A new state law took effect on New Years Day in New Hampshire: adult adoptees are now able to obtain copies of their original birth certificates. Monday was the first day of business in the new year and the first time that many adoptees were able to find the names of their birth parents.
New Hampshire becomes the fifth state to allow adult adoptees unfettered access, joining Oregon, Alabama, Alaska and Kansas. Delaware and Tennessee also allow access, but with some restrictions. Under another provision of the law, birth parents can indicate whether they wish to be contacted.
State Registrar William Bolton said a handful of parents have sent the contact forms to the bureau since the Legislature passed the law. He said perhaps three dozen people filed requests for the certificates in recent weeks in anticipation of the law taking effect.
Bolton said answering requests may take a few minutes to a few weeks, depending on whether the information is in Concord or in a sealed file in the town where the person was born.
Anyone may obtain their New Hampshire birth certificate after filing out a request form and paying a $12 research fee. Information about the law and forms are on the Division of Vital Records Administration's web site.