The following is a statement from the New Jersey Catholic Conference on the change in the state's Adoption Laws.
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 here.
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, click here.