Information for Adoptees Requesting Records under New York’s 2020 Legislation
In 2020, New York State passed a law allowing adoptees to access an original copy of their birth certificate. This is a very important and impactful law for the thousands of people who were adopted from The Foundling and their descendants.
For more information on the legislation, consult the FAQ here.
Please note: The provisions of the law determine that The Foundling is actually still prohibited from providing birth certificates for those born in New York, and asks that adoptees (or descendants of adoptees) request their birth certificate directly from the State. This new law does not unseal adoptee records, nor does it allow access to any information not available on one’s birth certificate.
Requests for Pre-Adoption Birth Certificates
New York law allows adoptees who are 18 years old or older, direct line descendants of adoptees, lawful representatives of adoptees, or lawful representatives of direct line descendants of adoptees to obtain copies of the pre-adoption birth certificate.
Please note: The New York Foundling cannot provide pre-adoption birth certificates for adoptees who were born in New York.
The process is as follows:
- Birth certificates for adoptees born in one of the five boroughs of New York City— The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island — must be requested through the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- Birth certificates for adoptees born in the rest of New York State must be requested through the New York State Department of Health.