New Jersey Catholic Conference
149 North Warren Street , Trenton , New Jersey 08608
This is taken from the website of the NJ CC. Keep in mind they agreed they would not lobby while we are in negotiations and this went up on 2/14.
A-2557 (Primary Sponsors: Manzo, Prieto, Voss and Caraballo)
In the near future, the Assembly Human Services Committee will consider A-2557. This proposal would permit adults who had been adopted as children, as well as the guardians or adoptive parents of a child who is currently a minor, to learn the identity of a biological parent. These birth parents had surrendered children for adoption with not merely an expectation of confidentiality but with actual statutory assurance that his or her identity as the child’s parent will be shielded from public disclosure.
The New Jersey Catholic Conference opposes A2557 as currently written. NJCC does not oppose adoptees’ having full access to their biological parents’ medical histories; this information can often prove helpful in dealing with medical difficulties that they – and their own descendents – might confront. While it is currently fully available, the Legislature’s formally mandating such availability would be advisable.
Neither does the Conference oppose revealing the identities of their natural parents to adoptees in cases where the natural parents have affirmatively consented to the release of such information. However, to release that information without the birth parents’ actual consent is a callous betrayal.
Birth mothers have relied on an assurance of privacy not based on some private contract or agreement between themselves and the adoption agency; no such contract or agreement was needed in light of the specific public law – which the court has called “the statutory shield of confidentiality.”
A2557 should be amended to include an enhanced mutual consent registry system which would link biological parents and adult adopted persons when the parties have requested and consented to such a reunion. This enhanced mutual consent registry would use a qualified individual or agency to function as an Intermediary