Share Your Thoughts
12:00 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

This Week's 'New York NOW' Poll Question

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Last Week's Results

Should original birth certificates be automatically unsealed for adoptees at the age of 18?

Yes: 95%
No: 5%

Your comments on the adoptees birth certificates:

Yes. Knowing your identity should be a basic human right. -Anonymous

      

Yes. They should not have to pay consequences for their parents' actions. -Anonymous               

Yes. The adopted baby had no rights years ago, no one to look out for them, if the need medical records , they can't get them, they have a right to know who they are where they came from, & there medical. -A. M., Great Neck

Yes. We have a right to know. Everyone wants to know where they came from. -Anonymous

Yes. First of all, many states in the US and provinces in Canada have unsealed their records with no repercussions. My own husband had his unsealed in Alberta, Canada and although he and his birth mother have no contact, they did meet and were glad they met.  They just weren't interested in maintaining a relationship, and it was a mutual feeling.  I was adopted in NY, and out of the 7 people I know who were adopted only me and one other person have not been able to meet our birth parents. The other person is my sister who was also born in NY. I have no desire to interrupt someone's life, or to find a new family. I WOULD like to know medical information my doctors have asked for, and just simple things like where I get my eye color from etc. I also would like to know if I have children whether there are any concerns that need to be addressed. The medical information adoptees get is very limited. I guess my point is that I see a lot of problems with keeping records sealed, and very few with opening them. In Alberta, where my husband recently had his records opened, it is done in a reverse consent system.  If a birthparent did not want the new law to allow their records opened, they contacted the province and they were kept sealed. Less than 1% of people did this. -Sara K., Elmira

Yes. Good bad or otherwise a person has the right to know whom his birth parents are. -Stanley S., Long Island

No. Think they should have to ask first. 18 year olds ate still growing emotionally. -Anonymous

Yes. A person's right to know where they come from trumps anyone's desire to hide a secret. This is a conclusion reached by an adoptee who also adopted out her own infant. -Anonymous         

Yes. Every person should have the right to know who they are and where they came from; it is that simple. Adoptees should be able to find out their heritage, ethnicity and health information. they should not be treated as criminals and second-class citizens. -Cathy G., Binghamton

Yes. This is a basic human right. People need to understand that birth certificate access has nothing to do with reunion. Adopted people just want the same thing that everyone else has: an accurate record of their birth. -Jeff C., Ithaca

Yes. It is a basic human desire to know who they are, where they come from.  Most of us are born with this knowledge, some have this right taken from them.. Why because they are adopted. Does adoption make a person less worthy? Are they left in the dark to wonder for the rest of their lives because a brave woman chose life over abortion. -Lois S., Yorktown Heights

Yes. Everyone has a right to their original birth certificate. -Christine L., Rochester

Yes. My daughter is adopted! -Barbara M., Delmar

Yes. I still don't understand why they wouldn't?? -Anonymous 

Yes. No one has the right to withhold some else's personal information regardless of the circumstances. -Anonymous

Yes. Why not? Wouldn’t you want to know, and answer any questions of your off-spring. -Steve L., Charlottesville

Yes. I am a first mother who found my son when he was 20. He was a good kid, had good parents, but was all confused, without any sense of direction. He has met many of his original family, has found a career (paramedic) and since married and has a family. I am sorry for my big part in causing him so much unnecessary confusion, but I am grateful that his parents kept him safe, gave him good values, and loved him. They could not, however, provide him with the basic sense of identity that came from knowing who he comes from (not just second-hand bits of information provided by social workers and well-meaning adoption agencies). Much of the info told him was wrong, as a matter of fact. -Anonymous           

No. Although I think the adopted child has a right to know where they come from, the birth parents also have the right to privacy if they choose. -Anonymous

Yes. Once the child is an adult they deserve to be able to find out information about their biological parents, info that can only be found by allowing access to original birth certificates. -Anonymous

Yes. I am an adoptee and do not know anything about my ancestry or medical history. -Anonymous

Yes. This is a basic human right. Everyone should be allowed access to their birth certificate. It is after all theirs. -Anonymous      

Yes. When a parent relinquished a child to the state, that did not and never has sealed the birth certificate. Therefore there was no legal promise of anonymity to the birth parent. Later, when the child was adopted during those decades, THAT sealed the birth certificate to "protect" the child and adoptive parents from the illegitimate birth. Adoptees do not want that "protection", they want the truth. This practice of sealing is so archaic and such a violation of human rights. There are hardly any closed adoptions anymore. Why? Because no one wants them. Back then there was no other way for adoptions to occur. -Hank C., Manhattan

Yes. I am a birth mother and an adoptee. Birth parents were never promised anonymity and don't want it.  I am in reunion with my birth parents and my child. It has been a healing process of all parties. -Jennifer F., Albany

Yes. Unsealing birth certificates has been very successful in all states where it has occurred and none of the dire predictions have come to fruition.  Adult adoptees, and their children, and their children's children deserve to know where they came from and their biological family health histories. -Maureen S., New York, NY

No. There should be agreement on both sides for the information to be released. -Anonymous

Yes. My Husband is an adoptee and would love to know his birth right.  Many people gave up babies at a young age and would now like to reconnect as well,  I know who my parents are and everyone should have that right as well. -Charlene A., Queensbury

Yes. All adults should be allowed to know where they came from. -Steven C., Queensbury

No. They should not automatically be unsealed. Some birth mothers do not want their child finding them for reasons we may have no idea about. A birth mother should be allowed to state on the original birth certificate application whether they want it unsealed at age 18. Birth parents should also be allowed to change that if they decide later on that they no longer want it unsealed when their children turn 18. It should be a simple request to the vital statistics office. -Helen H, Buchanan, MI

Yes. I am an adoptee, a father, a husband for more than 40 years, and reunited with my birth mother since 1998.  My adoptive parents are deceased.  Even today I still cannot access my OBC, something a non-adopted person is allowed without restriction.  It is time for NY to join other states which have opened their records. -Brad C., Victor

No. Birth mother's decision as to whether she wants to be found. Circumstances, such as conceived in rape, might cause a great deal of pain for both. -Anonymous

Yes. My 83 year old bro-in-law certainly should be able to access his original birth information. Between his health issues and DTC DNA testing (also not favored in NY), he has a right to access this information for genetic and personal genealogical interests. The laws need to change. -Sonia W., Buffalo

Yes. Access to your original birth certificate is a basic human right and should not be contingent on poll results or politics. -William H.

Yes. For health reasons first of all, especially when it comes to certain types of cancer and heart disease. -Barbara D., West Babylon

Yes. Absolutely. Everyone has the to their medical history. Adoptees are denied so much information. It is terrible missing so much information. -Cathy M., Bay Shore

Yes. Information about our birth and ancestry play a vital role in our sense of identity and security in ourselves. -Anonymous

Yes. I am a 38 year old adoptee with an amended birth certificate which has blank spaces and false information, as I'm sure do most adoptees. It is ridiculous and antiquated that as adults we do not have the right to our own original birth certificates. -Anonymous

Yes. It is a civil rights/human rights issue. Every person has the right to know their personal biological history. The law protects no one. -Lisa M., Rochester

Yes. When someone's  origins are truly  unknown, it is tragic. For a state to knowingly withhold this information from someone- that is injustice. Adoptees are citizens, too! -Pat G., Rochester

Yes. I got my birth certificate with no problem because there are open records in my country of birth. Why should it be different for my NY born husband? -Maggie W., New York NY

Yes. Every person has the right to know who they are, that is only possible if you allow access to OBC. It isn't even about contact with birth parents it is about having real information. -Anonymous

Yes. Adoptees are the only people in the country that are not permitted by law to see their original birth certificate in most states. -Anonymous

Yes. All human beings have a civil right to access THEIR legal documentation. Adoptees are the only group of US citizens denied access to their OBC (besides those in the witness protection program). It truly is a form of discrimination as the adoptee has no way of choosing the circumstances of their birth, relinquishment and adoption, but the circumstances of their birth is held against them long into adulthood.    Why Should Adult Adoptees Get Their OBCs?  It’s their right along with every other American.  It allows them their identity; which is a right of all children according to the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child ( see articles 7 to 10)  It gives them access to their medical history; which is recommended by the US Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative  The government has no business legislating to whom adults can have or not have a relationship with.    Why should they not? There is NO PROVEN REASON. -Claudia C., Kingston

Yes. It is vital to one's identity development to have a complete understanding of one's heritage. Adoptees are 4x as likely to commit suicide. It is a struggle to grow up not knowing where you came from. Having a birth certificate would be such a great help in that understanding. -Macy O., NYC

Yes. Adoptees should have the right to information about their heritage and birth like everyone else. Open the records at their request. Birthparents were NOT promised anonymity from their children, so don't use that as an excuse any more. -Anonymous

Yes. I can't come up with any justification for the government to deny people the right to their own birth information. -Joanmarie P., Oneonta

Yes. This is a basic right to know where you come from, what your genealogical heritage is, and what your medical history is. It is absolutely ridiculous that the right to know who my biological parents are is not even a possibility for me because I am adopted. It is truly outrageous. The laws that seal birth certificates protect no one. It simply makes it illegal for me to know my true identity. If you are not adopted, you can never truly understand the innate need to know where you come from. Just because a handful of first mothers don't want records unsealed does not mean that they represent the majority. I suggest you look at other staunch supporters of sealed records to see what their relationship to adoption is... I guarantee you that they are not adopted! -Anonymous

Yes. Everyone should have a constitutional right to their own birth documents. -Anonymous

Yes. Because we have a right to know our history as well as medical history. -Anonymous

Yes. It is a violation of human rights to prevent this. The system is archaic and law desperately needs to change. -Jane C., Bronx

Yes. Adoptees are humans and deserve the same rights as other citizens. No law promises natural families anonymity; not all adoptions are open, and even open adoptions are not legally enforceable. Adoptees should not be part of an involuntary witness-protection program. Having our OBCs is not even about search and reunion, although many people present it that way. It is about EQUALITY. -Anonymous

Yes. Not just at 18. The original birth information should go with the child from the start. Everyone should know their origins. There is no reason for this to be secret. -Ruth R.. Albany

Yes. It is a human right to know one's parents. -Joe S., Congers

Yes. I cannot think of a single reason not to allow all citizens a right that most enjoy. -Lea D., New York

Yes. I am a birth mother who spent my life hoping to find my daughter. It cost 4 months’ rent; her adoptive parents had already been looking for me. Adoptees are people too. -Lorraine D., Sag Harbor

Yes. I feel they have the right to know who they are& they should have a right to their medical records, & I'm not an adoptee. -Anne E., Roslyn Heights

Yes. I don't think they should be sealed in the first place. A birth certificate is a legal document of facts of an event. Why is it changed and falsified? -Shelby T., Rochester

Yes. Everyone deserves to know their ancestry. People who profit (attorneys, adoptive parents) should NOT determine who has a right to know their natural family. Papers do not erase heritage, and anyone who has the least bit of interest in their ancestry should  acknowledge the right of everyone to know their family. I am a mom whose relinquished son found me 7 years ago.  It was heartbreaking to me to know that he yearned to know who I was (who HE was) and was denied that right.  Several progressive states provide statistics about how unsealed records do not cause havoc for mothers (which is a red herring anyway- no one truly puts mothers' rights above the adoptive parents or attorneys). The only people who should be deciding whether adoptees can have their records are adoptees- NOT attorneys or adoptive parents, or those who are influenced by them. -Barbara C., Albany

Yes. I placed a child for adoption in 1970 in New York State. He is an adult now and is entitled to his original birth certificate. I never agreed to have this information kept secret from him. -Ronnie M., Hicksville

Yes. No reason a human has to wonder where they came from. Once again. BIRTH MOTHERS  WERE NOT GIVEN CONFIDENTALITY. Alaska and Kansas have NEVER been closed. There has not been a problem, people have located their birth parents and children they relinquished without incident. This is a POLITICAL reason the opposition does not want to open OBC'S, They are clueless and do not want to listen to reason. -Joe P., Staten Island

Yes. Everyone should have a right to know who they are and where they came from. -Leanna D., Ossining

Yes. An adoptee should be able to receive their original birth certificate in most cases, but perhaps not in every case - a birth parent should be able to "opt-out" and request that the records remain sealed. That will help to resolve the question of whether confidentiality was promised to a birth parent or whether a birth parent desires to remain anonymous.  The argument that a birth parent was promised confidentiality is simply rarely the case, and may no longer be desired, in any event. -Gregory F., Rochester

Yes. Because they were not party to any contract and their rights were not considered. Also because it helps close a primal wound. Also because I've personally witnessed the beautiful moment my wife and her birth mother come face to face for the first time (also my children with their grandmother) in 50 years, and it had a very positive and healing effect on everyone. Also because many birth mothers were never promised not did they even request anonymity. -Ron S., Mount Vernon

Yes. Most of these adoptions were done before the knowledge we have now in the medical field. We, the adoptees, need to know our medical history it is vital and could help prevent many health problems and unnecessary death due to our lack of our medical history.  Before I found out I was adopted I was worried about heart problems due to the fact that it ran in my father’s family which took him away from me at the young age of 56. Then there was cancer on my mother’s side. Now at age 68 I worry about everything, not knowing anything. -Patricia S., Island Trees

Yes. I am an adult adopted person.  No other class of people in this society is denied this vital legal document. There is no basis for it in law. -Carolyn D., Melrose

Yes. Because it belongs to the child, no one else. Every person has the right to know who they are, where they're ancestry comes from and what their medical history is. -Rebecca H., Rochester

Yes. Health history is a right. -Ann V., Buffalo

Yes. We adoptees have a right to our history. -Katy F., Mamaroneck

Yes. Adoptees should have the same rights as any other adult to know their origins, and have access to this essential document. Adoptees are being robbed of their heritage and history, and treated like perpetual infants. The age of secrets and lies need to end now. -Anonymous

      

Yes. Everyone has a right to know their background DNA medical records... etc. These kids did not sign up for a witness protection program... why ?? because it is the right thing to do... in the end secrets only cause pain. -Yvonne C., Queensbury

Yes. To be pregnant has always been a choice, yes accidents happen, and those who they effect should be responsible.  I was adopted, it was a hard childhood.  I always wondered where I belonged.  as I've gotten older, I have health issues with no background to help the doctors.  I think if women get pregnant then they should do the responsible thing. -Anonymous

      

Yes. Adoptees should have the same access to their birth information that everyone else has. No one should be punished for relinquishing a child at birth - that includes the birth parents and adopted children.  With holding someone's identity, ancestry and medical history from them is irresponsible and cruel, and does a disservice to society as a whole. -Dianne G., Buffalo

Yes. While sealing of records might have seemed like a good idea back in the 1930s, unfortunately it appears to have done more harm than good.  All persons should have a right to know who they are and where they came from and wherever possible, everyone should have access to his or her original birth certificate. -Arlene V., Brooklyn

Yes. I am a reunited birthmother who has tried to advocate for this regulation to change for years. I have worked w adoptees, birthmother and adoptive parents over the years to allow an informed decision for adoptees to access information about their birth situation as all humans except adoptees have had. The resulting act of this change would not wreak havoc in the world but would release secrets that have been erroneously been kept by an institution that does not understand how sick that action has been for all involved. Let's treat all humans with respect that healthy decisions can be made about relationships that can develop or not by the people who are effected, not by legislators. -Gretchen H., Schodack Landing

Yes. My son continues to be deprived of an original birth certificate at 43 years of age. Were it not for my own commitment and expense in searching for him, he would still be without a complete family medical history, and knowledge of ancestry, ethnicity and origins. I was not afforded legal or psychological counseling, nor was I ever promised confidentiality during the adoption process. Even if I had been promised confidentiality, how could I possibly be entitled to deny my child the same right of disclosure that I enjoy concerning my own birth? He is just as much a citizen as I am and it grieves me to see him denied solely because he is an adoptee, a condition that his parents (and faulty social/legal systems) caused. -Virginia S., Saranac Lake

Yes. There are a number of reasons. Mainly, health issues.  Also, one would like to know their ancestry  who do I look like?  Where did my family come from?  I speak as a mother of adopted children. Please open up these sealed records. -Lilyan K., Melville

No. I am a birth mother and adoptee. My son and I reunited 3 years ago and I'm happy we did. He now knows his medical history which is very vital today, I am in the medical field and I know just how vital it is. -Linda B., Goshen

Yes. Why is it fair to deny people the right to their heritage, medical history and basic comfort of knowing where they came from. All non-adoptees have this, why not the rest of us? This law is archaic and unjustified. Gay marriage was deemed a basic civil right and give those persons their dignity.  How is that equal and justified? -John K., Victor

Yes. This legislation is about the fundamental human rights of people. Adoptees should not have to beg for information about themselves only to receive scraps. -Debbie I., Rochester

Yes. this is a right of all human beings born in America. Pretty simple.  -Gail C., Buffalo NY

Yes. Everyone deserves the right to know who they are and have control over their own lives.  We are not a secret, we did nothing wrong and most of us are doomed to live a life of searching and wondering where we came from and why we were given up.  Not to mention not knowing family medical background and what nationality, etc. is in our genes.  It is our right to know. Stop protecting only the parents and start protecting the child. -Andrea, NYC

Yes. It is the birthright of all humans to know where and from whom they come. Secrets and lies only lead to destruction. -Joan O., Kingston

Yes. As a 66 year old NY Adult Adoptee, the antiquated law is way out of touch with NOW. -Alberta R., Mastic

      

Yes. Disallowing any legal citizen to obtain their legal birth certificate at the legal age of adulthood, 18, violates our rights under the Constitution of the United States: withholding a birth certificate does not promote the general welfare, liberty or prosperity of a citizen.  Please say “yes” to allow adopted citizen to obtain their real birth certificate at the age of 18. Preamble   We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. -Holly A., Saratoga

Yes. It is discriminatory to refuse the rights of an entire class of people to obtain the true and correct record of their birth as all others can do. -Joanne C.

Yes. New York acts as a gatekeeper of secrets when it comes to adult adoptees trying to learn more about their medical history.  The law has been in place, since the Great Depression because of an old and corruption driven law signed by then Governor Herbert H. Lehman in 1936. If you are truly as knowledgeable about adoption in New York State, then you will also know that the Governor's children were adopted though the infamous baby broker Georgia Tann.  The time to repeal is New York now! -Steve B., Honeoye

Yes. Every citizen has the right to their original birth certificate, every citizen but adoptees. How would you feel to not have access to your identity? How would you feel to not have the same rights as other citizens? This outdated law needs to be changed for adoptees and their families. -Anonymous

Yes. Because we are adults and we have rights. We should be able to decide on our identities not you. -Sue C., Blue Point

Yes. Why do adoptees always have to explain why this information is important to them? The real question is when are we going to be paid reparations for holding this vital information about our origins? -James L., Brooklyn

Yes. Everyone should have the right to know where/who they come from. -Sarah P., Smithtown

Yes. I pay taxes but am treated like a second class citizen of this state. Quit treating adoptees like we're worthless. -Martine J., Niagara Falls

Yes. Because I'm a 68 year old adoptee and still don't know my heritage, medical information, or a family history to pass on to my children. I'm part of a group (adoptees) who have been denied something every other U.S. citizen has. This is discrimination and is a disgrace. -Rita L., Roxbury

Yes. There is a litany of reasons why records should be opened…one of the foremost is medical history. The genetic Disease foundations states "There are over 6,000 genetic disorders that can be passed down through the generations, many of which are fatal or severely debilitating. " OVER SIX THOUSAND!! Every adopted person without medical information is at risk !! Additionally, adoptees are being denied the right to ancestral and genealogical history as well. we are being denied what EVERY OTHER American citizen takes for granted. this affects not only the adoptee, but their children, grandchildren, etc.. Finally, birthmothers were NEVER guaranteed or even promised anonymity or confidentiality. -Annette O., Highland Mills

Yes. I am an adoptee who has had cancer and the medical information could be helpful to me. -Deana L., Marcy

Yes. Need medical history for our kids. -Barry G., Latham

Yes. Mothers (most fathers were not even consulted) were not "promised" anonymity.  This is a fallacy perpetuated by a small group.  There is a difference between a right and a desire. All (others) have a right to their obc, a first mom may have a desire to not be known. This desire does not over trump the right to an obc. -Julie S., Elmira

Yes. My daughter, relinquished in 1965, has a right to this document, as does every other US citizen!! -Sally B., Cooperstown

Yes. Adoptees should have the opportunity to understand their medical and family histories. I have met my birth mother's family and they welcomed me. If these laws were not in place, perhaps I would have been able to meet my birth mother before she died. -Sue F., Buffalo

Yes. Every person has the right to know their origins, family history and decide whether or not to pursue any further action. Adult adoptees are exactly that- ADULTS. Citizens of this country whose civil rights are being violated. -Micki H., Brooklyn

      

Yes. I am an adult adoptee who has already reunited with my birth family; however, it is my civil right to have access to my own birth certificate.  I feel strongly about this issue. Birth parents are not guaranteed confidentiality when relinquishing a child, though this is a common misconception. Finding my birth family has brought me great peace and satisfaction, but I will not be completely satisfied until I can access my own birth certificate, which is an absolute right. -Laura R., Buffalo

Yes. Confidentiality was never promised to birth parents, and we adopted adults certainly had no say to have our original birth certificate sealed away. The people who think that "a few" adoptees "might" show up on their birth parents' doorstep don't know what they are talking about. This law has been passed in other states and showing up unannounced has not been an issue. -Natalie J., Rochester

Yes. It is a basic human right...and of course the health info can be very important. -Tim W., Brooklyn

Yes. As a NY Adoptee, adopted in a private adoption at birth, I was never given the choice that my birth parents were to seal the records. I have a right as a human being and an American citizen to know who my birth parents were. They were 35  yrs. old when I was given up. That was almost 63 yrs. ago. I would suspect that they are long deceased and have no way to ok my knowing who they were. I am sure they would want me to know. I respectfully request that original birth certificates being unsealed and made available to anyone over the age of 18 as we are shunned from knowing who we are and are 2nd class citizens.  We have a right to know who our parents were. I was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx until my father who adopted me died when I was 11 yrs. old. -Andrew K., Bronx

Yes. Not having any medical information or ethnicity is very hard. In my case my mother wanted to keep me but was forced to give me up. She should be able to know that I was doing fine and that I would love to meet her and thank her. -Deborah G., Utica

Yes. Birth parents will not live much longer & I'll probably never find them in this lifetime. Also will be denied the right to meet my sister. Tragic. (I'm 62). -Gordon B.,  Cooperstown

Yes. I am deaf. I found out unsealed my birth parents long 42 year since to now...please open seal. -John W., Bronx

      

Yes. Sealing identities does more harm than good in the long run, hiding where I came from genetically has caused a cascade of health nightmares for myself, my children at home and a son I relinquished and it's all due to not being able to get past archaic laws and attitudes that do more harm than good.  Even when I and the mother who raised my child met after finding each other, without the aid of the agency used, we found that although both of us tried to update each other through the agency about life threatening health issues, caseworkers bungled it all up because of their perception of the law. As for privacy, birth parents and relinquished children have the same rights as everyone else and protection under the law to be exercised as they see fit.  End this, give us our identities, our genetics and our roots. -Kerry W., West Islip

      

Yes. This is information about the person born.  Absolutely, adopted adults should be able to access their own OBC, just like every other adult person born in this country.  It is discriminatory to withhold that piece of information from the person who was born.  At the time of adoption, no adopted person was ever informed or consented to having this information withheld from him/herself for the rest of their lives.  It is part of the adopted person's identity and should be as readily available to the adopted person as it is to every other human being who was also born. -Tessa S., NYC

Yes. Everyone should have the right to know what their origins are. -Deb B., Mechanicville

Yes. I was adopted and through a Genealogist I found my birth mother who is now deceased.  She would only tell me his first name, which was Tony. I would like to find him if he is still alive. I am 56. Time is running out. -MaryAnn D., Wilton

Yes. It is imperative that everyone have their original birth certificates which enable them to obtain passports, essential medical information and allow for possible reunions with birth families. -Cindy S., Coram

      

Yes. We are the only group of people denied access to our medical history, and our ethnic backgrounds in this country. And with the medical connections that can be made with a medical history this is just unjust. -Sara V., Fillmore

Yes. IMO, it is simple, it's about basic human rights and medical history for not just the adopted person but for their children and their grandchildren, as well. It forces no one to do anything they do not wish to do, but allows information to those who wish it. And it gives 'birth mom' a contact preference choice. This is something not available as information to the adopted person who searches today, offering her more not less privacy should 'no contact' be wished! This has become law an many other states; we just have to look at them to see that there have been no problems and it has proceeded smoothly. History from these states, and research has proven that the vast majority (well over 90%) of 'birth moms'  want to know how that MIA infant fared in life. Confidentiality is a big smokescreen, and it was always impossible. -Sandra F., Farmingville

Yes. Yes they should, these people are being treated as though they are perpetual children, they have a right to know who they are, it’s absurd that they don't!! -Steve S., Tonawanda

Yes. I surrendered my first born in 1963 and refuse to allow NYS to coerce me into being ashamed of his birth now or then. I was told when he was born that I wasn't good enough to be his mother and now NYS tells my son that I was promised confidentiality & therefore he cannot know me.  So NYS blamed me then for giving birth without benefit of clergy and now blames me for keeping the records sealed.  In other words, we are both treated as nonentities. -Carole W., Plainview

Yes. I am an adult whose rights are being denied. I am also being discriminated against because as an adoptee I do not have the same rights as every other NYS citizen, who can obtain a copy of their original birth certificate. -Sharon W., Schenectady

Yes. At age 18 and older an adult adoptee should be able to make the decision to obtain a copy of their birth certificate without government interference. -Joyce B., New York

Yes. WE are the only class of NY citizens denied our original birth certificates. Our mothers were never guaranteed privacy- in fact the birth certificates are only sealed upon finalization of adoption and not  at signing of the surrender document. Agencies have provided identifying information such as order of adoptions, medical and intake forms, home studies that include original names. Why do we need as an adult to ask permission for our own record of birth from a woman who signed a document that relinquished her parental rights to parent us as a child? It doesn't make sense. -Lisa S., Garden City

Yes. This is a simple and basic right that should not be questioned. Every individual should have the right to their own original birth certificate and nobody should be able to withhold that from the individual for any reason. -Kristen S., Larchmont

Yes. Emotional benefit makes it optional. Birth family health history makes it imperative. -Jan D., South Nyack

Yes. Confidentiality was NEVER POSSIBLE, it is being used as a big SMOKESCREEN to keep us apart. This is a Human Rights and Health issue not just for adopted persons, but for their children, and grandchildren, as well. WHO AM I, adoptees should not die not knowing, what we all know. How RIDICULOUS a birth mom might be upset VS saving an adopted person's life! LIES LIES keep us apart, the vast majority of birth moms want to know how the infant they relinquished made out in life. We only have to look at the FACT that where this already passed in other states, there have been NO problems. SECRETS HURT THE TRUTH IS HEALING! Let's have NYS join in JUSTICE for ALL. -Jill A., Poughkeepsie

No. It would violate the privacy right of the birth parents. -Mark M., Manhattan

No. It would be a violation of the birth parents right to privacy after the fact. -Alex C., New York City

Yes. I am 56 yrs old, not knowing who I am, or where I fit in. Who do I look like, where do I and my kids get our traits, our little quirks? I know I have 7 older siblings, who & where are they? Searching is exhausting, depressing, findind answers impossible for most of us. I want that puzzle piece I've been searching for all of my life, a piece of paper with my soul bearing information; my civil right to know who I am. I would love to look at someone, and feel a connection I have never experienced. - Ellen E., Madison

Yes. I am an adopted adult and my amended birth certificate is an insult to me and my descendants. My original parents’ names were removed from my birth certificate and my adoptive parents names were inserted. My adoptive parents were not at the hospital when I was born. They didn't even know it was happening. Because if this my descendants will be misled when trying to trace their ancestry. This causes me a great pain and suffering. I did not choose to be adopted. I want my descendants to have access to accurate information. -Michele S., Levittown

Yes. Federal Appeals court already ruled on this stating that NOBODY'S Rights were violated when Unsealing original birth certificates in other states that now have open records. Everyone has the basic human right to know where we come from. Having a child is a publicly recorded event. Lifetime privacy was never legally guaranteed. I just reunited with my biological mother. She was happy to be found. She was forced to give me up. Adopted adults are not 2nd class citizens. Your organization should be supporting equal rights legislation. Unseal original birth certificates now. -Michael S., Brooklyn

Disclaimer: This is not a scientific poll. It is not intended to be viewed as representative of general public opinion. Rather, results indicate the opinions of a self-selecting group of online respondents which may or may not be representative of more widespread public opinion.

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