Poll: What Kind of Access Should Adoptees Have to Birth Records?

NJ Spotlight | May 29, 2014 | Polling
How much knowledge is too much? How much constitutes too little?

A 34-year battle to increase the access that adoptees have to their birth certificates has apparently ended, with Gov. Chris Christie signing a compromise measure.

The bill will give those who’ve been adopted complete access to their birth certificates for all adoptions that occur after August 1, 2015. For adoptions prior to that date, birth parents will still be able to have their names redacted from the certificates, but they will have to provide a family health history. However, they must ask to have their names redacted by December 31, 2016.

The legislative battle has pitted adoptee-rights advocates, who say that knowing your family health history — as well as your birth parents’ names — is a civil right against an unlikely alliance that includes abortion-rights opponents and the American Civil Liberties Union.