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Rep. Sykes: Ohio on track to become first state to recognize Adoption Awareness Month

House Bill 420 passes Senate, could reach governor's desk by end of year
December 20, 2018
Emilia Strong Sykes News

State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the Senate passage of House Bill (HB) 420, her bill jointly sponsored with state Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) to designate November as “Ohio Adoption Awareness Month.” HB 420 aims to raise awareness on the role of adoption and the resources available to assist families and children during the adoption process. Ohio would be the first state to recognize Adoption Awareness as a month.

“Raising awareness on the importance of adoption is crucial in ensuring every child in Ohio has a safe and loving place to call home,” said Sykes. “Our goal is to provide the necessary educational resources to those who may be considering adopting a child, or placing their child for adoption. While the end of the process is usually a beautiful experience, getting there may prove to be challenging and I want to provide an avenue for organizations and our community to be the best advocates for our children, especially our children in foster care.”

According to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services, there are more than 15,800 children in Ohio that live in foster homes or other out-of-home placements; and there are more than 2,800 of those children waiting to be adopted.

“The adoption journey can be long, arduous, and overwhelming. Adoption Awareness Month is such an incredible opportunity to help the adopting community gain more support and understanding through the process,” said Boyd.  “It’s a shame that our Adoption Awareness bill passed alongside the six-week abortion ban—legislation that offers no exceptions for rape, incest or the mental health or illness of the pregnant woman.  I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will work with us to help the thousands of waiting children in Ohio.”

The bill now moves to the House for concurrence and after passing the House and the Senate. After concurrence, the bill would be sent to the governor to be signed into law.