Carole Whitehead was 18 when her parents sent her to the Lakeview Home for Unwed Mothers in Staten Island.

“They had only one goal there, which was to get the baby away from the mothers,” said Whitehead, now 70. “They told me if I truly loved my baby, I would give him up.”

When Whitehead surrendered her son, she requested that her confidentiality be waived, so he might one day find her. She was told such waivers were “contrary to the laws of New York.”

In 1963, it was against state law for adopted children to ever view their original birth certificates. It remains so in 2015.