NY Senate passes historic bill for adoptee rights

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NEW YORK -

The state Senate has passed a historic bill for adoptee rights.

The bill would allow anyone over the age of 18 who was adopted to obtain their original birth certificate. Adoptees have not been able to get their records since the 1930s.

Annette O’Connell, of Highland Mills, says she has carried the stigma that being adopted brings since 1967 – when her unwed, teenage mother put her up for adoption.

O’Connell says she doesn’t know her birthdate or what the circumstances were during her first few months of life.

"At 51 years old, I'm still adopted. It defines me," she told News 12. "It's really important to know where you came from. Who you were. What your name was."

O'Connell says the bill is about equal rights, not about uncovering birth parents' names, which can often be found without a birth certificate through a DNA search.

The Senate passed the bill in a 53-6 vote. The bill is now up for a vote in the Assembly. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated his support for the proposal.

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