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Posted on: January 21, 2020

Town Clerk Donna Lent Explains New York State’s New Adoptee Birth Certificate Law

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Farmingville, NY - Town of Brookhaven Clerk Donna Lent has announced that a new New York State law will allow adoptees to obtain a copy of their original pre-adoption birth certificate after they turn 18 years old. The measure helps ensure that all adult New York adoptees have the right to access information about their birth and biological parents. Some helpful information for adoptees is listed below to assist them in obtaining their vital records.

When does the law take effect?
The law takes effect January 15, 2020.

What information will be released to adoptees?
The new law allows adoptees to obtain a Pre-adoption (birth) Certificate. The New York State Department of Health Bureau of Vital Records is also required to provide supporting documents filed with their office including photocopies of the Orders of Adoption, Report of Adoption or a Certificate of Adoption. As the local registrar does not maintain copies of the supporting documents, these documents can only be obtained by requesting a Pre-adoption Certificate directly through the Bureau of Vital Records in Albany, NY.

Who is entitled to obtain a Pre-adoption Certificate?
An adoptee who is 18 years of age or older or a direct-line descendant of a deceased relative (adoptee) is eligible to obtain a Pre-adoption Certificate. Direct-line descendants include the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the person for whom the record relates. A direct-line descendant must be able to provide proof of his or her relationship to the person whose record they are requesting including all relevant birth certificates and the death certificate of the adoptee. Neither the adoptive parents nor biological parents are eligible to obtain the Pre-adoption Certificate.

How do you request a Pre-adoption Certificate?
While adoptees may apply for their certificate with the local registrar or New York State Bureau of Vital Records, local registrars (including Brookhaven Town Clerk Donna Lent) are only able to issue Pre-adoption certificates in extremely limited cases. To expedite certificate requests, adoptees are strongly encouraged to apply for their certificate directly through New York State Bureau of Vital Records. For expedited order placement and processing visit the VitalChek website or call VitalChek Network Inc. at 877-854-4481. To order via mail, complete the application available online. Completed applications should be mailed to: New York State Department of Health, BVR PAC Unit, P.O. Box 2602, Albany, NY 12220-2602.

Division of Public Information * Office of the Supervisor
One Independence Hill • Farmingville • NY 11738 • Phone 631-451-6595

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