Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) ended decades of secrecy around adoptions in New York on Thursday, signing a landmark reform bill to allow adult adoptees unrestricted access to their original birth certificates.
Since 1936, that access has been barred without a court order. Advocates characterize New York’s rules as a human rights issue, and Cuomo echoed that in a statement.
“Where you came from informs who you are, and every New Yorker deserves access to the same birth records — it’s a basic human right,” Cuomo said in a statement. “For too many years, adoptees have been wrongly denied access to this information and I am proud to sign this legislation into law and correct this inequity once and for all.”