State Representative Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today passed Substitute House Bill 307, legislation that modifies Ohio’s adoption laws.

Among other provisions, Sub. H.B. 307:
• Shortens the period after a minor child’s birth by which a putative father must register with the Putative Father Registry in order to be able to consent to the minor’s adoption
• Changes the period after which an adoption decree generally cannot be questioned
• Establishes a pre-birth notification process modeled after the one used in Indiana to provide a mother the option to notify a putative father prior to giving birth
• Specifies that rental or mortgage payments and payments for utilities, food, household goods, personal care items, and costs of transportation to work or school incurred by a birth mother are “living expenses” that may be paid to a birth mother on behalf of a petitioner by an attorney or agency arranging the minor’s adoption
• Outlines appropriate advertising processes for adoption for both birth mothers and adoptive couples
• Increases the tax credit against the state income tax for a taxpayer’s legal adoption of the minor child

In regards to the bill, Representative Retherford said, “Often adoption is the only course of action for a couple who wants to share their love with a child. This can be a very expensive and time-consuming process. With the passage of Substitute House Bill 307, we can help these families cut some the costs and time involved in adoption. The ultimate goal is finding these children a loving family.”

Sub. H.B. 307 received bipartisan co-sponsorship in the House and passed by a vote of 77-14. It will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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