Surogate Nora Anderson

Susan petitioned to unseal her adoption records claiming both medical and non-medical grounds. Domestic Relations Law §114 permitted access to sealed adoption records on good cause shown. Susan alleged her physician reported a history of depression, high cholesterol and other things that may have a genetic component. The doctor stated knowledge of Susan’s family medical history could be useful in determining a correct course of treatment, and may reveal if she has a propensity to develop other illnesses with genetic components. The court said the doctor’s submission fell short of identifying specific medical information needed to treat a serious condition, which the statute contemplated before disclosure was permitted. Also, it found a previously appointed guardian ad litem advised the court the adoption records contained no information of medical importance. Susan also claimed she was “almost certain” she located persons who are her biological half-siblings, and sought confirmation of the relationship. However, the court ruled a desire to know a biological kin does not constitute good cause sufficient to outweigh the secrecy of adoption. Thus, as no good cause was shown to unseal, Susan’s application was denied.