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Replaces those repealed laws with a procedure in which adopted persons described in the preceding dot point who are at least 18 years of age may submit a written request to the Ohio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.

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