Adoptees can now get birth certificates

To the editor:

I am thrilled to tell you that the New York state Legislature passed the bill that will make it possible for adoptees to acquire a certified copy of their original birth certificate at age 18. The bill passed by an overwhelming vote of 127 to 2 and 56-6 in Senate. It will become effective in early 2020. 

I was watching the Assembly in a livestream broadcast this afternoon (June 20). When I heard the final count, I whooped, put my shoes on and ran across the yard to my daughter’s house to share the news. 

Since 1936, adoptees in New York state have been denied access to their original birth records, their link to their origins and their family medical history. Since I became active in advocating for equal access in 2008, I’ve seen this legislation fail to pass year after year. We advocates never relented, pressing forward with letter writing, phone calls, informing anyone who would listen. 

A resounding thank-you to all who made this possible. And congratulations to the thousands of adoptees whose right to these records has been restored. 

Virginia Slater

Saranac Lake