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Senate To Consider Primary Change, Adoptees’ Rights Monday

TRENTON – On Monday, December 4, the full Senate is scheduled to vote on a host of bills, including measures which would move up New Jersey’s presidential primary date to the first Tuesday in February, and allow adoptees access to their original birth certificates.

The voting session is scheduled to begin at 2 P.M. in the Senate Chambers.

The bill to change the primary date, S-2193, sponsored by Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, and Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, would switch New Jersey’s presidential primary date from the last Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday, after the first Monday of that month. Supporters say the change, necessitated by a new federal primary calendar which would again move New Jersey towards the back of the pack, would allow Garden State voters to play an important part in national politics.

“Moving our primary up to early February will bring New Jersey back to the center of the national debate on our future and send a clear message to Presidential candidates that we are not just an ATM machine to be drawn from after the primary candidates have been chosen.,” said Senate President Codey.

S-1087, sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale, D-Middlesex, the Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, would allow adoptees, and in some cases, their relatives, to access their original birth certificate and other related family information. The bill would take effect 12 months after adopted into law, giving birth parents who choose not to be identified in any documents a chance to contact the State Registrar and opt out. The birth parents would also have the option of designating how they’d like to be contacted in the event that an adoptee wished to contact them.

“This is a simple matter of fairness to adoptees, to give them the missing piece of the puzzle in their quest for identity,” said Senator Vitale. “It’s also a practical bill, allowing adoptees access to family medical histories so they can learn of any diseases to which they might be genetically predisposed. And, in some cases where both parties are willing to be contacted, we have the potential to reunite families with this legislation.”

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