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Adoption and Anonymity

By Snyder & Sarno on May 15, 2014


According to the New Jersey Law Journal, on Monday, May 12, the New Jersey Senate passed an amended bill that would allow adoptees to access their original birth certificates. If the bill passes the Assembly and is approved by Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey will become the ninth state to allow disclosure of original birth certificates to adoptees.

The original bill was passed by both the New Jersey Senate and the Assembly in February, but it was conditionally vetoed by the Governor in April. Governor Christie stated that the measure should have a safe harbor for birth parents who want their identities to remain anonymous, and the amended bill does just that.

            The amended bill provides that birth parents may choose to be contacted directly, through an intermediary, or not at all. If the birth parents do not want to be contacted, their names will be redacted from the birth certificate, but they will still be required to provide a family medical history without any identifying information. Birth parents will have until December 31, 2016, to decide whether they would like to be contacted by their biological children, and if so, in what way. This information will be submitted to the State Registrar in a contact preference document.

            If this bill is passed, it will allow adoptees to request their original birth certificates and obtain important information, while still maintaining the privacy of the child’s biological parents. The bill is likely to be passed, as it is the result of a compromise between the Legislature and the Governor, according to NJ.com.

            We will continue to keep you updated on the progress and status of this bill, so check back for regular updates.

            If you have and questions or concerns about your New Jersey family law matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at Snyder & Sarno at (973) 274-5200.

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