Re: HELP IN SEARCHING
You don't have to go in person, but a phone call will tell you for sure. Usually there is a small administrative fee which can be anywhere from $2 - $25.
A word on about adoption records.
Birth certificates for adoptees are sealed at birth. Some states have made them public record but I believe that they are few and far between, I am not sure about NY. However there are organizations that will help reunite birth parents and those they gave up for adoption. If you are not interested in reuniting with your birth parent then I don't know if they will help. Either way it's probably worth a shot. Start with www.bighugs.com