May 29, 2014 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie signed the New Jersey Adoptees' Birthright Bill into law Tuesday in front of several adoptees and their families and other advocates who had championed the measure for more than three decades. The new law allows adoptees 18 and older to access their original birth certificates without court intervention and makes New Jersey the 10th state since 1995 to unseal adoptee records. Colorado's governor signed that state's bill into law Thursday, while Pennsylvania is reviewing a similar adoptee-access measure.
May 24, 2014 |
TRENTON - It took more than 30 years, but state lawmakers on Thursday gave final approval to a revised New Jersey Adoptees' Birthright Bill - allowing adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates - that is set to be signed into law. The measure will enable adoptees 18 and older to gain vital family medical and genealogical information. The Assembly voted, 57-18, to approve the measure. The Senate approved it, 29-5, last week after Gov. Christie conditionally vetoed it with recommended changes on April 28. The bill, revised to address the governor's concerns, heads back to Christie, who a spokesman said will sign it on Tuesday.
April 30, 2014 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie and the Legislature reached a historic compromise Monday on the New Jersey Adoptees' Birthright Bill, which would give adopted adults over age 18 access to their original birth certificates. New Jersey would join eight other states that have unsealed adoptee records since 1995. Pennsylvania lawmakers are reviewing a similar measure. Adoptees and advocacy groups in New Jersey have long championed having such access, saying it can lead to vital medical, genealogical, and other personal information that could affect adoptees' lives, especially as they need answers to make sound health decisions.
April 26, 2014
St. Paul wrote of adulthood as a time to "put away childish things," look in the mirror, and "know fully, even as I am fully known. " But today many adult adoptees remain barred by outmoded rules from learning the most basic details of their own beginnings. Fortunately, opening the door to such knowledge won't require divine inspiration. In New Jersey, a single signature will do. Indeed, Gov. Christie should sign an adoption records access bill before him now. The measure strikes the right balance: It enables adoptees to explore their pasts but preserves birth parents' right to privacy, despite evidence that most won't insist on remaining anonymous.
April 21, 2014 |
Gov. Christie faces an April 28 deadline on the New Jersey Adoptees' Birthright Bill, which would give adopted adults over 18 access to their full original birth certificates. The governor could s sign it into law by that day; conditionally veto it with recommended changes, as he did in 2011; reject the legislation (an outright veto); or do nothing and allow it to become law. But those directly impacted face a different type of clock. "A lot of adoptees like myself are getting older," said Karen Baranowski, 54, of Turnersville, Gloucester County.
April 10, 2014 |
Susan Thomson Perry, 63, of Cherry Hill, an advocate for the rights of adoptees, died of melanoma Monday, April 7, at her home. On Feb. 27, the New Jersey Senate and Assembly approved the Adoptees' Birthright Bill, which would allow adoptees older than 18 to have access to their original birth certificates. It awaits the approval of Gov. Christie. Mrs. Perry, herself an adoptee, worked with the New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education (NJCARE) for more than a decade to have such legislation approved, her husband, Tyson, said.
April 3, 2014
Walking to the light Thank you for bringing to light the tragedy of suicide by teens and young adults ("Breaking The Silence," March 28). I wept as I read the story of Dan Maxwell's family. Our son Jeremy, age 28, took his own life in September. His first attempt was as a high school junior. His family and friends knew of his ongoing battle through high school, college, and into his professional life. We were always there for support. He sought professional help as well. Now we all struggle with his loss, wondering daily what more we could have done, and knowing this question will never be answered.
March 1, 2014 |
TRENTON A measure to allow adoptees over 18 in New Jersey access to their original birth certificates passed both the Senate and Assembly on Thursday. Proponents have long pushed for the Adoptees' Birthright Bill, which has coursed over three decades at the Statehouse only to fall short of the votes needed to become law, or a governor's signature. Advocates, some of whom are now older-adult adoptees with medical ailments, claim one's original birth certificate can lead to vital medical, genealogical, and other related information about their birth parents so they can make informed health and medical decisions.
February 24, 2014 |
Not knowing the identity of her real mother was always a painful, unresolved issue, but when Susan Perry was diagnosed with melanoma, finding out became a medical necessity. Perry, 63, of Cherry Hill, began looking 13 years ago but sealed-record laws in New Jersey prevented access to her original birth certificate, the gateway to a person's genealogical, medical, and other information. "I realized adopted people really have no rights," said Perry, now battling stage-four melanoma.