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