Obtaining Original (Pre-Adoption) Birth Certificate for Adoptees


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation on November 14, 2019 allowing adoptees for the first time to receive a certified copy of their birth certificate when they turn 18-years-old. This measure (S3419/A5494) helps ensure that all adult New York adoptees will have the same unimpeded right to information about their birth and biological parents.

"Where you came from informs who you are, and every New Yorker deserves access to the same birth records - it's a basic human right," Governor Cuomo said. "For too many years, adoptees have been wrongly denied access to this information and I am proud to sign this legislation into law and correct this inequity once and for all."

For Adoptees Born Outside of New York City:

Beginning January 15, 2020 if you were born in NYS, but not within the five boroughs of NYC, you will be able to order a pre-adoption birth certificate online at Vitalchek.com

Or complete the paper application, available here beginning January 15th, and mail to:

  • New York State Department of Health
    Bureau of Vital Records, PAC Unit
    PO Box 2602
    Albany, NY 12220-2602

While online and telephone orders are preferred, applications will be accepted via mail or at our walk-in window. For mail-in orders, the required fee can be paid by check or money order. For in person application the fee can be paid by check, money order or cash. Credit card payments are not accepted for any form of paper application.

As of January 15, 2020, the walk-in window at 800 North Pearl Street, Menands, NY, 12204 will be open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. PLEASE NOTE: If you apply via the walk-in window, you will not receive your birth certificate the same day. Applications received at the walk-in window will be processed in the same manner as mailed in applications. All issued birth certificates will be mailed to the applicant.

Direct Line Descendants - If the adoptee is deceased, the pre-adoption birth certificate can be issued to a direct line descendant. More information about the application process for Direct Line Descendants will be made available at this site by January 15, 2020.

Lawful Representatives – The legislation provides for the lawful representative of an adopted person or the lawful representative of a deceased adopted person's direct line descendant to apply for a pre-adoption birth certificate. Applications from a lawful representative should include all normally required documentation along with evidence of legal representation.

For Adoptees Born in New York City:

Adoptees born within the five boroughs of NYC should contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, or visit their webpage at http://www.nyc.gov/vitalrecords for ordering information.

Original or Pre-Adoption Birth Certificate Frequently Asked Questions