Measure Would Grant Adoptees Access to Birth Certificates, Family Medical Histories
TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, the chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, and a sponsor along with Senator Joseph F. Vitale of legislation to allow adoptees in New Jersey to access medical history and birth records, issued the following statement after the Assembly approved the bill by a vote of 44-26, with 2 abstentions, receiving final legislative approval:
“Under current law, adoptees in New Jersey are unable to access information that President Barack Obama and Donald Trump have had no problem accessing – their own long-form birth certificates. That to me seems fundamentally wrong and fundamentally unfair, and I’m happy to say that today, we’re one step closer to clearing up this imbalance in the current law.
“The bill approved by the Assembly today would allow adoptees to gain access to their original birth certificates, and information about their biological families. It would allow them insight into their family history and origins, and would allow them to develop a useful medical history to better direct health care choices moving forward.
“At the same time, birth parents who do not wish to participate, would still have a legal right to opt out. But at the end of the day, this bill has the potential to bring together families and empower adopted individuals to know something about their own biological family background.
“In the current political climate, with so much controversy swirling around the President’s birth certificate, more attention should be paid to the many New Jerseyans – and people across this country – whose legal status prohibits them from ever seeing their original birth certificate. This bill is about giving adoptees the option of finding out where they came from, and allowing them to choose for themselves whether or not they want to know.”
The bill now heads to the Governor to be signed into law. It was approved by the Senate by a vote of 27-10 in March of last year.