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Searches for birth parents can be complicated

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2014 | Child Custody

The search for an adopted child’s birth parents can be a long, arduous and emotional process. It may be difficult to find proper records and trace parents’ prior movements in order to find them. However, one state is close to passing a law that will ostensibly make the process easier. According to a recent report, the New Jersey legislature is moving quickly to approve a bill that would give adopted people their original birth certificates. However, it is yet to be determined if Gov. Chris Christie will sign the bill into law. 

Christie vetoed what was essentially the same scope of legislation two years ago. In that instance, he offered as an alternative a law that would a “confidential intermediary” to search for an adopted person’s parents. The search would have to be a good faith effort conducted over the course of one year. If the search was unsuccessful, the birth certificate would be released. The bill would also detail whether birth parents would want to be contacted by a child they put up for adoption.

The bill has stirred up a great deal of controversy and emotions over an adopted child’s “right to know” and a birth parent’s right to anonymity. In Texas, adopted persons can learn the identities of their birth parents and receive a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate without the need for a court order after they reach the age of majority (age 18). But for people originally born in New Jersey and now living in Texas, the passage of this bill could be significant.

Nevertheless, the question of where an adopted person came from is a truly important inquiry that may need the help of an attorney to answer.

Source: “NJ adoption open records bill up for final legislative votes today,”