this is a page for

Category: General

The Legal Process of Obtaining Public Birth Records Explained

New York law prohibits releasing confidential birth information except to the person named on the certificate, their immediate family members, or a lawful representative. Learn more about these restrictions.

Although New York made continual attempts to encourage compliance with vital record-keeping laws beginning in 1880, full compliance did not occur until 1914. However, indexes of these records exist that can be accessed.

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

The Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law SS87 et. seq) provides citizens the right to access records from governmental agencies. Each agency handles requests individually, so you should contact the particular entity for more information on how to request documents from them. The Department of State also has a FOIL webpage(link is external) that explains the process and answers Frequently Asked Questions.

FOIL applies to federal, state, and local governments. It allows citizens to see any information the government has in their hands unless it falls under one of nine exemptions or three exclusions. Congress created these provisions to protect privileged information from being released, including information related to ongoing criminal investigations and national security issues.

To request information from a state agency under FOIL, you must provide the full name of the person requesting the record, their address and phone number, and any other information to help identify them. A written request must be submitted to the agency that holds the record. You can also make a request electronically by filling out a form online.

The act requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 days. However, many agencies do not comply with this requirement for various reasons. In some cases, screening requests for sensitive or classified information can be arduous, and congressional funding for FOIA staff is often far less than needed to hire sufficient employees.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a law that limits the maximum time frame in which legal proceedings can be started based on a particular event. This type of law may vary by jurisdiction and variety of legal action but is generally found in criminal and civil laws.

Statutes of limitations are a common element of many countries’ laws and have a long history, being either specifically written into specific legislation or as a part of general common law. These rules are designed to protect defendants from unfair prosecution or other legal action after the alleged crime has passed a specific window, when witnesses may have died, evidence might have been lost, or memories can fade.

The length of time specified by a statute of limitations varies widely by country and depends on the type of action. For example, civil actions such as a lawsuit over a breach of contract typically have a six-year statute of limitations, while those related to crimes like murder might only have 20 years.

Sometimes, a statute of limitations can be extended or “tolled” by exceptional circumstances. However, this must be done regularly and approved by the judge to be valid. For this reason, it is essential for plaintiffs with a valid claim to pursue it within the statutory period.

Many states have set criteria for when a birth certificate becomes public and which individuals may access the document. Some of the requirements in the birth certificate office are that the requester must be an authorized person named in the record, a relative or lawful representative of the registrant or their immediate family member, a parent of the registrant or their immediate family members, an adoptive parent or their adoptive child, or a legal guardian of a minor. In addition, some states have made their records available to the general public if they meet certain requirements, such as being over a specific age or needing proof of identity.

A certified copy of a birth certificate is an official state document that contains essential information such as name, date of birth, and place of birth. The paper is required for various purposes such as verification of a person’s age (for school admission) and identity, acquisition of passports, social security cards, establishing citizenship, provision of insurance coverage, and more.

It is also possible to change information recorded on a birth certificate. Still, the process is lengthy and requires submitting evidence that meets state standards to show what should have been entered instead (such as a census transcript). If an individual doesn’t have a valid birth certificate, they must submit one or more documents, such as a driver’s license or a marriage or death certificate.


The State Bureau of Vital Records maintains birth records for the state, issues certified copies of filed birth certificates, and processes changes to the original form caused by adoption. They also prepare data files for public health surveillance, research, and state and federal agency reporting.

Generally, the cost for a copy of a birth certificate is $10 and includes one certified copy of the certificate. There is an additional charge for each extra accredited copy requested. Those making requests in person can pay by cash, money order, MasterCard (r), or Visa(r). A wallet-sized photo birth certificate is available for an additional $25.

If you request for yourself, your spouse, or a child over 18, you must bring government-issued photo identification with a signature and expiration date. A fee waiver is available for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, their widows or husband if they have not remarried, and their children.

Unless otherwise specified by law, New York birth records are confidential. They may only be released to the individual listed on the document once they turn 18, their immediate family member, or their legal representative. Other individuals must provide a signed and notarized statement or letter of authorization. This form must be completed and signed in front of a notary public.

FAQs About Lab-Grown Diamonds

Understanding the advantages is crucial if you’re looking to purchase a lab-grown diamond.  Ethically sourced lab-grown diamonds are certified and graded under the same standards as mined diamonds. They also cost 30% to 50% less than traditional mined diamonds.

What are Lab-Grown Diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds are also known as manufactured, synthetic or laboratory created. Regardless of what they’re called, these stones are real diamonds sourced responsibly and offer many benefits compared to mined diamonds. From a chemical and physical standpoint, lab-created diamonds are identical to natural ones, and they’re even harder than those found in the ground, with a Mohs hardness rating of 10. It makes them so popular among those who want to avoid mining or prefer the sparkle of a real diamond over alternatives like Moissanites and Cubic Zirconia. 

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Forever?

Unlike diamond simulants, often sold at lower prices, lab diamonds are real and chemically identical to mined diamonds. They also boast the same sparkle and durability as natural diamonds. The technology behind the creation of lab diamonds allows gem experts to mimic the environmental conditions that create natural diamonds without harming any ecosystems. Additionally, lab diamonds are cheaper to produce than natural diamonds; savings are passed on in pricing. However, there is a risk that lab diamonds will only hold value once supply increases and demand decreases. It is a major consideration for anyone considering buying a lab-created diamond for investment purposes.

How are Lab-Grown Diamonds Created?

Diamonds are formed in a combination of heat and pressure deep inside the Earth. Modern technology allows experts to recreate these conditions in a lab without endangering ecosystems. Experts create lab-grown diamonds through either High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) processes. These processes can generate gem-quality diamonds that look and behave just like natural diamonds. They can even be graded using the same four ‘Cs’ as naturally occurring diamonds!

The CVD method is currently the preferred approach for creating lab-grown diamonds for jewelry. This method uses less energy than HPHT and produces only about half the carbon footprint of mining a natural diamond. It makes it an environmentally conscious choice for couples seeking sustainable style. MiaDonna is proud to carry certified Lab Grown diamonds from reputable jewelers that use this advanced technology.

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Real?

Some may believe diamonds are only real if they come from the ground. Still, many retailers offer lab-created diamonds because of their lower environmental and social impact. These stones use the same chemical properties as naturally occurring diamonds and go through the same grading processes as natural diamonds. They’re also more affordable than mined diamonds and are less likely to chip like other diamond lookalikes, such as cubic zirconia or moissanite. Whether you want to purchase a ring for yourself or an engagement ring for your significant other, the options are endless! In addition, some diamonds—including the lab-created version—come in various colors. It is a key selling feature for individuals who desire the appearance of a fancy-colored diamond.

How Am I Able to Tell a Lab-Grown Diamond From a Natural Diamond?

Gemological lab analysis is the only technique to distinguish between a lab-created diamond and a natural one. The stones will look identical and have the same chemical composition, but a trained gemologist can use special equipment to distinguish them. The first lab-created diamonds were made in the 1950s using either the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or High-Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) methods. They were used for industrial purposes until the mid-1980s, when manufacturers started to produce gem-quality laboratory-created diamonds in large quantities. The big plus for lab diamonds is that they are available in various colors. Fancy-colored diamonds are especially rare and expensive, so lab diamonds can be a more affordable option for some couples looking to get that perfect engagement ring.

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Ethical?

The same certification process and criteria are used to certify lab-grown diamonds, which may also be graded for color, clarity, and carat weight. It is fantastic news for people who desire a fancy-colored diamond ring but need more funds to purchase a real stone at the top price. Many companies that sell lab-created diamonds market them as ethical and environmentally conscious, and some have proven track records regarding fair labor practices. However, it’s important to note that lab-grown diamonds are not carbon-free and use much energy to produce. It’s up to each manufacturer to carefully monitor their energy usage and ensure they aren’t contributing to negative environmental impacts.

Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Affordable?

Like any new technology, lab diamonds started to become expensive. But over time, prices dropped as demand rose and production costs fell. You can now find beautiful 1-carat, investment-grade lab diamonds for around the same price as a natural diamond. However, it’s important to remember that lab-created diamonds don’t have the same resale value as mined diamonds. So, if you’re concerned about making an ethical and financial decision, a traditionally mined diamond may be your better choice.

Benefits of Shopping at Online Fabric Stores

Shopping for fabric online can be a convenient and enjoyable experience. Many fabric sites also sell other craft supplies and materials, making them one-stop shops for customers.

Buying fabric online can be especially beneficial during times when it is not safe or convenient to go out. In-store shopping can often result in purchasing more material than needed.


Many online fabric retailers specialize in one or more specific types of textile fabrics. This allows them to offer a curated selection of materials that may not be available at mass-market stores. They also may be able to negotiate lower prices from suppliers since they don’t have the overhead costs associated with a physical store.

Another benefit of shopping at an online fabric store is that it can be done from the comfort of your home. This can be a significant advantage for people who are not comfortable buying unseen fabric. Online fabric stores often offer swatches and other samples that can be sent to you so that you can see how the material looks in your space and with your existing décor.

It is also possible to purchase fabrics in bulk from online retailers. This can save you money on shipping and handling fees. Additionally, some retailers offer a wide range of pre-cut fabrics to reduce the material required to complete your project.

Wide Selection

Whether a professional seamstress or a casual hobbyist, you can find exactly what you need at many online fabric stores. Not only can you purchase fabric, but many of these sites also offer a wide selection of sewing supplies and notions like thread, bobbins, needles, pins, and cutting tools. This one-stop shop is incredibly convenient and can save you time.

Many online fabric retailers offer the option to customize your fabrics with printing and designs so that you can create something truly unique and original. Many of these sites also have budget-friendly options for buying fabric, including frequent shopper programs and monthly specials.

Regardless of whether you are an aspiring or seasoned designer, there are times when shopping in person is just not feasible. Online fabric shops are open all day and night so that you can shop in your pajamas or when you’re sick. This convenience is a big draw for customers.


Online shoppers can find discounts from a variety of fabric sellers. This is because online fabric stores do not have the overhead cost of a physical store and can pass on the savings to their customers.

Buying fabric online can also help people compare fabrics and make purchases without wasting time traveling to different stores. Many fabric webshops even offer a service that allows you to order swatches of your chosen material, which can be delivered to your door free of charge.

If you’re considering buying fabric for a project, check out the clearance sections of online fabric stores. Often, you can find materials marked down up to 40%. Signing up for an email newsletter can inform you of sales and exclusive coupon codes! It’s worth the effort. You’ll save money, avoid long lines and unnecessary showing, and have a more pleasant experience shopping for fabric.


Shopping at online fabric stores can save a lot of time. One can avoid the crowds and long lines by simply shopping from the comfort of their home.

Another great thing about online fabric retailers is their competitive prices. Many online fabric shops offer discounts and sales regularly, so it’s always worth checking back frequently to see what new deals are available.

Finally, online fabric retailers can save shoppers a lot of money by offering free or discounted shipping and delivery options. This can be particularly helpful for those who live far from a fabric store or don’t have easy access to transportation.

Reinstein Ross Gifts For The Graduate

Reinstein Ross has a wonderful assortment of gifts for the graduate. The Future heirlooms are just the thing to mark a celebratory event!! From gemstone rings set in 20K peach gold to bracelets in alpine, peach or apricot gold, the graduation collection has it all. Please click HERE to see all gifts.

Reinstein Ross is a NYC institution- a touchstone of creativity and craftsmanship for artisanal fine jewelry. Our team of goldsmiths embody over thirty years of heritage and technique. R|R is home to a specialty workshop where gold is custom-alloyed, hand-fabricated and set with rare gemstones of exceptional vibrancy and color. Shop online or visit our NYC Flagship located at 21 East 67th Street to experience the world of Reinstein Ross.

graduation 10
graduation 05
graduation 08
graduation 05 1
graduation 14
graduation 06

SewStainable Fashion Show

I was asked to be a part of an incredible event next month…..

sewstainablesavethedate 1 1

Bedford 2030 is excited to partner with The Community Center of Northern Westchester (CCNW), Katonah Museum of Art (KMA), and Andrew Yu on this one-of-a-kind event. 

June 15th, 6-8PM at Katonah Museum of Art

The three local organizations are working together to raise awareness around issues central to their respective missions; waste reduction, underemployment, and food scarcity, and making connections across media and culture.  Local fashion students from Fox Lane High School and CCNW “Makers” (graduates of the sewing and design programs) will be challenged to think creatively about the materials they use to construct fashion-forward, sustainable garments.

FLHS Paper jacket 750x510 1
Custom student-created garment made from paper and soda tabs

Guests will gather in KMA’s gorgeous Sculpture Garden for an evening filled with unique fashion. Local artisans will showcase their outfits on the runway and a panel of judges will give out cash prizes! The zero-waste event will include music from DJ Joey, wine and beer, locally sourced small bites from TengdaHayfield’s MarketLMNOP, & Farmer and the Fish as well as catering by Love on the Run.

FLHS Sewstainable1 1536x710 1
Andrew Yu speaking with Fox Lane HS Fashion students.

The fashion show will showcase the designs of 15-20 local adults and fashion students who have been tasked with designing runway-ready outfits made with recycled materials or torn and damaged clothing. Local Designer Andrew Yu is mentoring all the designers; helping them fine-tune their designs and create show-stopping works of wearable art.

CCNWMakersCrop 750x510 1
Community Center of Northern Westchester “Makers” creating upcycled fashion from donated textiles

Ten judges from the metro New York area will preview the outfits before the event, judging students and “Makers” on the idea behind each design and creative use of materials. Each entry will be judged on its creativity and how well the design encompasses the concept of nature and environmentalism. Judges will select the top 10 designs and cash prizes will be awarded. The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the “Sew-Stainable” event.

Our judges include: 

Dominique Bluhdorn 

Anni de Saint Phalle

Arielle Kebbel

Angelina Lipman 

Deanna Marano

Tami McCarthy

Gianna Palminteri

Barbara Raho

Lisa Reid

Nicole Steinthal 

Julie Testwuide

Brook Vogel

Amy Wayne

and Bedford New Canaan Magazine.

FLHS Amy Wayne crop 772x1024 1
Amy Wayne wearing FLHS student’s jacket made from insulation

Tickets for this one-of-a-kind event are $75 each. 


Donations will also be accepted to support these three local non-profits’ work.


Fashionable Friend Friday Emily McElwreath

This week’s Fashionable Friend Friday is Emily McElwreath. Emily is equipped with over seventeen years of experience as an adviser, independent curator, and art educator; she also boasts a background in sales. Thanks to her time as Director of Communications and Education at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Emily demonstrates the unique ability to understand the art world from both the point of view of the artist and the audience. This skill is continually perfected through extensive involvement in art education: throughout her career, Emily has organized multiple programs, lectures, and panels, featuring distinguished artists, on university campuses and leading NYC venues, in addition to lecturing herself at Sotheby’s Education. Emily has worked on blockbuster exhibitions including Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, and Nate Lowman at The Brant Foundation, as well as lecturing at top NYC museums including The Whitney and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most recently, Emily has curated multiple exhibitions with leading emerging artists and is now the host and CEO of The Art Career Podcast. Building relationships with artists continues to be Emily’s main focus, frequenting studio visits, connecting artists with collectors, and building partnerships within the art community. With an MA from Purchase College in Art History with a Concentration in Contemporary Art Criticism and an Art Business Certification from Christie’s Education, Emily McElwreath possesses the diverse, real-world experience and formal academic training.

McElwreath Art Advisory is a full-service firm that provides guidance and assistance to art collectors through a comprehensive list of services. Whether the goal is to acquire a single work, build a collection or add to an existing one we do so through an educated exploration of the art market.  We are uniquely positioned to invigorate the advisory market with a new approach to arts patronage and love to work with individuals and corporations who appreciate being a part of the cultural conversation. Our mission is to promote the work of living artists through interdisciplinary collaboration, institutional partnerships, and most importantly, acquisitions.

Want to learn and be inspired by the leading art professionals who are shaping our culture? The Art Career Podcast is a space-breaking barriers by letting you sit in on candid, straightforward conversations with leaders in visual arts, writing, music, theatre, and film. Join New York-based advisor, curator, and overall artist advocate, Emily McElwreath, for authentic and inspirational conversations with icons of our generation like Cheryl Strayed, Jerry Saltz, and Marilyn Minter. Emily dives deep into topics like self-development, career trajectories, mental health, social justice, and the artists that have changed our lives. Expand your journey through the arts and feel empowered about what you do. Subscribe to The Art Career wherever you find podcasts.

IMG 3F764C707310 1
2. Square IG Post Marilyn Minter
IMG 7784