Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



May 25, 2021

Senator Needleman Joins Senate Passage of Adult Adoption Birth Record Bill

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) today joined the State Senate in passing the legislation allowing adult adopted persons access to their birth certificates, a change that has been years in the making. As it has already passed the House, the legislation now progresses to Governor Ned Lamont’s desk for signing into law.

“It’s simply unfair for individuals to be prevented from accessing important documents that don’t just tell their lives’ stories, but can also protect their health,” said Sen. Needleman. “This bill will provide thousands of residents of our state with access to documents all other residents can freely access at any time. This is especially important considering the potential health information available through these records. I’m proud to join my colleagues and push forward this important legislation, finally making it law.”

House Bill 6105, “An Act Concerning Access To Original Birth Certificates By Adult Adopted Persons,” previously passed the House by a vote of 115-28 on May 4.

This legislation aims to end decades of their denial of important, sometimes life-impacting access to their own information. It would amend state statutes to allow all adopted individuals, and their children and grandchildren, to obtain their original birth certificates. Upon request, an individual would be able to write a request to their town or city’s registrar of birth records and receive birth records within 30 days of that request’s receipt.

Current state law says only individuals born or adopted after Oct. 1, 1983 can access their original birth certificates. Individuals born or adopted before that date are barred from accessing those records. There are more than 38,000 Connecticut residents who were adopted and were born before 1983.

Several organizations testified in support of this legislation during a public hearing held in February. The North American Council on Adoptable Children endorsed the legislation under the belief that every adopted person has the right to receive personal information about their birth, foster and adoption history, including medical information, educational and social history. The Connecticut State Medical Society gave its support, believing the legislation will lead to improved patient care and medical health, while the Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families supported the “equity of rights for all adopted adults.” Adopted adults cited their desires to know their histories; at least one mother who gave her daughter up for adoption in the 1960s said “closed adoptions hurt everyone” and passing the legislation “gives my daughter the document that is her right to have.”

This issue was previously raised in the General Assembly in 2017, 2018 and 2019 but was not enacted, despite wide bipartisan appeal; its discussion dates back to at least 1998, when similar legislation was first proposed in the Legislature. At least seven other states have passed similar legislation, including Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire. Court orders are still required to obtain these records in 25 additional states.