More than 1,000 adoptees receive records

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The Christie Administration today announced over the past month, more than 1,000 adult adoptees have received birth records from the New Jersey Department of Health after submitting applications as part of a new law that unsealed the documents dating back to the 1940s.

About 1,900 adoptee application requests have been received and 558 birth parents requested redactions on the records. The Department began mailing records earlier this month.

“We know how meaningful this is for adoptees, some of whom have waited decades to receive this information. We thank them for their patience throughout this process,” Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett said. “As more adoptees submit applications, we will continue processing them in the order they are received.”

The new law signed by Governor Chris Christie in 2014 allowed birth parents until Dec. 31, 2016, to submit requests to have their personal information redacted, such as their names and addresses, from birth certificates of the child(ren) they placed for adoption. Until Jan. 1, 2017, a court order was required to receive these documents. Birth parents who chose to have their names redacted can reverse that decision at any time and make their identities known.

There is no deadline for adult adoptees who would like to request copies of their original birth certificates. Those who may request copies of birth certificates are adult adoptees; direct descendants, siblings or spouses of adopted persons; adoptive parents, legal guardians or other legal representatives of adopted persons; or state or federal government agencies for official purposes.

Individuals can apply for birth records by filling out this form. The fee is $25 and then $2 for each additional copy.

Adoption by the Numbers: 1,900 adoptee application requests received, 1,056 birth records mailed, 558 birth parents requested redactions on the records, 351 birth parents provided family history, 121 birth parents said they want some form of contact with the child they placed for adoption.

For more information on the new adoption law, call 609-292-4087 or visit the Department’s Frequently Asked Questions.

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