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New Jersey Open Adoption Records

After thirty years of adoptees attempting to gain access, New Jersey open adoption records may finally become a reality.

The Assembly Human Service Committee unanimously approved a bill that has now been moved to the full Assembly for a vote.

This open records bill–The Adoptees’ Birthright Bill–will give adult adoptees, adoptive parents of a minor or relatives of a deceased adoptee access to original birth certificates.  These records contain the names of the birth mother and child at the time of the birth, as well as other identifying information. 

Some birth parents might not want to be identified or found, so the bill gives them a year to ask the state of New Jersey to remove their names and identifying information from the birth certificates. 

For future adoptions, birth parents will have the option of not being contacted, however, the state will still have to provide the redacted birth certificates and a contact preference form.  The birth parents, if they wish no contact, will also have to provide some family background information including medical information. 

This bill to open adoption records in New Jersey is not perfect.  But OmniTrace believes it does a good job of balancing the rights of birth mothers and adult adoptees seeking their birth family or medical records. 

One caveat:  obtaining your original birth certificate will only be the start of your search.  What you will have, in most instances, is your birth mother’s maiden name and her address at the time of your birth.  OmniTrace can help you with determining your birth mother’s current name, any possible birth siblings and current address information on your family members.

Please write us if you have any questions.  You can also call us toll free at 1-888-965-6696.  Please visit our blog frequently for updates on legislation concerning New Jersey Open Adoption Records.

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