Effective Wednesday, law will allow NY adult adoptees to get birth certificate

In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, an abandoned baby reaches out to mobiles above its crib at the Door of Hope in Johannesburg. The sanctuary was started 17 years ago to provide a safe place where babies could be abandoned by their mothers. Sixty-four babies were taken in by the center in 2016 and 43 percent of those were adopted. The rest are cared for and eventually go to orphanages, said the organization, which receives funding from the government’s social welfare department and private donations. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

Albany, N.Y. (WHAM) - Starting this week, adults will be allowed to request a copy of their original birth certificate.

Effective January 15, people over the age of 18 will be able to learn information about their birth and biological parents. Previously, applicants have had to put their requests before a judge. Advocates who have fought for 20 years for New York's law say access isn't always guaranteed.

Requests will be processed through the New York State Department of Health. If the adoptee is deceased, descendants who are directly in line - including a child, grandchild or great-grandchild of the adoptee - can request a copy.

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.

All certificates will be issued via regular mail; no certificates will be issued in person or over email.

The request can be made online here or by mailing a request to:

New York State Department of Health

Bureau of Vital Records, PAC Unit

PO Box 2602

Albany, NY 12220-2602