How Sealed Records Affect New York Adoptees

Since 1909 New York State maintains record of every birth. They give you a birth certificate even if you are a criminal – even if your parents abuse or sign you away – even if you spend your childhood in foster care and never meet those parents.

New York State won’t let you have your birth certificate if you were adopted:

  • even if you are 99 years old
  • even if you were born to a married couple
  • even if you are sick, and in need of a medical history
  • if a court does not feel that you are sick enough, ditto if your child is sick
  • even if you were adopted by a step parent
  • if you want to determine if you are Jewish under rabbinical law
  • even if you are dying and want to know who your relatives are before you pass away
  • even if you served in our Nation’s military.

– and they won’t give your birth certificate to your children or grandchildren who want to do genealogy after your death.

Fact is that most all New Yorkers and legislators are in favor of equality. Its time to end The Tann Lehman Legacy – it serves no one.

Current Efforts

A bill that would have made all New Yorkers equal was brutally amended in the most recent legislative session to remove any vestige of adoptee rights. Despite our letters and phone calls we were unable to stop it from coming to a vote and passing both the Assembly and Senate in June.

Since June, we have rallied supporters of adoptee rights to urge NY’s Governor Cuomo to veto A5036B/S4845 when it gets delivered to him.

Letter to Gov. Cuomo from adoptee rights advocates

Last Licks – Tell Gov. Cuomo why “This Is Personal.”

Social Media Campaign calling for a VETO of A5036b  S4845 ANTI-Adoptee Expansion of #TannLehmanLegacy

This Is Personal: Social Media Campaign

A6821/S5169a: The real Adoptee Rights Bill in New York

This is the only bill in the New York Legislature that will restore unrestricted access to ALL New York adoptees. We thank Sen. Tony Avella for sponsoring this bill.

Learn More