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The New Jersey Legislature Passes Bill to Allow Adopted Persons Access to Birth Records

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The New Jersey Legislature Passes Bill to Allow Adopted Persons Access to Birth Records

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By Andrew P. Bolson, Esq.

On February 27, 2014, the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill that would allow adopted persons access to their birth records. The Bill now heads to Governor Christie for consideration. Specifically, the legislation would allow adopted persons access to their original birth certificates and would provide the names of the adopted person’s birth parents. While Birth parents would be permitted to submit a contact preference form to the State Register, the legislation does not provide a mechanism for birth parents to opt-out of having their names revealed. If birth parents opted to have no contact, the legislation requires that they still update their family history every 10 years until the birth parent reaches the age of 40, and every five years thereafter. The legislation was previously considered in 2011 when Governor Christie conditionally vetoed it. At that time, Governor Christie asked that the legislature consider amending the bill to require that an intermediary first conduct a search to locate birth parents prior to releasing a birth certificate.

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