Deadline coming for parents who put babies up for adoption in NJ

It's a controversial question: Should people who were adopted be able to learn about their biological parents, or at least what it says on their original birth certificates?

Those parents who want to put the past behind them and don't want to be found out have to make their choice known this week.

New Jersey is joining other states that allow adult children who were adopted access to their original birth certificates.

The birth parents of as many as 300,000 children who were given up for adoption in the state face a Saturday. Dec. 31, deadline to decide whether to remove their names to protect their privacy. Otherwise, adult adoptees can get it.

There are about 170,000 envelopes dating back to November 1940, when records were officially sealed.

State Health Department spokeswoman Donna Leusner says nearly 250 parents have requested anonymity while more than 700 adoptees have asked for their birth certificates as of Dec. 19. Click here to apply for your birth certificate (pdf).

Birth parents can also supply medical histories. Click here for forms for parents.

Those who choose to have their names redacted can reverse that decision at any time.

Want to know more? Click here for frequently asked questions and answers from the department.