The New York State Adoption Registry is a website that can be used by adoptees, birth parents, and birth siblings of adoptees, in their efforts to connect with their birth families. To use the New York State Adoption Registry, both the birth and the adoption must have taken place in New York State.
According to an article in the Dunkirk Observer, the website can offer three forms of information to adoptees: “non-identifying, identifying and medical.”
If you are at least 18-years-old you can sign-up at the Registry website and receive information as an adoptee. The article said that even if their birth parents have not registered, an adoptee can still obtain non-identifying information, which includes “general appearance, religion, ethnicity, race, education and occupation.” They can also receive the name of the adoption agency used.
Identifying information can only be obtained if everyone involved has registered and given their consents. The article said that identifying information includes current names and addresses.
According to the article, in order to register to receive information on their birth family, an adoptee must be 18. However, if an adoptee would like to try to receive their birth family’s medical history prior to their 18th birthday, they can do so with the signature of their adoptive parent.
“Birth parents can give medical and psychological information to the registry at any time after the adoption,” the article said. “If the adoptee is already registered, the information will be shared with him or her. If the adoptee is not registered, the information will be kept until the adoptee registers.”
Once an adoptee signs up with the registry, any medical information their birth parents have filled out will be received shortly after. The article said that it can take more then six months to receive non-identifying information and years to obtain identifying information. Because identifying information can only be released once the birth parents and adoptee have all registered and signed the consent, identifying information may never be available.
In 2008 the Adoption Registry expanded its services to include the Birth Parent Consent Program. According to the article this allows birth parents to register with the Adoption Registry “whether they give consent or do not give consent for the release of their contact information (name and address) to the adoptee.” Once the birth parent signs their consent their contact information will be released to the adoptee once “he or she reaches at least eighteen years of age and registers with the Adoption Information Registry.”
The New York State Adoption Registry does not directly charge users for its services.
Before proceeding with an adoption search Adoption STAR always advises that you speak with your loved ones and think about all of the possible outcomes of the search. It can also be helpful to speak with an adoption therapist.
For more information on all of the services the New York State Adoption Registry provides, please read the full article here.