New Jersey’s Adoption Law has Changed
Adoptees and certain relatives are now able to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate without a court order
For well over a century, the Catholic Church in New Jersey has provided adoption services. Throughout all those years, the Church promised to honor the privacy of birth parents and adoptees. That promise of privacy also was assured by law and affirmed by the State Superior Court.
Those promises can no longer be kept, as a new law took effect on May 27, 2014. As of January 1, 2017, adoptees and certain relatives are now able to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate without a court order. The birth certificate will include the names of the birth parents who placed children for adoption.
The Catholic Church has always supported reunions between adoptees and birth parents by mutual consent and has facilitated many of these reunions. Our counselors recognize that reunions between adoptees and relatives can often be an overwhelming and emotionally-charged situation that may yield unexpected results. For this reason, we strongly encourage those seeking a reunion to use a third-party intermediary, such as Catholic Charities, to mediate the interaction and provide emotional support before, during, and after the reunion.