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Informed Citizens

are Better Citizens

Effective January 1, 2017, New Jersey law permits adult adoptees who were born or adopted in New Jersey to request access to their birth records. These requests are made to the New Jersey Registrar of Vital Information. For adoptions that took place prior to August 1, 2015, birth parents had the option of requesting redaction of their identifying information from birth certificates, provided they made that request by December 31, 2016. Birth parents, regardless of when the adoption took place, can complete a contact preference form indicating they want no contact, direct contact, or contact via an intermediary. These preferences can be changed at any time. Persons who may request birth records include direct descendants, siblings and spouses of adoptees, adoptive parents and legal guardians of adoptees. Forms and instructions for making these requests can be found at the N.J. Department of Health website.—Amy Wechsler, Esq., Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onfrio, LLP