GOV. CUOMO: SIGN S3419 NOW!
It’s been almost four months since passage of S3419, New York’s historic equal rights legislation. Yet one critical step remains: making sure Governor Andrew Cuomo signs S3419 into law. While the bill is not yet on his desk, we have continued to let him know how important this bill is for all of us. That’s where you also come in, likely again.
Even if you have done so already, contact Governor Cuomo once more to request that he sign S3419 into law. The bill will end more than eight decades of secrecy surrounding adoptees’ original birth certificates. It’s important for all of us to contact him. It’s important now whether you have contacted him before or whether have never contacted him at all. Your voice has made a difference in the past and it continues to make a difference today.
Contact Info for Governor Cuomo
Phone: (518) 474-8390
Online Contact: Click Here
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
You can write, call, or email and ask Governor Cuomo to sign S3419. Tell him why this issue is important to you and what his signature means. If you want to add more details, consider some of these facts:
- S3419/A5494 had the most total cosponsors of any bill this legislative session. It has incredible bipartisan support from all corners of the state;
- The legislature overwhelmingly approved S3419 by a total vote of 196-12. That’s 56 senators and 140 assembly members, or a whopping 94 percent of all New York legislators who voted.
- An unprecedented number of adoptees, adoptive parents, birth/first parents, and allies joined together in support of S3419, including dozens of prominent national and state organizations who specifically endorsed the bill;
- No known organized opposition to S3419 exists. None. Even long-time opponents reversed their positions, apologized for their prior opposition, and voiced strong public support before voting in favor of S3419.
- As always, adding your own personal story or connection to adoption is important. And make sure you mention S3419, the Adoptee Rights Bill, specifically in your subject line or in your phone call so that Governor Cuomo’s office logs your support for the right bill. He still has hundreds of bills to consider at this point and we don’t want S3419 to get lost in that pile.
As always, thanks for all you have done to get us here today, on the threshold of making history.
My Personal Email to Gov Cuomo
Dear Gov. Cuomo:
Four months ago S3419 was passed by the New York House and Senate. The bill restores the right of Original Birth Certificate access to tens of thousands of adults born and adopted in New York. The bill had the most co-sponsors of any bill this legislative session., and had incredible bipartisan support from all corners of the state;. But, after four months you have not yet requested it be sent to you for your signature. I am asking that you make that request and sign the bill.
Although I was born and lived most of my life in Ohio, my late birthfather, Jack Reese, his wife, Margie, and their children lived in the Bufallo area for decades,. Jack and Margie were active in the Democratic Part.y in the state and nationally. If they were alive today they would also be writing to you to ask your support.
New York is the crown jewel in our struggle for adoptee rights, and the entire country is watching. and waiting.
Marley E Greiner
I’d sent a lengthier letter to Cuomo with numerous arguments supported by evidence for the bill, but recently sent this shorter communication via webmail pursuant to the call for renewed requests to him:
It is sincerely hoped that an announcement will be forthcoming soon about signing S3419, passed by the Senate almost five months ago! October is Family History Month and November is National Adoption Month; either month would make for a great time for a public signing of the widely-supported bill. While there is a National Adoption Day (November 23rd) within the National Adoption Month, using that particular day to sign the bill would be inadvisable since that particular day is primarily focused on helping find permanent homes for children that are in foster care.
The bill resulted from the Adoptee Stakeholder Workgroup Report called for in Veto 252 of 2017. At the workgroup meeting and in its report, no objections were raised by the Governor’s office, NYS Department of Health, or NYC Department of Health; that meeting would have been the time to raise objections in a way so that they could be addressed right away. Is it safe to say there are no objections to the bill, and nothing is stopping the bill’s signing other than deliberations about the specific day to sign it and how much of an event to design around the bill’s signing?
Implementing the bill should not be difficult, but it will still require some preparation time by the NYS Department of Health and NYC Department of Health. The more the signing is postponed, the less time those agencies are being provided for that work. An article [Barfield, WD, et al. “Releasing pre-adoption birth records: the impact of Oregon’s experience on its vital records department.” Public Health Rep. 2002 Sep-Oct;117(5):472-8.] about Oregon’s successful retroactive unsealing of original birth certificates for adult adoptees who request them may be of some help, given that it documents some “lessons learned” and provides recommendations that start with “Public health departments anticipating similar legislation should consider their current state of preparation for processing pre-adoption birth records.”
If there are any remaining concerns about the bill that might prevent its signing, please voice them to the bill sponsors that they may provide logical arguments and evidence to address those concerns.
Hoping to hear from your office soon!
Thanks so much, Toff!