARE PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS FROM  THE  BIRTH  PARENT  TO  THE
PERSON NAMED ON THE SEALED BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND NO COPIES OF SUCH FORMS
SHALL  BE  RETAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT. WHERE ONLY A MEDICAL HISTORY FORM
IS REQUESTED, THE CERTIFIED COPY OF THE LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE  AND
CONTACT PREFERENCE FORMS SHALL NOT BE PROVIDED, BUT MAY BE REQUESTED AND
PROVIDED AT A LATER DATE.
  6.  THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL DEVELOP AN AFFIRMATIVE INFORMATION CAMPAIGN
AND WIDELY DISSEMINATE TO THE PUBLIC, THOUGH ITS WEBSITE, PUBLIC SERVICE
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER MEANS, IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES AND THROUGH  MULTI-
PLE  OUTLETS,  INFORMATION  CONCERNING  THE  PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE MEANS  BY  WHICH  A  BIRTH  PARENT  MAY
CONFIRM  THAT  HE  OR  SHE  WISHES  TO MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF A

S. 2490                             3

LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE HELD BY THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH  SUCH  BIRTH
PARENT  IS  NAMED,  AND  BY  WHICH SUCH BIRTH PARENT MAY WITHDRAW SUCH A
CONFIRMATION.
  S  2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become  a  law,  provided,  however,
that, effective immediately, the commissioner of health is authorized to
promulgate  such  rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out
the provisions of this act.

Co-Sponsors

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S2490A - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A909A
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Domestic Relations Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §4138-c Pub Health L; amd §114, Dom Rel L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5783A, A2003, A8910A, S7286
2009-2010: A8410A, S5269A

S2490A - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to adoptee rights.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S2490A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law and the domestic
relations law, in relation to enacting the "bill of adoptee rights"

PURPOSE: This bill would allow an adopted person who is at least eigh-
teen years of age to request from the Department of Health a non-certi-
fied copy of his or her original birth certificate and/or a medical
history form if available

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends the public
health law by adding a new section, § 4138-e, to establish the "Bill of
Adoptee Rights", An adoptee, who is at least 18 years old, may request
and receive a non-certified copy of his or her original birth certif-
icate and/or a medical history form, if available, upon proper identifi-
cation and payment of a nominal fee. Where only a medical history form
is requested, the birth certificate and contact preference form will not
be sent, but may be requested at a later date. If a copy of the birth
certificate cannot be provided, then the adult adoptee may secure from a
court of competent jurisdiction or the adoption agency the information
that would have appeared on the original birth certificate. A contact
preference form and/or a medical history form may be filed by the birth
parent(s) with the Department of Health at any time.

Section 2 amends § 4138 of the public health law to allow an adult
adopted person to request a certified copy or certified transcript of
the certificate of birth based upon the original certificate of birth
upon Proper proof of identity and a written notarized request,

Section 3 amends § 4138 of the public health law to provide that when a
verified transcript or certification of birth is issued by the regist-
rar, it will be required to issue the document based upon the original
local record of birth upon a written notarized request by the adult
adopted person once proper proof of identity is provided.

Section 4 amends § 4138 of the public health law to require that when a
commissioner makes a new birth certificate for an adult, then a certi-
fied copy, a certified transcript and a certification of birth will be
forwarded to such adult.

Section 5 amends § 4138 of the public health law by adding two new
subdivisions that would allow an adult adoptee or a birth parent to
submit to the registrar a notice of change of name and/or address and to
be attached to the original birth certificate of the adopted person. If
an adopted person has granted permission, then the registrar shall
disclose the current name and address to the birth parent at the birth
parent's request,

Section 6 amends § 4139-d of the public health law and removes the
provision that allows an adoption agency to restrict access to non-iden-

tifying information that is not in the best interest of the adoptee, the
biological sibling or the birth parent(s).

Section 7 amends § 4104 of the public health law to include additional
provisions under vital statistics that would be applicable to the city
of New York.

Section 8 amends § 114 of the domestic relations law to require certain
information be contained in the medical history of the child at the time
the child is surrendered by his or her birth parent(s). The law guardi-
an will have the responsibility to ensure the comprehensive completion
and filing of the information prior to the acceptance of the termination
of parental rights or the entry of a certificate of adoption. The law
guardian will provide an affidavit to the court reporting all diligent
efforts to obtain the medical history information and a copy of the
affidavit will be appended to the original and amended birth certif-
icates.

Section 9 amends114 of the domestic relations law to allow an adult
adoptee to request and receive a non-certified copy of his or her
original birth certificate and/or a medical history form, if available,
upon proper identification and payment of a nominal fee.

Section 10 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: The Bill of Adoptee Rights' will provide adult adoptees
with access to information that a non-adopted person has a legal right
to obtain. In New York, an adoptee cannot access his or her original
birth certificate unless the adoptee goes through judicial means, and
even then, the outcome does not guarantee that access will be granted.
This bill will allow adult adoptees to request and receive a noncerti-
fied copy of an original birth certificate and/or a medical history form
if available.

Adoptees will be able to gain knowledge of their religious and ethnic
heritage and access to medical information that may be necessary for
preventive health care and illnesses that are linked to family history
and genetics. A birth parent may seek to protect his or her privacy by
completing a contact preference form that would be sent to the adult
adoptee upon a request for a noncertified copy of an original birth
certificate. The contact preference form provides the birth parent with
the option to be contacted by the adoptee, through an intermediary or to
not be contacted at all.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 1993-1994: A10403 2003-2004:
A.62398 1995-1996: A.2226 2005: A929 1997-1993: A.4316
2006: A.9923/S.446 1999-2000: A.7541A 2007/2005: A.2277/S.235
2001-2002: A.7943 2009/2010: A.8410A/S.5269A
2011: A.2003/S.1436 2012: 1/24/2012 Referred to health
2/14/2012 Reported referred to codes
5/23/12 Amend and recommit to codes
5/23/12 Print number 8910a

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:; None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:This act shall take effect on the first of January after
it shall have become a law, provided, however, that, effective imme-
diately, the commissioner of health is directed to promulgate such rules
and regulations as may be necessary to carry out provisions of this act

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 2490--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 17, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed  to  the  Committee  on  Health  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to said committee

AN ACT to amend the public health law and the domestic relations law, in
  relation to enacting the "bill of adoptee rights"

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding  a  new  section
4138-e to read as follows:
  S  4138-E.  BILL OF ADOPTEE RIGHTS. 1. THIS SECTION SHALL BE KNOWN AND
MAY BE CITED AS THE "BILL OF ADOPTEE RIGHTS".
  2. THE LEGISLATURE HEREBY STATES ITS INTENTION TO ACKNOWLEDGE, SUPPORT
AND ENCOURAGE THE LIFE-LONG HEALTH AND WELL-BEING NEEDS OF  PERSONS  WHO
HAVE  BEEN AND WILL BE ADOPTED IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. THE LEGISLATURE
FURTHER RECOGNIZES THAT THE DENIAL OF ACCESS TO  ACCURATE  AND  COMPLETE
MEDICAL  AND  SELF-IDENTIFYING  DATA  OF  ANY  ADOPTED PERSON, KNOWN AND
WILFULLY WITHHELD BY OTHERS, MAY RESULT IN  SUCH  PERSON  SUCCUMBING  TO
PREVENTABLE  DISEASE,  PREMATURE DEATH OR OTHERWISE UNHEALTHY LIFE, IS A
VIOLATION OF THAT PERSON'S HUMAN RIGHTS AND IS CONTRARY TO THE TENETS OF
GOVERNANCE. AS SUCH, THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION  SEEK  TO  ESTABLISH
CONSIDERATIONS UNDER THE LAW FOR ADOPTED PERSONS EQUAL TO SUCH CONSIDER-
ATIONS PERMITTED BY LAW TO ALL NON-ADOPTED PERSONS; THIS SECTION DOES SO
WHILE  PROVIDING  FOR  THE  PRIVACY  OF AN ADOPTED PERSON AND HIS OR HER
BIRTH AND ADOPTIVE FAMILIES.
  3. (A) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF  LAW,  WHEN  AN  ADOPTED
PERSON  ATTAINS  THE  AGE  OF EIGHTEEN YEARS, THAT PERSON SHALL HAVE THE
RIGHT TO RECEIPT OF A NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF HIS OR  HER  ORIGINAL  (LONG
FORM,  LINE  BY LINE VAULT COPY) BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND ANY CHANGE HIS OR
HER BIRTH PARENT OR PARENTS  MAY  HAVE  ATTACHED  TO  THAT  CERTIFICATE,

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02906-03-3

S. 2490--A                          2

AND/OR  A MEDICAL HISTORY FORM IF AVAILABLE, UPON APPLICATION, PRESENTA-
TION OF PROOF OF IDENTIFICATION AND THE PAYMENT OF A NOMINAL FEE.
  (B)  WHEN IT SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE THROUGH GOOD-FAITH EFFORTS TO PROVIDE
A COPY OF AN ADULT ADOPTED PERSON'S ORIGINAL BIRTH  CERTIFICATE  (AS  IN
THE  CASE  OF AN ADOPTED PERSON BORN OUTSIDE OF, BUT ADOPTED WITHIN, THE
STATE OF NEW YORK), THE ADULT ADOPTED PERSON SHALL  HAVE  THE  RIGHT  TO
SECURE  FROM  A  COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION OR THE ADOPTION AGENCY,
THE TRUE AND CORRECT IDENTIFYING INFORMATION THAT WOULD HAVE APPEARED ON
HIS OR HER ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE. IN SUCH CASE THE AGENCY SHALL  BE
HELD HARMLESS FROM ANY LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF THE DISCLOSURE.
  4.  A  BIRTH  PARENT  MAY  AT  ANY  TIME REQUEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT A
CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM THAT SHALL ACCOMPANY A BIRTH CERTIFICATE  ISSUED
UNDER  THIS TITLE. THE CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM SHALL PROVIDE THE FOLLOW-
ING INFORMATION TO BE COMPLETED AT THE OPTION OF THE BIRTH PARENT:
  (A) I WOULD LIKE TO BE CONTACTED.
  (B) I WOULD PREFER TO BE CONTACTED ONLY THROUGH AN INTERMEDIARY.
  (C) I HAVE COMPLETED A MEDICAL HISTORY FORM AND HAVE FILED IT WITH THE
DEPARTMENT.
  (D) PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME. IF I DECIDE LATER THAT I WOULD  LIKE  TO
BE  CONTACTED,  I  WILL SUBMIT AN UPDATED CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM TO THE
DEPARTMENT.
  THE MEDICAL HISTORY FORM SHALL BE IN A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE  DEPART-
MENT AND SHALL BE SUPPLIED TO THE BIRTH PARENT UPON REQUEST OF A CONTACT
PREFERENCE FORM FROM THE DEPARTMENT.
  ONLY  THOSE  PERSONS  WHO  ARE AUTHORIZED TO PROCESS APPLICATIONS MADE
UNDER THIS TITLE MAY PROCESS  CONTACT  PREFERENCE  AND  MEDICAL  HISTORY
FORMS.
  THE  MEDICAL HISTORY FORM AND CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM ARE CONFIDENTIAL
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE BIRTH PARENT TO THE PERSON NAMED ON  THE  SEALED
BIRTH  CERTIFICATE AND SHALL BE PLACED IN SEPARATE SEALED ENVELOPES UPON
RECEIPT FROM THE BIRTH PARENT. THE SEALED  ENVELOPES  SHALL  BE  MATCHED
WITH AND PLACED IN THE FILE CONTAINING THE SEALED BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
  THE  SEALED  ENVELOPES  CONTAINING  THE  CONTACT  PREFERENCE  FORM AND
MEDICAL HISTORY FORM MAY BE RELEASED TO A PERSON REQUESTING HIS  OR  HER
OWN  ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE UNDER THIS TITLE. THE CONTACT PREFERENCE
FORM AND MEDICAL HISTORY FORM ARE PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE  BIRTH
PARENT TO THE PERSON NAMED ON THE SEALED BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND NO COPIES
OF  THE FORMS SHALL BE RETAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT.  WHERE ONLY A MEDICAL
HISTORY FORM IS REQUESTED THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND  CONTACT  PREFERENCE
FORM SHALL NOT BE SENT, BUT MAY BE REQUESTED AT A LATER DATE.
  S  2.  Subdivision  5  of  section  4138  of the public health law, as
amended by chapter 201 of the laws  of  1972,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  5.  Thereafter,  when  a certified copy or certified transcript of the
certificate of birth of such a person, or a certification of  birth  for
such  person  is  issued,  it shall be based upon the new certificate of
birth, except when an order of a court of competent  jurisdiction  shall
require  the  issuance of a copy of the original certificate of birth OR
UPON A WRITTEN NOTARIZED REQUEST BY THE ADULT ADOPTED PERSON HIMSELF  OR
HERSELF ONCE PROPER PROOF OF IDENTITY IS PROVIDED TO THE REGISTRAR.
  S  3.  Paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision 3 of section 4138 of the public
health law, as added by chapter 201 of the laws of 1972, is  amended  to
read as follows:
  (b)  Thereafter,  when a verified transcript or certification of birth
of such  person is issued by the registrar, it shall be based  upon  the
new  certificate, except when an order of a court of competent jurisdic-

S. 2490--A                          3

tion shall require the issuance of  a  verified  transcript  or  certif-
ication  based upon the original local record of birth OR UPON A WRITTEN
NOTARIZED REQUEST BY THE ADULT ADOPTED PERSON HIMSELF  OR  HERSELF  ONCE
PROPER PROOF OF IDENTITY IS PROVIDED TO THE REGISTRAR.
  S  4.  Subdivision  7  of  section  4138  of the public health law, as
amended by chapter 644 of the laws  of  1988,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  7.  Whenever  the  commissioner  makes a new birth certificate for any
person pursuant to the provisions of subdivision one of this section, he
OR SHE shall forward to such person, if eighteen years of age  or  more,
[or  to the parents of such person,] a certified copy, a certified tran-
script [or] AND a certification of birth, [whichever he deems  appropri-
ate under the circumstances,] without making any charge therefor.
  S  5.  Section  4138 of the public health law is amended by adding two
new subdivisions 8 and 9 to read as follows:
  8. (A) AN ADOPTED PERSON EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, OR THE  BIRTH
PARENT  OR  PARENTS,  MAY  SUBMIT TO THE REGISTRAR A NOTICE OF CHANGE OF
NAME AND/OR ADDRESS AND  SUCH  INFORMATION  SHALL  BE  ATTACHED  TO  THE
ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE OF THE ADOPTED PERSON.
  (B)  THE  REGISTRAR  SHALL  DISCLOSE TO THE BIRTH PARENT OR PARENTS AT
SUCH PARENT'S OR PARENTS' REQUEST, THE MOST CURRENT NAME AND ADDRESS  OF
AN  ADOPTED  PERSON  IF THAT ADOPTED PERSON HAS REQUESTED SO BY FILING A
NOTARIZED LETTER WITH THE REGISTRAR.
  9. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, WHEN AN ADOPTED  PERSON
ATTAINS  THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS, HE OR SHE SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT, UPON
APPLICATION, PROOF OF IDENTITY AND  PAYMENT  OF  A  NOMINAL  FEE,  TO  A
NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF HIS OR HER ORIGINAL LONG FORM, LINE BY LINE, VAULT
COPY BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND/OR A MEDICAL HISTORY FORM, IF AVAILABLE.
  S  6.   Paragraph (b) of subdivision 3 of section 4138-d of the public
health law, as amended by chapter 181 of the laws of 2010, is amended to
read as follows:
  (b) If the agency determines that the  agency  was  involved  in  such
adoption, it shall transmit the registration to the adoption information
registry  operated  by  the  department and the agency shall release the
non-identifying information, as defined  in  section  forty-one  hundred
thirty-eight-c of this title, to the [adoptee registrant. The agency may
restrict the nature of the non-identifying information released pursuant
to  this section upon a reasonable determination that disclosure of such
non-identifying information would not be in the adoptee's,  the  biolog-
ical sibling's or parent's best interest] ADOPTED PERSON.
  S  7. Section 4104 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 153
of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  S 4104. Vital statistics; application of article.  The  provisions  of
this  article  except  for  the provisions contained in paragraph (i) of
subdivision two and  subdivision  four  of  section  four  thousand  one
hundred,  section  four  thousand  one hundred three, subdivision two of
section four thousand one hundred thirty-five, section four thousand one
hundred thirty-five-b, subdivision eight of section  four  thousand  one
hundred  seventy-four,  paragraphs (b) and (e) of subdivision one, PARA-
GRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION THREE, AND SUBDIVISIONS FIVE, SEVEN, EIGHT  AND
NINE  of  section  four  thousand  one hundred thirty-eight, subdivision
eleven of section four thousand one  hundred  thirty-eight-c,  PARAGRAPH
(B)   OF   SUBDIVISION  THREE  OF  SECTION  FOUR  THOUSAND  ONE  HUNDRED
THIRTY-EIGHT-D, SECTION FOUR THOUSAND  ONE  HUNDRED  THIRTY-EIGHT-E  and
section  four  thousand  one hundred seventy-nine of this article, shall
not apply to the city of New York.

S. 2490--A                          4

  S 8. Subdivision 1 of section 114 of the domestic  relations  law,  as
amended by chapter 751 of the laws of 1989 and designated by chapter 601
of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
  1.  If satisfied that the best interests of the adoptive child will be
promoted thereby, the judge or surrogate shall make an  order  approving
the  adoption and directing that the adoptive child shall thenceforth be
regarded and treated in all  respects  as  the  child  of  the  adoptive
parents  or  parent.  In  determining  whether the best interests of the
adoptive child will be promoted by the adoption, the judge or  surrogate
shall give due consideration to any assurance by a LOCAL commissioner of
social  services that he OR SHE will provide necessary support and main-
tenance for the adoptive child pursuant to the social services law. Such
order shall contain the full name, date and place of birth and reference
to the schedule annexed to the petition containing the  medical  history
of  the  child  in  the  body  thereof and shall direct that the child's
medical history, heritage of the  BIRTH  parents,  which  shall  include
nationality,  ethnic  background and race; education, which shall be the
number of years of school completed by the BIRTH parents at the time  of
the  birth  AND  ALSO  AT  THE  TIME OF SURRENDER of the adoptive child;
general physical appearance of the BIRTH parents  at  the  time  of  the
birth  AND  ALSO  AT  THE TIME OF SURRENDER of the adoptive child, which
shall include height, weight, color of hair, eyes, skin;  occupation  of
the  BIRTH  parents  at  the  time  of the birth AND ALSO AT THE TIME OF
SURRENDER of the adoptive child; health and medical history of the BIRTH
parents at the time of the birth AND ALSO AT THE TIME  OF  SURRENDER  of
the  adoptive  child,  including all available information setting forth
conditions or diseases believed to be hereditary, any drugs  or  medica-
tion  taken  during  the  pregnancy by the child's mother; and any other
information which may be a factor influencing  the  child's  present  or
future  health,  INCLUDING THE talents, hobbies and special interests of
THE BIRTH parents as contained in the  petition,  be  furnished  to  the
adoptive  parents.  IN RECOGNITION OF THE IMPERATIVE LIFELONG IMPORTANCE
OF SUCH INFORMATION FOR THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE ADOPTED PERSON,
IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE LAW GUARDIAN AS PROVIDED FOR BY SECTIONS TWO
HUNDRED FORTY-ONE, TWO HUNDRED FORTY-TWO, TWO HUNDRED FORTY-NINE AND TWO
HUNDRED FORTY-NINE-A OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT TO ENSURE THE COMPREHENSIVE
COMPLETION AND FILING OF ALL THE ABOVE REFERENCED INFORMATION  PRIOR  TO
THE  ACCEPTANCE  OF THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS OR THE ENTRY OF A
CERTIFICATE OF ADOPTION. IT SHALL BE DEEMED BY THAT LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE
THAT SUCH INFORMATION IS ALWAYS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD AND IS
A PROTECTED RIGHT. PRIOR TO TERMINATION OF  DUTIES,  SUCH  LAW  GUARDIAN
SHALL  PROVIDE,  AS DIRECTED BY SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-EIGHT-C
OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW AND SECTIONS THREE  HUNDRED  SEVENTY-THREE  AND
THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, TO THE RESPEC-
TIVE RESPONSIBLE PARTIES ALL SUCH COLLECTED DATA, AND PROVIDE AN AFFIDA-
VIT  TO  THE COURT REPORTING ALL DILIGENT EFFORTS TO OBTAIN SUCH DATA. A
COPY OF SUCH AFFIDAVIT SHALL BE APPENDED TO THE ORIGINAL AND ANY AND ALL
AMENDED BIRTH CERTIFICATES. If the judge or surrogate is also  satisfied
that  there  is  no reasonable objection to the change of name proposed,
the order shall direct that the name of the adoptive child be changed to
the name stated in the agreement of adoption and that henceforth  he  OR
SHE  shall be known by that name. All such orders made by a family court
judge of Westchester county  since  September  first,  nineteen  hundred
sixty-two,  and on file in the office of the county clerk of such county
shall be transferred to the clerk of the family court  of  such  county.
Such  order  and  all the papers in the proceeding shall be filed in the

S. 2490--A                          5

office of the court granting the adoption and the order shall be entered
in books which shall be kept under seal and which shall  be  indexed  by
the  name  of  the adoptive parents and by the full original name of the
child. Such order, including orders heretofore entered, shall be subject
to  inspection  and  examination  only as hereinafter provided. Notwith-
standing the fact that adoption records shall be sealed and secret, they
may be microfilmed and processed pursuant to  an  order  of  the  court,
provided  that  such  order  provides  that  the confidentiality of such
records be maintained. If the confidentiality is violated, the person or
company violating it can be found guilty of contempt of court. The  fact
that  the adoptive child was born out of wedlock shall in no case appear
in such order. The written report of the investigation together with all
other papers pertaining to the adoption shall be kept by  the  judge  or
surrogate as a permanent record of his OR HER court and such papers must
be  sealed by him OR HER and withheld from inspection. No certified copy
of the order of adoption shall issue unless authorized by  court  order,
except  that certified copies may issue to the agency or agencies in the
proceeding prior to the sealing of the  papers.  Before  the  record  is
sealed,  such  order may be granted upon written ex parte application on
good cause shown and upon such conditions as the court may impose. After
the record is sealed, such order may be  granted  only  upon  notice  as
hereinafter provided for disclosure or access and inspection of records.
The  clerk  upon  request  of  a person or agency entitled thereto shall
issue certificates of adoption which shall contain only the new name  of
the  child and the date and place of birth of the child, the name of the
adoptive parents and the date when and  court  where  the  adoption  was
granted,  which  certificate  as to the facts recited therein shall have
the same force and effect as a certified copy of an order of adoption.
  S 9. Section 114 of the domestic relations law is amended by adding  a
new subdivision 5 to read as follows:
  5.  NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, WHEN AN ADOPTED PERSON
ATTAINS THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS, SUCH ADOPTED PERSON  SHALL  HAVE  THE
RIGHT, UPON APPLICATION, PROOF OF IDENTITY AND PAYMENT OF A NOMINAL FEE,
TO  A NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF HIS OR HER ORIGINAL LONG FORM, LINE BY LINE,
VAULT COPY BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND/OR MEDICAL HISTORY FORM, IF AVAILABLE.
  S 10. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become  a  law,  provided,  however,
that,  effective  immediately, the commissioner of health is directed to
promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to  carry  out
the provisions of this act.

Co-Sponsors

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S2490B (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A909A
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Domestic Relations Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §4138-c Pub Health L; amd §114, Dom Rel L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5783A, A2003, A8910A, S7286
2009-2010: A8410A, S5269A

S2490B (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to adoptee rights.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S2490B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the domestic relations law and the
public health law, in relation to adoptee rights

PURPOSE: This bill would allow an adopted person who is at least eigh-
teen years of age to request from the court from which the order of
adoption was made, or from the supreme court, a non-certified copy of
his or her original birth certificate and/or a medical history form if
available

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision
2 of § 114 of the Domestic Relations Law to allow for exemptions
included in subdivision 4 and 5 of this section.

Section 2 amends § 114 of the Domestic Relations Law by adding a new
subdivision 5 to allow an adult adopted person over the age of 18 to
request from the court where the adoption was made or the supreme court
a non-certified copy of his or her original long form birth certificate
or identifying information in the case where a birth certificate is not
available. The adopted person needs sufficient proof of identity to
obtain documents.

Section 2 subsection (b) directs the court to supply the state depart-
ment of health with the adopted person's birth parent or parents' iden-
tifying information so the department of health can make a reasonable
and good faith effort to contact and advise birth parent(s) that the
adopted person has filed an application to receive their original long-
form birth certificate. Prior to notifying parent(s), the department of
health shall determine whether the birth parent(s) have already filed a
written confirmation or consent form. If such form is on file, the
court shall be notified and no effort to notify the parent shall be
made.

Section 2 subsection (c) allows the birth parent to complete a written
and notarized confirmation that he or she wishes to maintain confiden-
tiality of identifying information, or that he or she consents to the
release of identifying information.

Section 2 subsection (d) directs that upon receipt of written confirma-
tion or if the parent has completed a registration consent form, the
health department will notify and provide the court with such documents.
If such consent form has been revoked by birth parent, the court shall
be notified and the court will consider that a request for continued
confidentiality.

(1) If the birth parent(s) consent to release of identifying information
the court shall (i) order the release of a non-certified copy of the
long-form birth certificate to the adopted person or (ii) if birth
certificate is unavailable, identifying information will be made avail-
able to the adopted person.

(2) If the birth parent requests confidentiality, the court shall
release a non-certified copy of the long form birth certificate to the
adopted person with the birth parent's identifying information redacted.

(3) Where there are two birth parents and only one requests confiden-
tiality, the other parent's identifying information may be released to
the adopted person. The consent of one parent will not be construed as
consent by the other parent.

Section 2 subsection (e) states that if the birth parent is unable to be
notified or doesn't respond after reasonable and good faith efforts, and
unless the court deems the release of the birth certificate or identify-
ing information to be detrimental to the welfare of the birth or adop-
tive parents, the court will (i)release an unredacted, non-certified
copy of the long form birth certificate to the adopted person or (ii) if
the birth certificate is not available, identifying information will be
released that would've appeared on the long form birth certificate. The
court must issue a written order when making a determination. If the
court determines not to release an unredacted birth certificate, the
court shall release a non-certified copy of the birth certificate with
the birth parent(s)' identifying information redacted.

Section 2 subsection (f) states that if the birth parent consents to the
release of identifying information, the department of health shall
provide the parent with a contact preference form. If completed, the
form will accompany the copy of the birth certificate provided to the
adopted person. The consent form will contain the following information:
(1) I am willing to or would like to be contacted. (2) I would prefer to
be contacted through an intermediary. (3) I have completed a medical
history form and have filed it with the department of health. (4) Please
do not contact me. If I decide later that I would like to be contacted,
I will submit an updated contact preference form to the court or the
health department. (5) Add any additional information here (if desired).
The medical history form shall be supplied to the birth parent with a
contact preference form. The medical history form and contact preference
are confidential communications from the birth parent to person named on
birth certificate and shall be placed in separate sealed envelopes. The
sealed envelopes shall be released to the person requesting their birth
certificate, or their authorized agent, and no copies of the form shall
be retained by the court.

Section 2 subsection (g) directs the department of health to develop an
affirmative information campaign and widely disseminate it to the public
via their website, public service announcements, and other means, in
multiple languages and through multiple outlets.

Section 2 subsection (h) allows a birth parent to file a written nota-
rized confirmation with the court that ordered the adoption or the
department of health indicating whether he or she wishes to maintain
confidentiality or consent to the release of identifying information.
The court shall honor the written confirmation unless it is withdrawn,
in a notarized writing, by the birth parent.

Section 3 amends subdivision 10 of § 4138-c and a new subdivision 10-a
is added. Subdivision 10 calls for the commissioner to direct and devel-
op an adoption information registry birth parent consent form to be
completed at the time of surrender or consent to adoption. The form will
include check-boxes to be filled by the biological parents or parents
whose consent is needed for the relinquishment of the child, indicating
whether or not the parent consents to the release of identifying infor-
mation and a non-certified copy of the original birth certificate to the
adopted child. The form will state that it is the birth parent's respon-
sibility to update the registry of changes in contact information. The
form will also advise biological parents of the adoption medical infor-
mation sub-registry and providing medical information. The commissioner
is directed to develop any rules and regulations to expedite transfer of
any information from any agency, court, or department necessary to
implement this subdivision as long as it doesn't conflict with any
provision or law. Subdivision 10-a pertains to all adoptions and surren-
ders occurring after the effective date of this law and states that if a
biological parent(s), or the parent(s) who's consent was necessary for
the relinquishment of the child, consents to the release of the non-cer-
tified copy of the child's original birth certificate, the adopted
person shall, after turning the age of 18 and upon application to the
department with adequate proof of identity, have the right to receive a
non-certified copy of their original birth certificate.

Section 4 states that this bill takes effect on January 15, 2015
provided, however, that paragraphs (g) and (h) of subdivision 5 of the
domestic relations law, as created in section 2 of this act, shall take
effect thirty days after this act shall have become law.

JUSTIFICATION: The Bill of Adoptee Rights' will provide adult adoptees
with access to information that a non-adopted person has a legal right
to obtain. In New York, an adoptee cannot access his or her original
birth certificate unless the adoptee goes through judicial means, and
even then, the outcome does not guarantee that access will be granted.
This bill will allow adult adoptees to request and receive a noncerti-
fied copy of an original birth certificate and/or a medical history form
if available.

Adoptees will be able to gain knowledge of their religious and ethnic
heritage and access to medical information that may be necessary for
preventive health care and illnesses that are linked to family history
and genetics. A birth parent may seek to protect his or her privacy by
completing a contact preference form that would be sent to the adult
adoptee upon a request for a noncertified copy of an original birth
certificate. The contact preference form provides the birth parent with
the option to be contacted by the adoptee, through an intermediary or to
not be contacted at all.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

1993-1994: A.10403/S.856
2005: A.928/S.446

1995-1996: A.2328/S.3709A
2006: A.9823/S.446
1997-1998: A.4316/S.3677
2007/2008: A.2277/S.235
1999-2000: A.7541A/S.1224A
2009/2010: A.8410A/S.5269A
2001-2002: A.7943/S.4286
2011: A.2003/S.1438
2003-2004: A.6238A/S.2631A
2012: A.8910/S.7286
2013: 01/09/13 Referred to health 04/23/13 Reported referred to codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on January 15, 2015,
provided, however, that paragraphs (g) and (h) of subdivisions 5 of the
domestic relations law, as created by section 2 of this act, shall take
effect thirty days after this act shall have become law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 2490--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 17, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  LANZA,  ADDABBO, AVELLA, BALL, BRESLIN, CARLUCCI,
  DILAN, ESPAILLAT, FLANAGAN, GIANARIS, GOLDEN, HASSELL-THOMPSON,  HOYL-
  MAN,  KRUEGER,  LARKIN,  LATIMER, LAVALLE, LITTLE, MONTGOMERY, PARKER,
  PERALTA, PERKINS, ROBACH, SAMPSON, SAVINO, SEWARD,  STAVISKY  --  read
  twice  and  ordered  printed,  and when printed to be committed to the
  Committee on Health -- committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
  reprinted  as amended and recommitted to said committee -- recommitted
  to the Committee on Health in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --
  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
  recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the domestic relations law and the public health law, in
  relation to adoptee rights

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Legislative findings. The  legislature  hereby  states  its
intention to acknowledge, support and encourage the life-long health and
well-being  of persons who have been and will be adopted in the state of
New York. The legislature  further  recognizes  that  the  inability  to
access  accurate  and  complete medical and self-identifying data of any
adopted person may result  in  such  person  succumbing  to  preventable
disease,  premature  death  or  otherwise  unhealthy  life. As such, the
provisions of this act seek to establish considerations  under  the  law
for  adopted  persons  to access their birth information while providing
for the privacy of an adopted person and his or her birth  and  adoptive
families.
  S  2.  Subdivision  2 of section 114 of the domestic relations law, as
amended by chapter 559 of the laws of 1992 and as designated by  chapter
601 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
  2.  No  person,  including the attorney for the adoptive parents shall
disclose the surname of the child directly or indirectly to the adoptive
parents except upon order of the  court.  No  person  shall  be  allowed

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02906-05-4

S. 2490--B                          2

access  to  such  sealed  records and order and any index thereof except
upon an order of a judge or surrogate of the court in  which  the  order
was  made or of a justice of the supreme court.  [No] EXCEPT AS PROVIDED
IN  SUBDIVISIONS  FOUR AND FIVE OF THIS SECTION, NO order for disclosure
or access and inspection shall be granted except on good cause shown and
on due notice to the adoptive parents and to such additional persons  as
the  court  may  direct.  Nothing  contained  herein  shall be deemed to
require the state commissioner of health  or  his  OR  HER  designee  to
secure  a court order authorizing disclosure of information contained in
adoption or birth records requested pursuant to the authority of section
forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c or section  forty-one  hundred  thirty-
eight-d  of  the public health law; upon the receipt of such request for
information, the court shall transmit the information authorized  to  be
released  thereunder  to  the state commissioner of health or his OR HER
designee.
  S 3. Section 114 of the domestic relations law is amended by adding  a
new subdivision 5 to read as follows:
  5.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF LAW: (A) AN ADOPTED
PERSON WHO HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS MAY APPLY TO THE COURT
IN WHICH THE ORDER OF ADOPTION WAS MADE, OR TO  THE  SUPREME  COURT,  TO
REQUEST  AN  ORDER RELEASING A NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF HIS OR HER ORIGINAL
LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE, OR WHERE NO BIRTH CERTIFICATE IS AVAILABLE,
THE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF HIS OR HER BIRTH PARENT  OR  PARENTS,  IN
ACCORDANCE  WITH THIS SUBDIVISION. SUCH APPLICATION SHALL INCLUDE SUFFI-
CIENT PROOF OF IDENTITY OF SUCH ADOPTED PERSON.
  (B) UPON RECEIPT OF AN APPLICATION PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A)  OF  THIS
SUBDIVISION,  THE COURT SHALL PROVIDE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, OR
ORDER THAT SUCH DEPARTMENT BE PROVIDED, WITH THE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION
OF THE ADOPTED PERSON'S BIRTH PARENT OR PARENTS AND DIRECT  THE  DEPART-
MENT OF HEALTH TO MAKE A REASONABLE AND GOOD FAITH EFFORT, DOCUMENTED IN
WRITING  AND  COMPLETED  WITHIN  ONE  HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS, TO NOTIFY THE
BIRTH PARENT OR PARENTS AND ADVISE  SUCH  PARENT  OR  PARENTS  THAT  THE
ADOPTED  PERSON  HAS  MADE  AN APPLICATION PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION.
SUCH NOTIFICATION AND ADVISORY GIVEN SHALL COMPLY  WITH  ANY  TERMS  AND
CONDITIONS SET FORTH BY THE COURT AND SHALL BE MADE BY MEANS DESIGNED TO
BE  SENSITIVE  TO  THE  PERSONAL NATURE OF THE MATTER. THE DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH SHALL, BEFORE MAKING  EFFORTS  TO  NOTIFY  THE  BIRTH  PARENT  OR
PARENTS,  DETERMINE  WHETHER SUCH PARENT OR PARENTS HAVE ALREADY FILED A
WRITTEN CONFIRMATION WITH THE COURT OR THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PURSUANT
TO PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION  OR  A  BIRTH  PARENT  REGISTRATION
CONSENT FORM WITH THE ADOPTION INFORMATION REGISTRY PURSUANT TO SUBDIVI-
SION  TEN  OF  SECTION  FORTY-ONE  HUNDRED  THIRTY-EIGHT-C OF THE PUBLIC
HEALTH LAW. WHERE SUCH CONFIRMATION OR CONSENT  FORM  IS  ON  FILE,  THE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHALL NOTIFY THE COURT AND NO SUCH EFFORTS TO NOTI-
FY THE PARENT SHALL BE MADE.
  (C)  UPON  NOTIFICATION PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION,
OR EARLIER AT THE DISCRETION OF THE BIRTH PARENT PURSUANT  TO  PARAGRAPH
(H)  OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION, SUCH BIRTH PARENT MAY COMPLETE A WRITTEN AND
NOTARIZED CONFIRMATION THAT HE OR SHE WISHES TO MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY
OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION, OR THAT HE OR SHE CONSENTS TO THE RELEASE OF
IDENTIFYING INFORMATION.
  (D) UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH WRITTEN CONFIRMATION, OR WHERE THE PARENT HAS
COMPLETED A BIRTH PARENT REGISTRATION CONSENT FORM PURSUANT TO  SUBDIVI-
SION  TEN  OF  SECTION  FORTY-ONE  HUNDRED  THIRTY-EIGHT-C OF THE PUBLIC
HEALTH LAW, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHALL NOTIFY THE COURT AND  PROVIDE
THE COURT WITH THE WRITTEN CONFIRMATION OR CONSENT FORM, AS THE CASE MAY

S. 2490--B                          3

BE,  COMPLETED  BY  THE  BIRTH  PARENT. WHERE SUCH CONSENT FORM HAS BEEN
REVOKED BY A BIRTH PARENT, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHALL SO NOTIFY  THE
COURT  AND SUCH REVOCATION SHALL BE CONSIDERED BY THE COURT AS A REQUEST
FOR CONTINUED CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION.
  (I)  IF THE BIRTH PARENT CONSENTS TO THE RELEASE OF IDENTIFYING INFOR-
MATION, THE COURT SHALL (A) ORDER THE RELEASE OF A NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF
THE LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE TO THE ADOPTED PERSON, OR (B) WHEN  SUCH
BIRTH  CERTIFICATE IS NOT AVAILABLE, ORDER THAT THE IDENTIFYING INFORMA-
TION BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE ADOPTED PERSON.
  (II) IF THE BIRTH PARENT REQUESTS CONTINUED CONFIDENTIALITY, THE COURT
SHALL DIRECT THE RELEASE OF A NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF  THE  BIRTH  CERTIF-
ICATE  WITH  THE IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REGARDING SUCH PARENT REDACTED,
AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH ADOPTED PERSON WITH SUCH REDACTED COPY AND FILE A
COPY OF THE REDACTED VERSION IN THE COURT  RECORD.  SUCH  REDACTED  COPY
SHALL  INCLUDE  NON-IDENTIFYING  INFORMATION  AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN
SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION FORTY-ONE  HUNDRED  THIRTY-EIGHT-C  OF  THE
PUBLIC HEALTH LAW.
  (III)  WHERE  THERE ARE TWO IDENTIFIED BIRTH PARENTS AND ONLY ONE SUCH
PARENT  HAS  REQUESTED  CONFIDENTIALITY,  THE  IDENTIFYING   INFORMATION
REGARDING  THE  OTHER  PARENT  MAY,  IN  THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT, BE
RELEASED TO THE ADOPTED PERSON IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SUBDIVISION.  THE
CONSENT  OF ONE PARENT SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO BE CONSENT BY THE OTHER
PARENT.
  THE COURT SHALL ISSUE A WRITTEN  ORDER  WHEN  MAKING  A  DETERMINATION
PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPHS (II) AND (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (E)  (I)  IF AFTER REASONABLE AND GOOD FAITH EFFORTS PURSUANT TO PARA-
GRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE BIRTH PARENT IS UNABLE TO BE NOTIFIED
OR DOES NOT RESPOND TO SUCH NOTIFICATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHALL
SO NOTIFY THE COURT. UNLESS THE COURT, IN ITS DISCRETION, FOR GOOD CAUSE
SPECIFIED IN ITS ORDER,  DETERMINES  THAT  THE  RELEASE  OF  SUCH  BIRTH
CERTIFICATE  OR  IDENTIFYING INFORMATION WOULD BE CLEARLY DETRIMENTAL TO
THE WELFARE OF THE BIRTH OR  ADOPTIVE  PARENTS,  THE  COURT  SHALL:  (A)
RELEASE,  OR DIRECT THE RELEASE OF, AN UNREDACTED, NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF
THE LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE TO THE ADOPTED PERSON, OR  (B)  IF  SUCH
BIRTH CERTIFICATE IS NOT AVAILABLE, RELEASE OR DIRECT THE RELEASE OF THE
IDENTIFYING  INFORMATION  THAT  WOULD  HAVE  APPEARED  ON  THE  ORIGINAL
LONG-FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  GOOD
CAUSE  SHALL  INCLUDE,  BUT  IS  NOT LIMITED TO, EVIDENCE CONCERNING THE
WISHES OF THE BIRTH PARENT REGARDING CONFIDENTIALITY AS EXPRESSED AT THE
TIME OF THE ADOPTION OR SURRENDER. THE COURT SHALL ISSUE A WRITTEN ORDER
WHEN MAKING A DETERMINATION PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (II) WHERE THE COURT DETERMINES NOT TO  RELEASE  AN  UNREDACTED  BIRTH
CERTIFICATE  PURSUANT  TO  SUBPARAGRAPH (I) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, THE COURT
SHALL DIRECT THE RELEASE OF A NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF  THE  BIRTH  CERTIF-
ICATE  WITH  THE  IDENTIFYING  INFORMATION REGARDING THE BIRTH PARENT OR
PARENTS REDACTED, AND  SHALL  PROVIDE  SUCH  ADOPTED  PERSON  WITH  SUCH
REDACTED COPY.
  (F) UPON THE CONSENT OF A BIRTH PARENT TO RELEASE IDENTIFYING INFORMA-
TION  PURSUANT  TO  THIS  SUBDIVISION,  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH SHALL
PROVIDE SUCH PARENT WITH  A  CONTACT  PREFERENCE  FORM  THAT  SHALL,  IF
COMPLETED  BY  THE BIRTH PARENT, ACCOMPANY A COPY OF A BIRTH CERTIFICATE
OR OTHER IDENTIFYING INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE  ADOPTED  PERSON  UNDER
THIS  SUBDIVISION  AND  BE  FILED WITH THE ADOPTION INFORMATION REGISTRY
ESTABLISHED BY SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-EIGHT-C  OF  THE  PUBLIC
HEALTH  LAW.  THE  CONTACT  PREFERENCE  FORM SHALL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING
CONTENT TO BE COMPLETED AT THE OPTION OF THE BIRTH PARENT:

S. 2490--B                          4

  (I) I AM WILLING TO OR WOULD LIKE TO BE CONTACTED.
  (II) I WOULD PREFER TO BE CONTACTED ONLY THROUGH AN INTERMEDIARY.
  (III)  I  HAVE COMPLETED A MEDICAL HISTORY FORM AND HAVE FILED IT WITH
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.
  (IV) PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME. IF I DECIDE LATER THAT I WOULD LIKE  TO
BE  CONTACTED,  I  WILL SUBMIT AN UPDATED CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM TO THE
COURT OR THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.
  (V) ADD ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION HERE (IF DESIRED):
  THE MEDICAL HISTORY FORM SHALL BE IN A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE  DEPART-
MENT  OF HEALTH AND SHALL BE SUPPLIED TO THE BIRTH PARENT WITH A CONTACT
PREFERENCE FORM.
  THE MEDICAL HISTORY FORM AND CONTACT PREFERENCE FORM ARE  CONFIDENTIAL
COMMUNICATIONS  FROM  THE BIRTH PARENT TO THE PERSON NAMED ON THE SEALED
BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND SHALL BE PLACED IN SEPARATE SEALED ENVELOPES  UPON
RECEIPT FROM THE BIRTH PARENT.
  THE  SEALED  ENVELOPES  CONTAINING  THE  CONTACT  PREFERENCE  FORM AND
MEDICAL HISTORY FORM SHALL BE RELEASED TO A PERSON REQUESTING HIS OR HER
BIRTH CERTIFICATE UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION OR HIS OR HER  AGENT,  SUCH  AS
HIS  OR HER ATTORNEY, WITH APPROPRIATE AUTHORIZATION.  THE CONTACT PREF-
ERENCE FORM AND MEDICAL HISTORY FORM ARE PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE
BIRTH PARENT TO THE PERSON NAMED ON THE SEALED BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND  NO
COPIES OF THE FORMS SHALL BE RETAINED BY THE COURT.
  (G)  THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHALL DEVELOP AN AFFIRMATIVE INFORMATION
CAMPAIGN AND WIDELY DISSEMINATE TO  THE  PUBLIC,  THROUGH  ITS  WEBSITE,
PUBLIC  SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER MEANS, IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES AND
THROUGH MULTIPLE OUTLETS, INFORMATION CONCERNING THE  ADOPTION  INFORMA-
TION REGISTRY ESTABLISHED BY SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-EIGHT-C OF
THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW AND THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION, INCLUDING,
BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE MEANS BY WHICH A BIRTH PARENT MAY FILE A WRITTEN
CONFIRMATION  PURSUANT  TO  PARAGRAPH  (H)  OF THIS SUBDIVISION WITH THE
COURT THAT ORDERED THE ADOPTION OR THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH THAT  HE  OR
SHE  WISHES  TO MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION,
OR CONSENTS TO THE RELEASE OF SUCH IDENTIFYING INFORMATION.
  (H) A BIRTH PARENT MAY, AT ANY TIME,  FILE  A  WRITTEN  AND  NOTARIZED
CONFIRMATION  WITH  THE  COURT  THAT  ORDERED  THE  ADOPTION OR WITH THE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH INDICATING THAT HE OR SHE WISHES TO MAINTAIN CONFI-
DENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OR THAT HE OR SHE CONSENTS TO  THE
RELEASE OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION. THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHALL NOTI-
FY THE COURT AND PROVIDE THE COURT WITH A COPY OF SUCH WRITTEN CONFIRMA-
TION. THE COURT SHALL HONOR SUCH WRITTEN CONFIRMATION UNLESS IT IS WITH-
DRAWN OR MODIFIED, IN NOTARIZED WRITING, BY THE BIRTH PARENT.
  (I)  FOR  THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION, "ADOPTED PERSON" SHALL
INCLUDE A PERSON WHO WAS SURRENDERED AS DESCRIBED IN  SUBDIVISION  SEVEN
OF ARTICLE SECTION ONE HUNDRED NINE OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S  4.  Subdivision  10  of section 4138-c of the public health law, as
added by chapter 435 of the laws of 2008, is amended and a new  subdivi-
sion 10-a is added to read as follows:
  10.  The  commissioner  is directed to develop an adoption information
registry birth parent registration consent form to be completed  at  the
time of surrender or consent to adoption. Such form shall include check-
off boxes to be appropriately marked by the biological parent or parents
whose consent is necessary for the relinquishment of such child indicat-
ing  whether  or  not such parent consents to the receipt of identifying
information AND A NON-CERTIFIED COPY OF THE ORIGINAL  BIRTH  CERTIFICATE
by  the  child  to  be adopted. A copy of such form shall be sent to the
department with copies of the original and amended  birth  certificates.

S. 2490--B                          5

Such  form shall state that it is the responsibility of the birth parent
to update the registry with any changes in contact information. The form
shall additionally advise the biological parents of the adoption medical
information  sub-registry and the procedures by which a birth parent may
provide medical information to  the  sub-registry.  Notwithstanding  any
inconsistent  provision  of  law  to  the  contrary, the commissioner is
directed to develop any rules and regulations necessary to expedite  the
transfer  of  information from any agency, court or department necessary
to implement this subdivision.
  10-A. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRA-
RY, FOR SURRENDERS OCCURRING AND ORDERS OF ADOPTIONS ENTERED  AFTER  THE
EFFECTIVE  DATE OF THE CHAPTER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN THAT
ADDED THIS SUBDIVISION, WHERE THE BIOLOGICAL  PARENT  OR  PARENTS  WHOSE
CONSENT  IS  NECESSARY  FOR THE RELINQUISHMENT OF SUCH CHILD CONSENTS TO
THE RELEASE OF A  NON-CERTIFIED  COPY  OF  THE  CHILD'S  ORIGINAL  BIRTH
CERTIFICATE  OR DOES NOT AFFIRMATIVELY REQUEST, ON THE FORM DESCRIBED IN
SUBDIVISION TEN OF THIS SECTION, THAT SUCH  ORIGINAL  BIRTH  CERTIFICATE
REMAIN  CONFIDENTIAL,  THE  SURRENDERED  OR  ADOPTED PERSON SHALL, AFTER
ATTAINING THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN AND UPON APPLICATION TO THE DEPARTMENT AND
ADEQUATE PROOF OF IDENTITY, HAVE THE RIGHT TO  RECEIVE  A  NON-CERTIFIED
COPY OF THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
  S  5.  This act shall take effect January 15, 2015, provided, however,
that paragraphs (g) and (h) of subdivision  5  of  section  114  of  the
domestic  relations  law,  as  added by section three of this act, shall
take effect on the thirtieth day after such effective date.

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