Adopted woman seeks access to birth records for her and thousands of New Yorkers

March 19, 2019 07:30 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Susan Moyer simply wants a copy of her original birth certificate.

"Everyone should have the right to know where they came from," she said Tuesday afternoon at her Saratoga Springs apartment.

Moyer was born in 1953 at the former Brady Maternity Hospital in Albany and adopted from St. Catherine's Home by a family who lived in Fulton County, and later moved with her to the Syracuse area.

When she was 16, her adoptive parents confirmed what she'd suspected -- they weren't her biological parents.

It wasn't until she had her own children, two boys, that Moyer felt she had to know who her birth parents were.

She hit one dead end after another. Being told by staff at the adoption home that she doesn't have the right to see her birth certificate with her birth parents names on it.

"I'm sorry, legally I cannot share anything with you. Even though your birth mother is deceased, I still need her permission," they told her.

Moyer says she was denied based on the law's perception that information about parents who give up kids for adoption is supposed to be kept confidential. So she's urging New York to change the law and open it up to adoptees who want to know their birth parents.

"We should have a history," she said.

Moyer registered in the state's sibling database and found out she has nine brothers and sisters.

The first sibling she met, Rick Missita, from Queensbury, can't get a copy of his original birth certificate either, but managed to track down the name of their mother and father through non-traditional means.

Moyer says she's grateful to know who her parents were, but it shouldn't be so hard.

"It took me 30 years."


Mark Mulholland

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Relay Media Amp