Cuomo Faces Saturday Deadline On Birth Parent Bill

Cuomo Faces Saturday Deadline On Birth Parent Bill

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Governor Cuomo faces a Saturday deadline about a piece of legislation that could affect thousands of New Yorkers, people who were adopted and who now want to learn the identity of their birth parents.

Some adoptees and birth parents are not happy with the bill before Cuomo. 

Bridget Gordinier of Hammond is one of them. Bridget gave up a daughter at birth - and mother and daughter searched for each other for years before they finally overcame the formidable obstacles separating birth parents and the children they surrendered.

“A hole has been filled," Bridget said. "Her biggest thing was she always wondered who did she look like."

Their task was made doubly difficult by New York state sealing original birth certificates, which are the only reliable way to know who one's birth parents are. A bill now on Gov. Cuomo's desk allows adoptees to petition judges for those certificates. But birth parents can still have their names blocked.

People who want Gov. Cuomo to veto the bill say it's an issue of equal rights. They want anyone to be able to walk into a city hall and get a complete and true copy of their original birth certificate.

“This is about civil rights. This is about being treated with equal rights as a citizen," said Cathi Swett, a lawyer and adoptee rights advocate:

The governor faces a Saturday deadline to sign the bill into law or veto it. His office isn't saying why the holdup on a bill that passed both houses in June.

“This is a 'mother-may-I' bill. This is not a step forward. This is a step backwards,” said Gordinier.

Some key legislators have now urged Cuomo to veto the bill. Advocates like Gordinier, Swett and others have flooded his office with Tweets to get their voices heard. 

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