With the passage of new legislation that changes New Jersey’s Adoption Records Law, Catholic organizations are embarking upon an outreach campaign to let parents who placed a child for adoption in New Jersey know of their privacy rights. The New Jersey Catholic Conference offers the following details that all birth parents should know:

For adoptions finalized prior to Aug. 1, 2015:

• Adoptees will be able to obtain an original birth certificate without involvement of the courts beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

• Birth parents have until Dec.  31, 2016 to file a request with the State of New Jersey indicating that they want no contact with the child they placed for adoption.  If a birth parent files such a request, the State Registrar will redact the birth parent’s name from any documents provided to adoptees.  If they fail to file such a form – their identity will be revealed to the adoptee upon request.

• All birth parents who request redaction will be required to update medical history information every 10 years until the birth parent reaches the age of 40 and every five years thereafter.

For adoptions finalized after Aug. 1, 2015:

• Long-form birth certificates will be available to adoptees without redaction of a birth parent’s name. 

• Birth parents who give a child for adoption after Aug. 1, 2015, will be able to file a form with the State indicating whether they wish to have no contact with the adopted child or whether they are willing to have direct contact or contact through an intermediary.  In all cases, in the future, birth parents will need to file with the State information about their medical history.

For an informational flyer explaining the changes to the law, visit http://www.njcathconf.com/content/family_life_adoption.php