N.J. Senate approves bill to give adoptees access to birth records

    The New Jersey state Senate has approved a measure that would allow adults who were adopted to gain access to their birth certificates.
    Senate sponsor Joe Vitale says the legislation would allow adoptees to get their family medical history and learn more about their own identify.

    The New Jersey state Senate has approved a measure that would allow adults who were adopted to gain access to their birth certificates.

    WHYY’s Phil Gregory reports.
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    Senate sponsor Joe Vitale says the legislation would allow adoptees to get their family medical history and learn more about their own identify.

    Vitale: What if we didn’t know what our heritage was or our lineage or who our aunts and uncles and grandparents were, where we came from. Did they come through Ellis Island? Were we born here? Are we tenth generation Americans or are we first generation Americans. You know we all take for granted where we’re from. They don’t have that opportunity. They’ve been treated like in some way second class citizens for a long time.

    The American Civil Liberties Union, the Catholic Conference, and other groups lobbied against the bill saying birth mothers who gave a child up for adoption should not be identified. The Legislature has considered similar measures over the last 30 years. The Assembly has not yet acted on the latest version.

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