NJ governor signs bill opening adoption records

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NEW JERSEY (PIX11)  — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed a bill to allow access to birth records for people adopted in the state.

That means Bob MacNish may finally get the one piece of information he’s waited nearly half a century for: the name of his biological mother. 

“I wanted  to know who I am,” MacNish told PIX11 News. “Who is my birth mother? Who is my birth father? Where did they come from?”

The law does not kick in immediately, and there is a caveat.

adoption

McNish found out he was adopted when he was a child.

As part of the political compromise to get the bill passed, birth parents of children adopted before Aug. 1, 2015, would have until the end of 2016 to request their names be removed from the birth certificates.

Parents of children adopted after that date will not have the option of redacting their names but they can say whether and how they prefer their birth children contact them.

Advocates had been pushing for better access to birth records in the state for 34 years before Christie and lawmakers struck a deal that included some ability for birth parents to maintain their privacy.

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