March 31st, 2008
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Categories: Announcements, March

Lately there have been many articles in various news publications about pending legislation to open adoption records so that adoptees would have access to their birth records. This would allow adoptees to have a greater chance of obtaining medical information and reuniting with their birth parents.

The state of New York is no different. If the pending legislation is passed in New York, adoptees born in that state will soon have the same right to their birth records like any other U.S. citizen.

Do you ever wonder why records were sealed in the first place? I have and this article attempts to address that.

New York began sealing adoption records in the mid-1930s to protect adoptive parents from possible interference from biological parents. Contrary to popular assumption, however, there has never been a legal guarantee of secrecy offered to birth parents who have given up their children for adoption.


The article goes on to state that most adoption professionals now agree that open adoption and background information (including medical records) is beneficial to all involved.

For example, one of the first things a doctor needs to know is a patient’s medical and psychiatric history. Currently, that potentially life-saving information is obtainable only by court order and at considerable cost to the individual. Unfortunately, it is usually not sought because of those deterrents, to a patient’s serious disadvantage.

The article then goes on to state that allowing adoptees access to their records is one of the basic human rights and one that many people may take for granted.

Currently, this legislation is pending in the Senate and Assembly. If you live in New York and are in support of allowing adoptees to have access to their birth records, let them know! Contact your state senator to show your support of bill S235 and your assemblyman of bill A2277. You can find contact information for New York Senators here. You can find contact information for Assembly Members here.


3 Responses to “Opening Records Bill Pending in New York”

  1. declanmiles says:

    Have a question – not sure if this is the right forum – please direct me – does the adoption tax credit really not cover self employment tax? Our accountant just said so and I can’t find it anywhere on the IRS site or any adoption site. Anyone know? Barbara

  2. jrussell says:

    I do not live in New York but found this topic interesting and wanted to comment. I agree with this particular piece of legislation as adopted children should have the option of receiving information regarding their own medical records and biological parents. From my experience most children who have been adopted eventually inquire about their past and most importantly their biological parents.

    I understand why the concern of biological parents having contact with the child would be raised by the adoptive parents however. Many times the biological parents are rather unhealthy for the child to be around. This could be of great concern for the adoptive parents. However, if this information is kept from the child they could harbor feelings of resentment in the future.

    I also see how this could be considered a disregard of basic human rights. As the child ages they should be entitled to this information. Some of them just want to know where they came from.

  3. Coley S. says:

    First of all, saying that birthparents are unhealthy for their child to be around is a huge blanket statement and pretty stereotypical. Secondly, adoptees wouldn’t be able to access these records until they were over 18 and at that point they could judge for themselves whether or not their birthparents are “healthy” enough to have a relationship with.

    Bottom line is – they deserve to know whetre they came from and then they can make decisions regarding future contact and relationships.

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