Senate passage breathes life into adoptee birth certificate bill

Originally published in Politico on June 11, 2019.

ALBANY — Lawmakers leading the effort to help adoptees obtain copies of their original birth certificates are optimistic they’ll be able to bring the issue to a resolution by session's end, which would bring an end to one of the more circuitous legislative histories in recent years.

“Adoptees still feel strongly it’s an important part of their existence,” Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) said.

Weprin sponsors the lower house’s version of the bill that the Senate passed 56 to 6 last week, NY S3419 (19R). It would permit adoptees to receive a certified copy of their birth certificate once they are 18. The bill would also allow an adoptee’s descendants or legal representatives to obtain access to the documents if the person is deceased. 

“This really is for people who have been adopted and who now would like to know: ‘Who am I?’” Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn), the bill’s sponsor, said as the bill passed her chamber. “And that question will now be able to be answered.”

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