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Local supporter cheers adoptee bill passage

A decades-long battle to allow adoptees in New York State access to their original birth certificates is close to being over.

In June, the state Senate and Assembly passed by overwhelming margins legislation that would grant adoptees over the age of 18 full access to their birth certificates.

Among those cheering the legislation is Richmond’s Steve Barnhoorn, a member of the Town Board who has been pushing his state legislators to pass the legislation.

It awaits the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but Barnhoorn said indications are that he will sign it, which would make New York the 10th state to allow such access for adoptees.

Currently, the state does not allow adoptees to access to their original birth certificates because of what Barnhoorn and other advocates say is a false conceit of adoption policy in New York: that birth mothers were promised anonymity when they agreed to give up their children for adoption.

Barnhoorn’s interest in the law is personal.

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