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Changes in NJ Adoption Laws

Changes in NJ Adoption Laws

Adopting a child is a great way to expand a family. As the adopted child grows older, however, they may begin to have questions about their birth parents and their origins. Many adopted children don’t have a clear idea of their genetics or their family medical history. Taking the steps to dig into an adopted person’s genetic past and learn who their birth parents are if they don’t already know, is a profound and life-changing experience. Now, New Jersey is making it easier for adult adoptees to uncover this information if they want it.

Beginning in January 2017, New Jersey’s law regarding obtaining an adopted person’s original birth certificate has changed. Up until this year, the original birth certificates of adopted children were sealed records. Now, adult adopted people are permitted to apply to see their original birth records. It is important to be aware that if the birth parent makes the request, they can have their name redacted from the birth certificate. This is only the case if the biological parent requested to protect their identity before December 31, 2016, and if the adoption was finalized prior to August 1, 2015.

The information required on the application for the uncertified copy of the original birth record includes information that is on the birth certificate administered after the adoption was finalized. Post-adoption birth certificates include the names of the adoptive parents but usually little or no information about the biological parents.

If you are an adult who was adopted and wish to uncover your biological history, you may want to consider obtaining your original birth certificate. If you have questions about starting this emotional process, you should consult with an experienced adoption attorney who can tell you where to start.

Debra F. Schneider, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney serving Hackensack, Bergen County, and all of New Jersey clients with quality legal services. Attorney Schneider guides clients through adoption, divorce matters, property distribution, alimony, child support, child custody and other issues. If you need our help, contact our Hackensack firm for a consultation.  

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