Christie Signs Law Giving Adoptees Access to Birth, Medical Records

NJ Spotlight | May 29, 2014 | More Issues
While opponents worry about privacy, birth parents calling radio show to express support for NJ legislation

Credit: Amy Palko/flickr
hands (B&W)
After Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a measure giving adoptees access to their birth certificates, NJ Spotlight’s Andrew Kitchenman was on WNYC Public Radio’s Brian Lehrer Show on Wednesday to talk about the consequences.

Advocates said the law will give people who were adopted a better sense of their birth families’ health histories, which is becoming increasingly important as more information is learned about genetic risks for many diseases.

But opponents worry that the law will erode some birth parents’ privacy rights, and warn that more women might have abortions if they can’t keep their identities concealed.

On the radio show, some birth parents of children put up for adoption called to say they support the bill, adding that they wanted their birth children to have the opportunity to get to know them.

The law does give birth parents the option of asking to have their names redacted from birth certificates for adoptions that occur before August 1, 2015. But they will have to request this redaction by the end of 2016.