As of January 2017, the Adoptees’ Birthright Act allows adult adoptees born or adopted in New Jersey access to their original birth certificate through the Registrar of Vital Statistics. The fruition of the new law is allowing for many joyous reunions.

One such joyous reunion was Ellen Brotschol Noble’s, who has been able to experience these benefits firsthand. She was told at the age of nine that she was adopted. She had always wondered where she had come from, but never had access to any of the information. Thanks to this new law, she was able to get answers. When she received her original birth certificate, it showed that she had four siblings. She then searched for her mother’s name online and found an obituary from 2010 and found that it had the names of the four siblings listed.

After some deliberation, she decided to reach out to them. She wrote a letter to each. “I’m not looking to disrupt your family. I don’t want anything. Here’s a picture in case of any resemblance, I think we might be related,” she said in her note.

Her sister, Michelle Carlson, was ecstatic when she read the letter. She immediately knew deep down that this was her sister. The two decided to take DNA tests and were able to confirm that they were in fact siblings. Ellen was then shocked to find out that her father had four children from his first marriage as well. She went from spending 60 years as an only child to being one of nine children in the blink of an eye. Five of her newfound siblings live nearby in New Jersey. Just like that, her family grew exponentially. She is so excited to have found her family and thankful that they have welcomed her with open arms.

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