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 law is allowing for joyous reunions.

Ellen Brotschol Noble has experienced the benefits firsthand. She was told at age 9 that she was adopted. She had always wondered where she had come from. Thanks to this law, she got answers. When she received her original birth certificate, it showed she had four siblings. She searched her mother’s name online and found an obituary from 2010. 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.

Her sister, Michelle Carlson, was ecstatic when she read the letter. She knew deep down that was her sister. The two confirmed the information through DNA testing. Ellen was shocked to find that her father had four children from his first marriage. 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. She is so excited to have found her family and thankful they have welcomed her with open arms.

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