Adoption Law Change

Birth Parents Must Take Action to Preserve Their Privacy
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.  On May 27, 2014, a new law took effect that will allow adoptees and certain relatives to request and obtain the names of their biological parents beginning January 1, 2017. 
Any birth parents who wish to preserve their privacy, must submit a Redaction Request Form to the New Jersey Department of Health no later than December 31, 2016.  By filing this form, birth parents will be able to keep their names off any documents provided by the State to adoptees or anyone else.  The State made the Redaction Request Form public on August 3, 2015.  The form can be downloaded at http://nj.gov/health/forms/reg-36c.pdf
Because of the Church’s century-long role in adoptions, the New Jersey Catholic Dioceses, Catholic Charities agencies and the New Jersey Catholic Conference will be working to alert birth parents to the changes in the State’s adoption law.  
We need help.  We ask everyone to spread the word that birth parents must take action to preserve their privacy.  We need to notify family members, friends and neighbors that birth parents could lose their privacy.  
If you know a person who placed a child in adoption, please tell them that if they do not file a Redaction Request Form, their name and other information could be given to the adoptee.
New Jersey Catholic Conference has established an adoption HELPLINE for anyone in need of assistance at 609-989-4809.
For more information go to: http://www.njcathconf.com/content/family_life_adoption.php 

Birth Parents Must Take Action to Preserve Their Privacy

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.  On May 27, 2014, a new law took effect that will allow adoptees and certain relatives to request and obtain the names of their biological parents beginning January 1, 2017

Any birth parents who wish to preserve their privacy, must submit a Redaction Request Form to the New Jersey Department of Health no later than December 31, 2016.  By filing this form, birth parents will be able to keep their names off any documents provided by the State to adoptees or anyone else.  The State made the Redaction Request Form public on August 3, 2015.  The form can be downloaded at http://nj.gov/health/forms/reg-36c.pdf

Because of the Church’s century-long role in adoptions, the New Jersey Catholic Dioceses, Catholic Charities agencies and the New Jersey Catholic Conference will be working to alert birth parents to the changes in the State’s adoption law.  

We need help.  We ask everyone to spread the word that birth parents must take action to preserve their privacy.  We need to notify family members, friends and neighbors that birth parents could lose their privacy.  

If you know a person who placed a child in adoption, please tell them that if they do not file a Redaction Request Form, their name and other information could be given to the adoptee.

New Jersey Catholic Conference has established an adoption HELPLINE for anyone in need of assistance at 609-989-4809.

For more information go to: http://www.njcathconf.com/content/family_life_adoption.php

PASTORS: Please help us spead the word that birth parents must take action to preserve their privacy. Below are resources intended for use in your parish. 
Parish Bulletin Insert (PDF) • Parish Bulletin Insert (text-only)


A Statement by Patrick R. Brannigan
Executive Director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference
On Governor Christie’s Signing of S873/A1259
Issued May 27, 2014

Today, Governor Chris Christie signed into law S873/A1259, a bill to open adoption birth records.  The New Jersey Catholic Conference (NJCC) opposed and testified against S873/A1259, as well as many similar bills that had been introduced in the New Jersey legislature over the last two decades and beyond. 

Adoption is a complex issue that touches individuals deeply.  Some birth parents talk about the trauma they suffered when they gave their child for adoption.  Some adoptees express feelings of being unloved by birth parents or being incomplete because they do not know their full family story.

Over the years, NJCC’s message was consistent.  We always supported reunions between adoptees and birth parents if the reunions would be by mutual consent.  NJCC also supported adoptees having full access to their birth parents’ medical histories and cultural and social history information.  NJCC also did not oppose releasing a birth certificate to adoptees who could provide evidence that they had had contact with one of their birth parents. The key principle upon which we operated was that a birth parent’s identity should remain confidential, and anonymity be preserved unless the birth parent agreed to have their identity revealed. 

The change to our adoption law will do four important things....  Click here to read NJCC's full statement issued 5-27-2014