Adopted People on the Northern Beaches to Benefit from New Birth Certificate Reforms

Adopted people on the Northern Beaches will be able to have both their birth and adopted families included on a birth certificate for the first time in the State’s history following new reforms introduced to Parliament.

Member for Manly James Griffin has applauded the NSW Government’s reforms and said the introduction of integrated birth certificates (IBCs) will modernise this important legal identity document by including an adopted person’s full history.

“For many adopted people on the Northern Beaches and across NSW, their current birth certificate does not reflect their full life story, including who they are and where they come from,” Mr Griffin said.

“These reforms will give adopted people in NSW the choice to use a birth certificate that includes information about their parents and siblings at birth, as well as their parents and siblings after they have been adopted.”

Under the current law, a birth certificate issued by the Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM) after a person is adopted can only record the child’s adoptive parents and any adoptive siblings, making no reference to the birth parents.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the NSW Government have listened to the calls for reform from adopted people and legal experts.

“We are delighted to be introducing the first change to birth certificates for adopted people in 55 years,” Mr Speakman said.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said making an integrated birth certificate available to adopted people aligns with contemporary “open” adoption practices.

“The reforms mark a further step away from the secrecy associated with the adoption policies of the past. Open adoption means that adoptive and birth families now know about each other, exchange information and often have direct contact to enable children to connect with and understand their background,” Mr Ward said.

Following the proposed amendments, newly adopted people will be issued with an IBC along with the existing post adoptive birth certificate that is provided after adoption. Both will be legal identity documents, allowing the adopted person to use whichever one they prefer.

People adopted prior to the commencement of the reforms can contact the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages to find out how they can apply for an IBC.

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