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New York:  Access to OBCs and Non-ID

NEW YORK

DENIES UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO OBC (Court order required). 
 

UPDATE:  Effective January 15, 2020, adult adoptees, ages 18 and older will have unrestricted access to their OBCs.  
At that time, visit the NYS Dept of Health Department's website for info on how to request your OBC. 

Note:  The form and/or link to such a form does not yet exist.
Click here for the news on Governor Cuomo's website.

Click here for more info on the Bill.

 

Who May Access Information
Citation: Pub. Health Law §§ 4138-c; 4138-d

The following persons may receive information:
• The adopted person who is age 18 or older
• The birth parents
• A birth sibling who is age 18 or older

 

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Pub. Health Law § 4138

The original birth certificate is available only upon order of the court.

Unrestricted access for adoptees of at least 18 years of age, pending January 15, 2020 .

Access to Non-identifying Information
Citation: Pub. Health Law §§ 4138-c; 4138-d

The Department of Health shall operate an adoption information registry for the exchange of non-identifying information between
the persons listed above. Non-identifying information shall include only the following information, if known, about the adopted
person, birth parents, and birth siblings:
• The age of the parents in years at the time of the child’s birth
• The heritage of the parents, including nationality, ethnic background, race, and religion
• Education completed by the parents at the time of the child’s birth
• General physical appearance of the parents at the time of the child’s birth, including height, weight, color of hair, eyes, skin,
and other information of similar nature
• The occupation of the parents
• The health history of the parents
• The talents, hobbies, and special interests of the parents
• The facts and circumstances relating to the adoption
• The existence of any known birth siblings
• The number, sex, and age, at the time of the adopted person’s adoption, of any known birth siblings
Upon acceptance of a registration, the department shall search registry records to determine whether the adopted person’s
adoption occurred within the State. If the adoption did occur within the State, the department shall request non-identifying
information from court records. If the department determines that the adoption did not occur within the State, it shall notify the
registrant that no record exists of the adoption occurring within the State.
If an agency was involved in the adoption, non-identifying information may be accessed by registering the mutual consent voluntary
adoption registry maintained by the agency.

 

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Pub. Health Law §§ 4138-c; 4138-d

The department shall operate an adoption information registry for the exchange of information among the persons listed above. Any
person whose registration was accepted may withdraw the registration prior to the release of any identifying information.
Upon acceptance of a registration, the department shall search the registry files to determine whether the person sought is
registered. If there is a match, the department shall notify the court to request the person’s final consent to the release of identifying
information.
Upon receipt of a final consent by the adopted person, birth parent, and/or birth sibling, the department shall, unless the adopted
person or birth sibling has elected otherwise, release identifying information to all the registrants. Such identifying information shall
be limited to the names and addresses of the registrants and shall not include any other information contained in the adoption or
birth records.

A mutual consent voluntary adoption registry may be maintained by each agency involved in an adoption. Persons eligible to
receive identifying information may work through the agency involved in the adoption. The agency shall accept and maintain the
registrations of an adopted person, the birth parents, or a birth sibling. If the agency determines that the agency was involved
in the adoption, it shall transmit the registration to the adoption information registry operated by the department and release
non-identifying information.
An adoption medical information sub-registry shall be part of the registry. Access to all identifying records and information in the
sub-registry shall be subject to the same restrictions as the adoption information registry. The department shall establish procedures
by which a birth parent may provide medical information to the subregistry, and by which an adopted person age 18 or older, or the
adoptive parents of an adopted person who is under age 18, may access the medical information.


Where the Information Can Be Located
New York State Department of Health, Adoption Registry

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