August 20, 2014
(September 2014 - New Jersey Catholic Conference)
What birth parents need to know?
New Jersey?s adoption law has changed with regard to adoptees? access to full birth record information. In the future, the names of all birth parents who placed a child for adoption in New Jersey will be made available to adoptees upon request unless the birth parents file a form with the State indicating that they do not want contact with the child.
Birth parents who were assured anonymity previously are able to request continued privacy but to do so, they must complete and submit a form with the State no later than December 31, 2016.
As soon as more information is available and the State of New Jersey releases the necessary form(s) Catholic Dioceses statewide will post related information on their websites.
In the meantime, here is what all birth parents should know:
For adoptions finalized prior to August 1, 2015:
- Adoptees will be able to obtain an original birth certificate without involvement of the courts beginning January 1, 2017.
For adoptions finalized after August 1, 2015:
- Birth parents have until December 31, 2016 to file a request with the State of New Jersey indicating that they want no contact with the child they gave to adoption. If a birth parent files such a request, the State Registrar will redact the birth parent?s name from any documents provided to adoptees. If they fail to file such a form ? their identity will be revealed to the adoptee upon request.
- All birth parents who request redaction will be required to update medical history information every 10 years until the birth parent reaches the age of 40 and every five years thereafter.
- Long-form birth certificates will be available to adoptees without redaction of a birth parent?s name.
- Birth parents, who give a child to adoption after August 1, 2015, will be able to file a form with the State indicating that they wish to have no contact with the adopted child or whether they are willing to have direct contact or contact through an intermediary. In all cases, in the future, birth parents will need to file with the State information about their medical history.
As noted above, information on how birth parents should request continued privacy is not yet available from the State. As soon as the State releases the information, all Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey will post that information on their websites.