Opera Singer Hopes Adoption Records Can Prove Italian Roots

By James Fanelli on April 4, 2014 8:15am 

 Opera singer Jordanna Hurwitz Rose and her family are hoping her late grandfather's adoption records will prove her great-grandfather was Italian, which would help her opera career, her father says in court papers.
Opera singer Jordanna Hurwitz Rose and her family are hoping her late grandfather's adoption records will prove her great-grandfather was Italian, which would help her opera career, her father says in court papers.
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University of British Columbia Opera Ensemble Website

NEW YORK CITY — A Manhattan resident with a flourishing opera career hopes unsealing her grandfather’s Italian roots will help create la dolce vita.

Singer Jordanna Hurwitz Rose, 24, and her family want to access her late paternal grandfather’s adoption records because they believe his biological father (Rose's great-grandfather) was born in Italy. Proof of family history in Italy would allow Rose to get Italian citizenship — which could be key to the soprano’s success.

Rose’s father, San Diego lawyer Kenneth Rose, filed a petition in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, requesting that a judge open the confidential adoption records of his father, Robert Rose, in order to prove their heritage. If their hunch is true, the main beneficiary would be Jordanna, who could obtain dual citizenship and get gigs overseas.

“There are far more opportunities for opera singers, and substantially more opera houses, in Italy and other European countries,” Kenneth Rose said in an affidavit. “Work and resident visa requirements and restrictions pose a significant barrier to Jordanna’s professional pursuits that would be eased if she attains Italian citizenship."

Under New York law, adoption records are confidential, and without the consent of the birth parents, agencies are prohibited from sharing information.

However, a surrogate’s court judge can open the records if an adopted child makes a compelling argument that outweighs privacy concerns.

Generally, adopted children appeal to the court on medical grounds, hoping to learn of genetic predispositions. At least 10 people have filed petitions to open adoption records in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court in recent years.

For the Roses, it's all about Italia

Kenneth Rose says his father, Robert, was born in 1917 in New York and died in 1970, but before his death, he told his family his biological dad was Italian.

Kenneth believes that, by unsealing the records, Robert’s pre-adoption birth certificate will show the name of his biological father and his Italian roots. 

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