New Jersey Opens Adoptee Birth Records
March 14, 2010
Adoptees have longed to see their original birth and family medical records for many years, either for personal reasons or for genealogical research. Their wish is now realized. The bill passed on March 4, 2010.
The bill was before the Legislature since the 1980-81 sessions. Lobbying against this were religious leaders, anti-abortion activists and the American Civil Liberties Union. Their argument was that birth mothers believed they were protected against identification when they gave up their babies. Even so, it still protects birth parents for the first year after the bill was enacted if they submit to the registrar that they want to protect their right to remain anonymous. Thereafter, the adult adoptees, their direct descendants if the adoptee is deceased, or the adoptive parent acting on the child’s behalf could request a copy from the health department and file the birth certificate for public record. Open records advocates contend the child has a civil right to know their family history. Read more about this on the New Jersey Ledger’s site at http://www.nj.com . I hope that other states will follow suit.
EMPTY WEB SITES: Do you ever open a website and find there is nothing there? This happened to me last week. After the site opened, there was no text. This kept occurring repeatedly. I knew there was something wrong—something that must be fixed. After a brief search on Google, my husband, and technician, found an article said that this technical problem was caused by a mistake made by Microsoft. This is easily corrected by clicking on the icon on the right side of the Web address. It looks like a piece of paper torn in half. This corrected the problem immediately.
MISSOURI RESEARCHERS: Missouri researchers can use the digitized records online from the Missouri Digital Heritage Center. This is an important and impressive collection. http://www.sos.mo.gov/mdh/.
UTAH GENEALOGY CONFERENCE: The conference in Salt Lake City was well attended by Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries. They had an option of researching during the day and attending conference classes at night, or vice versa. Most were conducting German research and attending classes helpful in that area of concentration. You can network with those who went on the Genealogy Friends Research Retreat on their return and hear about their finds. You can even join the group from Genealogy Friends on their trek to Germany again this fall.
LEARNING GERMAN: Before your trip to Germany this fall, it would be nice to learn a few words in German before you go. Learn a language online at the Foreign Service Institute site, http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php. The listings of languages are on the left.
NEW YORK STATE MILITARY AND VETERANS RESEARCH CENTER: This is another site with searchable information regarding that state’s military history. It is at www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/index.htm.
FOOTNOTE OPENS CENSUS RECORDS: Footnote.com announced on March 11th that they are opening the U.S. census documents to the public for free for a limited time. If you find and ancestor, then you can use the I’m Related” button to notify others researching that person that you are related to that person on the census. This makes it easy to identify fellow researchers and cousins. To use the Interactive Census go to http://go.footnote.com/discover.
Footnote is a subscription to purchase for one year or one month. It is free on the Genealogy Library’s computers.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunions announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.