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Ohio General Assembly Approves Adoption Birth Record Overhaul

As many as 400K Ohioans could be affected when Senate Bill 23 signed into law
December 12, 2013
Democratic Newsroom

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State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) announced on Wednesday the passage of Senate Bill 23, a bill to provide persons adopted between 1964-1996 access to their original birth certificate. The bill passed by a nearly unanimous vote of  88 to 2.

“All adoptees have a birth right to access all the pieces of the puzzle of their lives,” said Rep. Antonio. “Access to medical history is of the utmost importance to adoptees and their families.”

SB 23 was designed to balance the rights of both adult adoptees and birthparents. The bill requires birthparents to disclose their medical history, but gives them the option of whether or not to list their personal contact information. The effective date of the bill has been delayed for one year after it is signed into law to give birthparents a chance to voluntarily make known how or if they wish to be contacted. In other states with the contact preference option, very few birthparents choose to restrict their contact information. 

House Bill 61, sponsored by Reps. Antonio and Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), is a companion bill to SB 23 and passed the House 96-1 in April. The State Reps. worked collaboratively with Senators Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) and Dave Burke (R-Marysville) to pass this adoption parity law.

The bill now heads to the Governor’s office for his anticipated signature.