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 about this legislation, and how it will impact hundreds of thousands of adoptees in New York, take a look at this article from the Chronicle of Social Change 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.
The Foundling is still learning about how the law impacts our adoptees and how we can help those Foundling family members secure a copy of their birth certificate. For now, 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.
- Birth certificates for Foundling adoptees born outside of New York State may be requested via our Records Department (complete this form or call 212-727-6923).
For more information on the legislation, consult the FAQ here.