Gov. Cuomo: More than 3,600 adopted New Yorkers filed for their certified birth certificates online in first 48 hours

ALBANY, NY —  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than 3,600 adoptees, outside of New York City, aged 18 or older have filed applications since January 15, 2020 to receive a certified copy of their original, or pre-adoption, birth certificate. January 15 was the first day they were able to request these documents following a new law that was signed by the Governor.

“Adoptees have every right to the same birth records as everyone else, and the new law we enacted is making that a reality for the first time,” Governor Cuomo said. “The significant interest we’ve seen in just the first 48 hours of the new law being in effect underscores how valuable this policy change is for New Yorkers, and I’m proud we were able to help correct this inequity.”    

The New York State Department of Health now accepts requests from adoptees 18 years old and older born in New York State, outside of New York City, who want to receive their birth certificate. If the adoptee is deceased, direct line descendants, such as a child, grandchild or great-grandchild of the adoptee, may request a copy of the adoptee’s birth certificate. A lawful representative of an adoptee or a lawful representative of a deceased adopted person’s direct line descendant may also apply for an original birth certificate.

More than 3,600 requests were submitted online in the first two days, as encouraged by the Department of Health, as it is the most efficient way to apply and will result in faster issuance of the birth certificate. Paper applications will also be accepted by mail and in person. 

The Department of Health has birth records for all of New York State except New York City. Adoptees born in New York City must apply through the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “Our dedicated staff at the Department of Health has put in a lot of time to prepare for this day. We will continue to work to diligently to process these applications as quickly as possible, so that adoptees can have this important piece of their past.”

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