I just received a “personal” email from Gov. Christie about unsealing adoptees’ original birth certificates. I’ll share it with you.
Office of the Governor
Office of Constituent Relations
Post Office Box 001
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE ELECTRONIC RESPONSE
April 30, 2014
Dear Ms. Kaufman:
Thank you for writing to share your support for Senate Bill No. 873 (S873), which would permit adoptees and certain others to obtain an adoptee’s original birth certificate and other related information. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.
I agree that New Jersey should take a new, open approach to adoption records that would eliminate the requirement of obtaining a court order to access birth records while respecting and protecting the interests of adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents. Thus, I have recommended additional safeguards to balance the needs of adoptees seeking critical records of their identity with the expectations of birth parents in years past who may wish to remain private. These recommendations would allow birth parents to select a preference for contact: direct contact, contact through a confidential intermediary, or access to medical records only with continued privacy.
Adoptees would be able to obtain an original birth certificate without involvement from the courts beginning in 2017. For adoptions finalized before the effective date of this bill, birth records will remain confidential through the end of 2016. During that time, birth parents may choose to file a preference for contact with the State Registrar. For adoptions finalized after August 1, 2015, long-form birth certificates will be available without redaction, and birth parents are permitted to submit an information statement electing their preferred method of personal contact. Providing these transition periods will permit for appropriate educational campaigns on new open adoptions and avoid altering the settled expectations of parents and children without notice.
I have returned S873 to the Legislature with these suggested changes and look forward to their swift approval of the amended bill. Again, thank you for writing to share your views on this legislation.
I can’t wait to finally see my own birth certificate! Not one that was created over a year after I was born. Even though I’ve already figured out who my bio parents are, I’m dying to see what is on my actual birth certificate. I realize, false information might be there because knowledge of my birth could potentially have destroyed two families.
Who else is excited about getting their original birth certificate? What do you think you will find? What do you hope to find? Medical information? Family? Answers to questions like “who am I?”