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.

Don Drumm Studios

Wayside Furniture

Greater Akron Chamber


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
Government and 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

From warehouse to writer: Terry Pluto's Thanksgiving thank you
Dear Terry: On my 8th cup of coffee trying to get Thanksgiving "Brunch" done ahead of time because I work nights. However, I just had to stop to contact yo...

The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
The HOF has needed a shot in the arm for many years and this project will go a long way to getting the attraction the attention it deserves (next: upgrad...

Environmental study nears completion in East Liverpool
Twenty years ago my twin sister and I protested the building and operation of the WTI facility citing several studies that indicated the risk of cancer due to ...

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

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