I received a call from the New York State Department of Health yesterday and spoke with an official from vital records. Here’s what I learned, and I am passing it on to our supporters and followers.
First, the state department of health continues to monitor NYARC’s social media accounts to determine what people may be experiencing in applying for their OBCs. The department was concerned that people had “complaints” about the turn-around time. I assured them that people were excited and nervous and that everyone knows the state’s response time is unprecedented. Here’s what I also learned:
- The state department of health receives applications from VitalChek in batches. It is not necessarily first in first out.
- The department filters or prioritizes some of the applications. The first filter is age, determined by date of birth. For example, a person born in 1940 is given given processing priority over a person born in 1980. I believe that makes sense, as does NYARC.
- The department also checks application informaition against NYSAIR (aka the Registry). If a person has already registered with NYSAIR, needed information and verification is more quickly available.
- Applications from people who apply to the state in person or by mail must be manually entered into the electronic vital records system. This process may delay these applications.
- The department considers its current work to be in “Production Mode.” This means that, while applications are still pouring in, they have slowed from the thousands of applications they were receiving each day, especially during the first days after the law was in effect. The department is now actively prioritizing the processing and delivery of received applications.
- The department is still working with attorneys and representatives from adoption agencies and state agencies, including the Office of Children and Family Services (OFCS), to implement an appropriate procedure for those who were born outside of New York state but adopted within the state. We do not have more news on that yet.
All of us at NYARC understand that you want your OBC now. We get that. I experience that excitement and anxiety myself while waiting for my own OBC from New York City. Our advice, as always, is to PLEASE remain patient. The process with the state department of health is not only working well but it is also working at an incredible and unprecedented speed, especially when compared to any state that has endorsed any type of access to the OBC. As I told the DOH vital records official on the phone, the department is seriously kicking ass.