overnor Andrew M. Cuomo signed "Clean" S3419 into law on Thursday November 14, 2019 opening access to a certified copies of birth certificates for people who have been born and adopted in New York State and have turned 18. Even if the adoptee is deceased, their legal representative or their descendants will also be allowed access. Access has been denied in New York State since 1936. The law should go into effect on January 15, 2020 and will be administrated by the Department of Health and will involve a nominal fee for processing. Currently, the Department of Health has handled requests for non-identifying and health information. The sponsors were Senator Velmanette Montgomery (S3419) and Assemblyman David I. Weprin (A5494).
This change acknowledges that people who have been adopted have the right to information about their birth and birth parents. This is considered a basic civil and human right. It is hoped that this change will allow a smoother flow of medical information and may prevent some diseases and untimely deaths.
The change in law has taken over 20 years to accomplish. Everyone has a right to know about their own personal history and to construct a cohesive personal narrative. It's about time!