The New York legislature secured history on an extra day of the legislative session by reversing more than eight decades of discrimination against New York adopted people. With the bill moving through three committees on the final two days of an extended session, the Assembly Members voted 126-2 to pass S3419/A5494 and forward it to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature and final enactment. If you have not been following this, the soon-to-be enacted law will:
- restore the right of all adult adoptees to request and obtain a certified copy of the “original long form line by line, vault copy birth certificate,” otherwise known as the OBC, with no restrictions other than the adoptee is at least 18 years of age at the time of the request;
- if the adoptee is deceased, allow direct line descendants or a lawful representative of the adoptee to request and obtain the OBC;
- address issues related to people born outside of New York but whose adoptions were finalized by a New York state court. If a copy of the OBC from the other jurisdiction is not available from a New York registrar, then information that would have appeared on the OBC must be provided by the adoption agency;
- address original birth certificates on file with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, an extremely important provision because New York City currently possesses many pre-adoption birth certificates;
- address certain OBCs that may also be held by registrars in Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers;
- be effective January 15, 2020.
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