Assemblyman David I. Weprin, adoptee rights advocates from organizations including the American Adoption Congress, New York Statewide Adoption Reform, and New York Adoptee Rights Coalition, as well as adoptees from across the state gathered on April 30 in the Capitol to call for the passage of A.5494, the Clean Bill of Adoptee Rights.
The legislation establishes the right of adoptees to receive a certified copy of their original birth certificate upon reaching the age of 18. The bill, which was first sponsored by Weprin in 2011 and currently has 89 co-sponsors, was reported out of the Assembly Health Committee, and now awaits a full vote.
The legislation restores important civil rights to adult adoptees such as their right to access information that non-adopted persons have a legal right to obtain. In New York state, an adoptee cannot access his or her original birth certificate unless the adoptee goes through a judicial proceeding which does not guarantee that access will be granted.
“I am proud to sponsor this bill in the Senate because adult adoptees deserve access to their own vital records just like any other individual. They deserve the right to seek answers about their health, their family history and their heritage,” said NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “I thank my colleagues in the Assembly for passing it out of the Assembly Health Committee and look forward to continuing to push this important issue.”
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