New Jersey Adoptees’ Birthright law to go into effect on Sunday

New Jersey adoptees will have the right to obtain their original birth certificates beginning on Jan. 1.

A new New Jersey Adoptees’ Birthright law signed by Governor Chris Chistie in 2014 will go into effect on Sunday.

The New Jersey Adoptees’ Birthright law gives adoptees access to their birth records, including their birth parents’ names.

“Starting in the New Year, New Jersey adoptees will have the right to obtain their original birth certificates. Any birth parents that wish to have their names removed from birth certificates have until Saturday to do so,” Camden County Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer said. “As an office that handles a significant amount of adoption cases, this public service announcement is important to birth mothers who would like to continue to stay anonymous and decided to opt for adoption for the anonymity.”

For names to be removed from birth records, the New Jersey Department of Health privacy form http://www.state.nj.us/health/forms/reg-36c.pdf must be post-marked by Dec. 31. Birth parents of children adopted since Aug. 1, 2015, are not able to have their names removed from birth records.

“This law has taken a long time to go into effect and I believe there are individuals that have not followed the evolution of this bill that could be adversely affected by it,” Gentek-Mayer said. “This is your last chance to get this form filled out prior to all personal information becomes available.”

Each year the Camden County Surrogate’s Court is consistently among the counties in New Jersey that finalize the highest number of adoptions per year. These adoptions represent the full spectrum of cases facilitated by the Surrogate’s Court throughout the year, including domestic and international adoptions as well as adoptions facilitated through private agencies and the New Jersey State Department of Children and Families.