Thursday, March 28, 2013


House Bill 61 is out of committee and will be taken up in early April. It repeals the 1964 cutoff for adoption file viewing and changes it to an age 18 cutoff and opens up viewing of the older files to "lineal descendants" of adoptees. Senate Bill 23 is the sister version. We will watch how they progress through the Ohio General Assembly. The bill analysis is below and government junkies may follow it on the Ohio General Assembly web site:

Ohio Legislative Service Commission - Bill Analysis - Aida S. Montano
H.B. 61
130th General Assembly

(As Reported by H. Judiciary)

Representatives Sponsoring:
Pelanda and Antonio, Blair, Terhar, Stinziano, Young, Foley, Pillich, Slesnick, Mallory, Phillips, Stebelton, R. Hagan, Hackett, Green, Becker, Gerberry, Driehaus, Hill, Maag, Kunze, Strahorn, Wachtmann, Sprague, Ashford, Lundy, Ruhl, Butler, Celebrezze, Conditt, Letson, Slaby, tautberg, Winburn

Outright repeals the laws that permit post-1963 adoptees who became available or potentially available for adoption prior to September 18, 1996 to file a petition in probate court to obtain information about the adoptee's biological family.

Replaces those repealed laws with a procedure in which adopted persons described in the preceding dot point who are at least 18 years of age may submit a written request to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) for ODH to provide the adopted person with a copy of the contents of the person's adoption file.

Permits a lineal descendant, who is at least 18 years of age, of an adopted person to submit a written request to ODH for ODH to provide the lineal descendant with a copy of the contents of the adopted person's adoption file.

Prescribes the requirements for a written request described in the preceding two dot points.

Requires ODH to prescribe a contact preference form for biological parents, provides the requirements for and the contents of the form, and requires ODH, if it accepts a completed form, to place it in the adoption file of the adopted person to whom it pertains.

Requires the contact preference form to include a component in which the biological parent indicates that the parent:(1) welcomes a person who receives a copy of the adoption file contents to contact the parent directly, (2) prefers that the person contact the parent through an intermediary, or (3) prefers that the person not contact the parent directly or through an intermediary.

Requires ODH to attach a social and medical history form to each contact preference form it makes available to biological parents, to review each completed social and medical history form it receives and remove any identifying information or inaccurate information, and to file the form with the court that decreed the adoption.

Expands current law to permit only the adoptive parents, during the minority of an adopted person, or only an adopted person upon reaching majority, to inspect the social and medical history forms described in the preceding dot point.

Permits an adopted person to request ODH that it disclose to the person which court entered the interlocutory order or final decree of adoption if the adopted person seeks to inspect a social and medical history form of the biological parent or submit a request for notification of a correction or expansion of the social or medical history.

Modifies existing law pertaining to the adoption file maintained by ODH to specifically prohibit ODH from opening an adoption file or making its contents available except, in addition to the exceptions under current law: (1) to determine the court involved in the adoption, (2) to make the file contents available to an adopted person or the person's lineal descendant in accordance with the bill, or (3) to file a contact preference form and remove any previously filed contact preference form.

Relocates certain provisions pertaining to the birth record of adoptees currently contained in one section to six new sections and applies the bill's provisions in those sections.

Changes section references and makes other changes in existing law to conform to the bill's provisions.

Provides that the R.C. sections as amended, enacted, or repealed by the bill take effect one year after the act's effective date

I love this definition under 3107.38 ORC :]
(6) "Lineal descendant of an adopted person" means a person who by reason of blood, marriage, or adoption is a lineal descendant of an adopted person.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Last of 2012 Round of Newspapers added to Chronicling America

This item came in today from Jenni at the Ohio Historical Society:
I am happy to announce that the rest of the content we digitized under the 2010-2012 grant cycle is now online at Chronicling America! This includes the following papers:

Press releases for these papers will be sent out to you and media outlets around the state soon.

I am also pleased to announce that the first Chronicling America Search Strategy Video (screencast) is now available on the Ohio Historical Society’s YouTube Channel:  The short video utilizes search examples about the S.S. Sultana disaster to demonstrate why and how to use the “any,” “all” and “phrase” advanced search options. More information about the videos is available through the Ohio Digital Newspaper Portal on the Chronicling America Search Strategy Videos page. Links to all screencasts will be added to this page as the videos are released. Please spread the word about this exciting new research tool! Feel free to link people to the post that was written for the OHS Collections Blog that discusses the S.S. Sultana and the video:  

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Jenni Salamon
Project Coordinator
National Digital Newspaper Program in Ohio

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Counting Down to Cincinnati

2013 OGS Conference Registrations are rolling in because the price increases after March 15th. We go by post mark date. Get your reservation in tomorrow - post office, fax to 419-886-0092, or email image of form to  We are going to have FUN! Don't miss out! Join us next month in Cincinnati!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Income Tax Check-Off Box

The Ohio Historical Society just announced the winners of the History Fund grants from that Ohio income tax form history check-off box.
Clark County Historical Society - $15,000 for digital cataloging work
Cleveland Museum of Natural History - $12,873 for documentation of prehistoric Native American sites in Lake Erie basin
Cleveland Restoration Society - $15,000 for raising awareness of endangered historic sites in Cleveland's African American community
Dennison Rail Road Depot - $15,000 to alleviate crowded artifact storage conditions
Eden Valley Enterprises - $15,000 for support of a PBS documentary about Emma Gatewood, a pioneer of the Appalachian Trail
Friends of Whitewater Shaker Village - $15,000 to build ADA-compliant restrooms
Granville Historical Society - $6,041 for re-enactment of first Anti-Slavery Convention at Granville in 1836
John & Annie Glenn Museum Foundation - $6,600 to construct display cases
MidPointe Library System - $2,160 for digitization of four historic Butler County atlases
Pioneer Historical Society of Muskingum County - $8,000 to repair roof of Stone Academy
Union County Historical Society - $3,300 to digitize 1938 color movie film footage showing small town life, Ohio State Fair, and an Ohio State football game
Let's see some OGS chapters on this list next year! Information may be found at