News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Cedar Point

Hennes Paynter Communications

Hospice of the Western Reserve


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Politics


Ohio lawmakers push for open adoption records
Two bills working their way through the Ohio Legislature would allow adoptees equal access to their original birth certificates.
by WKSU's AMY COOKNICK
and JEFF ST.CLAIR


Reporter
Amy Cooknick
 
In The Region:

The adoption measures, House Bill 61 and its companion Senate Bill 23, attempt to undo legislation from 1964 that closed birth records for adoptees nationwide.

Under current Ohio law, individuals adopted between 1964 and 1996 still do not have access to their original birth certificates. But adults adopted before 1964 or after 1996, have open access.

Adoption Network Cleveland launched a campaign earlier this year to help pass laws opening up the records.  Director Betsie Norris says this is the sixth attempt in 24 years to help people gain access in Ohio.

Betsie Norris, Adoption Network Cleveland

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (0:25)


Contact Preference protects parents anonymity
Norris says, “this secrecy that has kind of hung over adoption has not been positive for the reputation of adoption."

She says people once worried that open access would make birth mothers less likely to place a child up for adoption. But "that has not turned out to be the case in any of the states that have opened up that period," Norris says. "So basically, people’s fears didn’t come true, so people who had previously opposed the bill are now actually supporting it.”

Norris says the proposed legislation includes a contact preference that allows birth parents to decide whether they would like to be contacted by their child in the future. She says this addresses concerns that releasing birth records to adoptees would violate birth parent rights.

Proposals allay fears of birth and adoptive parents
In the House, two state representatives are jointly sponsoring the adoptee rights bill. Lakewood Democrat Nickie Antonio and Marysville Republican Dorothy Pelanda call it a civil rights case and say it is time to give adoptees and birth parents the same rights as everyone else.

Pelanda says part of the past opposition to the bill came from a lack of understanding of the adoption process. She says there was a fear in the past that birth parents would choose abortion over adoption to try to keep their pregnancies secret. Pelanda says, “a study of the documents of adoptions between 1964 and 1996 just simply proved that that was not true.” 

Antonio adds that the bill focuses on equity rather than any attempt by adoptees to contact birth parents.

With the rise of social media and the amount of information available online, Antonio says privacy is no longer the driving issue it once was for opposition groups. "It’s really about just giving them equity along with everyone else who’s been adopted in Ohio.” Antonio says the legislation takes away “an inequity for a group of people who should have access to an original birth certificate.”  

The House Judiciary Committee approved House Bill 61 unanimously last week.  The full House and Senate will take up the bills when lawmakers return from spring recess next month.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Akron's Chapel Hill Mall in foreclosure
Not a surprise. Between the shoplifting, gangs and violence that goes on up there it is no wonder that no one feels safe to shop at Chapel Hill. They have sca...

Ohio launches investigation into at least one Concept charter school
I worked at Noble Academy Cleveland as admin assistant and enrolment coordinator for 6 years, I know this is so valid and true and can provide staff names and p...

Crisis looms in filling aviation industry jobs in Ohio and the nation
I listened to this story yesterday morning on the radio and just want to add this comment. My son went to school to train as an air traffic controller, and gra...

Cuyahoga Valley National Park considers fire to fight invasives
I'm for the controlled burn. There are not enough people (myself included) who volunteer for the removal of invasive plant species. Therefore, another solution ...

Remembering Cleveland music impresario Hank LoConti
The picture here is not the original Agora. It is the old WHK studios where the Agora moved into.

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University