YORK, PA--May 08, 2013--Companion bills currently available for consideration by the Ohio House and Senate, if passed, would result in thousands of adult adoptees realizing equal treatment under law when it comes to their birth certificates. Introduced by Senators Beagle and Burke and Representatives Pelanda and Antonio, SB 23 and HB 61 would ensure that every adopted person born in Ohio has the same access to their original birth certificate that those who are not adopted enjoy.
"The Adoptee Rights Coalition supports legislation that upholds the dignity of adopted people" says Amanda Woolston, Vice President and Director of Outreach of the Adoptee Rights Coalition (ARC). "Ohio SB 23 and HB 61 accomplish this by giving Ohio-born adult adoptees the same access to their original birth certificate than non-adopted adults born in the state. The ARC fully supports these bills."
When a child is adopted in the state of Ohio, the adoptee's original, factual birth certificate is altered--or amended--to make it appear as though the adoptive parents actually gave birth to the adoptee. There is no indication on the amended birth certificate that an adoption even took place. The original, factual birth certificate is sealed away and not legally recognized. Currently, Ohio-born adult adoptees (age 18+) are able to access their original birth certificate if they were born prior to January 1, 1964 or after September 18, 1996. Adoptees born within the 32-year time gap face institutional barriers to access their records by being required to petition the courts and participate in a passive mutual consent process.
Ohio SB 23 and HB 61 would grant Ohio-born adult adoptees born between January 1, 1964 and September 18, 1996 the same access to their original birth certificates afforded to those who are not adopted. This right is already recognized for Ohio-born adopted persons whose births took place prior to January 1, 1964 and after September 18, 1996. SB 23 and HB 61 allow adult adoptees previously discriminated against to request a copy of their original birth certificate as all other adults born in the state. It also gives original parents the option of filing a non-legally binding contact preference form which will inform the adopted person of their birth parent's boundaries and preferences regarding contact.
The Adoptee Rights Coalition fully supports SB 26 and HB 61 along with the efforts of Senators Beagle and Burke and Representatives Pelanda and Antonio. The Adoptee Rights Coalition is a national, grassroots group of adoptees, original parents and adoptive parents that supports legislation giving all adopted adults unconditional restored access to their own birth certificates.
For more information on the Adoptee Rights Coalitions, its participation in the National Conference of State Legislatures and birth certificate access in other states, visit www.adopteerightscoalition.com
Adoptee Rights Coalition