New Jersey: Access to OBCs and Non-ID
DENIES UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO OBC (While most adoptees in NJ have access, 550 adoptees do not.)
Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 9:3-41.1; 26:8-40.34
The adoptive parent may have access to non-identifying information.
The birth parent may authorize the release of identifying information to the adopted person.
Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 26:8-40.1; 26:8-40.33
Effective January 1, 2017: Upon receipt of a request pursuant to § 26:8-40.1(c), the State Registrar shall provide the authorized requester with an un-certified, long-form copy of the adopted person’s original certificate of birth. [Most adult adoptees in New Jersey have unrestricted access to their OBCs, effective January 2017, however, approximately 550 birth parents filed disclosure vetoes that prohibit the release of the birth parents' identifying information on the OBC. As such, about 550 adult adoptees do not have access to their unredacted OBCs, except by court order.]
Access to Non-identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 9:3-41.1; 9:3-39.2; 9:3-39.3
Prior to placement, the adoptive parent will be provided with all available information relevant to the child’s development, including:
• The child’s developmental and medical history
• The child’s personality and temperament
• The birth parents’ complete medical histories, including conditions or diseases that are believed to be hereditary
• Any drugs or medications taken during pregnancy
• Any other health conditions of the birth parents that may influence the child’s present or future health
Information that would identify or permit the identification of the birth parents of the child shall be excluded.
In the event that the adopted person was under the care and custody of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the
Department of Children and Families at the time of the person’s adoption, the director of the division shall provide, upon request by
an authorized requester, a statement providing summaries of the medical and social characteristics of birth family members, family
health histories, the facts and circumstances related to adoptive placement, and summaries of case record material.
An authorized requester may request that the adoption facilitator who placed the child for adoption or conducted an investigation
provide any available non-identifying family medical history information concerning the adopted person contained in that person’s
confidential case records maintained by the adoption facilitator. Upon receipt of a request, the adoption facilitator shall provide the
requester with a detailed summary of any available non-identifying family medical history information concerning the adopted person
that is contained in that person’s confidential case records.
Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 26:8-40.34
A birth parent of an adopted person may submit a contact preference form to the State Registrar indicating the birth parent’s
preference regarding contact with the adopted person. The birth parent may change his or her preference at any time by
submitting a revised document to the registrar. The registrar shall require a birth parent who submits a contact preference form to
simultaneously submit a completed form providing updated family history information, including medical, cultural, and social history
On the contact preference form, the birth parent may select one of the following options:
• Direct contact
• Contact through an intermediary
• No contact
The registrar shall request a birth parent who indicates a preference for no contact by the adopted person to update the family
history information every 10 years until the birth parent reaches age 40, and every 5 years thereafter.
The registrar shall maintain a file of documents of contact preference and family history information submitted by birth parents.
Upon request for an original certificate of birth, the registrar shall determine whether there are contact preference forms and family
history information documents regarding the adopted person on file, and if those documents exist, shall place and retain them in the
adopted person’s original certificate of birth file. Those documents shall be released when a request is made for an uncertified, long-form copy of an adopted person’s original certificate of birth.
In the case of a person adopted prior to August 1, 2015, a birth parent may submit a request on or before December 31, 2016
that provides that the name and other identifying information of the birth parent shall be redacted in response to a request for
information. The birth parent may rescind the redaction request at any time.
Where the Information Can Be Located
New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Adoption Registry