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Connections: Access to records for adoptees in New York State


We hear the adoption story of a local man. Caleb Shulman learned at age seven that he was adopted. As an adult, he set out to find his birth family and access his birth certificate. While he was able to connect with his biological mother, he has not been able to obtain his original birth certificate.

The New York State Legislature passed a bill that it says would help adoptees over the age of 18 access their birth certificates and information about their biological parents. The bill is pending Governor Cuomo's approval. Some opponents of the legislation say it doesn't go far enough in protecting the rights of adoptees and would make it more difficult for adoptees to see their birth certificates. Some supporters say the bill is a compromise to those who want to protect the identity of birth parents [even though confidentiality is not promised in surrender papers] and would be a meaningful adoptee rights law in New York State.  We discuss issues of confidentiality, the adoption process, and more. Our guests:

  • Caleb Shulman, adoptee
  • Laura Glasner, adoption director for Correct: The podcast recording include

Correction: In the podcast, the host and guest say the legislation has passed the New York State Assembly, but the bill has passed both the Assembly and the Senate.