Birth Certificate Access for Ohio Adoptees - Success in 2013!


For 25 years, Adoption Network Cleveland worked to bring access to original birth certificates for all Ohio-born adoptees. In 2013 we had a major success when Governor John Kasich signed Substitute Senate Bill 23 into law on December 19th. This new law gives 400,000 adult adoptees adopted between 1964 and 1996 access to their original birth certificates.* This important legislation is the result of hard work by many people over the years and it has finally paid off. Adoption Network Cleveland Executive Director Betsie Norris began this advocacy work in 1988, when she founded the organization, and has followed it through to its success.

Are you interested in being a resource for media contacts? If so, please let us know a little about you. Either fill out this form online and hit the Submit button or send an email to Linda Schellentrager.

We are sure that many of you have questions about what happens next. 

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions. 

For historical purposes, a four page preliminary implementation report, published on April 1, 2014, is available. Click here.

To learn more about past testimony, please click on the links below:

House Bill 61 Hearings
Hearing 1 â€“ Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Representative Nickie Antonio, Sponsor (Click here to view testimony)
Representative Dorothy Pelanda, Sponsor (Click here to view testimony)

Hearing 2 - Wednesday, March 6, 3013
Adam Pertman, Executive Director, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (Click here to view testimony)
Elizabeth Samuels, J.D., Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law (Click here to view testimony)
Denise St. Clair, J.D., Executive Director, National Center for Adoption Law and Policy at Capital University (Click here to view testimony)
Patricia Rideout, J.D., Chief Administrator, Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services (Click here to view testimony)
Fred Greenman, Jr. J.D., Legal Adviser, American Adoption Congress (Click here to view testimony)
Judge David Matia, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court (Click here to view testimony)
Nancy Burley, director of Adoption Circle Adoption Agency (Click here to view testimony)
Jeff Costello, an Ohio adoptee now residing in Atlanta, GA (Click here to view testimony)
Erin Hopkins McHugh, an Ohio adoptee (Click here to view testimony)
Jaime Miracle, Policy Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio (Click here to view testimony)
Stephanie Krider, Director of Legislative Affairs, Ohio Right to Life (Click here to view testimony)
Julia Derry, an Ohio adoptee (Click here to view testimony)

Hearing 3 - Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Betsie Norris, an Ohio adoptee, Executive Director, Adoption Network Cleveland (Click here to view testimony)  The additional resources referenced in Betsie Norris' testimony are also available. Click here to access the Ohio Registry Flow Chart and click here to view William B. Norris' testimony from January 18, 1994.
Kate Livingston, birthmother, Director, Ohio Birthparent Group (Click here to view testimony)
Catholic Conference of Ohio (Click here to view testimony)
Susan Anthony, birthmother (Click here to view testimony)
Sara Blubaugh, birthmother (Click here to view testimony)
Stephanie Olson, birthmother (Click here to view testimony)

Senate Bill 23 Hearings
Hearing 1 - Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Senator Bill Beagle and Senator David Burke, Sponsors (Click here to view testimony)

Hearing 2 - Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Wendy Barkett, an Ohio adoptee now residing in Texas (Click here to view testimony)
Paula Benoit, A former Maine State Senator and adoptee (Click here to view testimony)
Jeff Costello, on Ohio adoptee now residing in Atlanta, GA (Click here to view testimony)
Julia Derry, an Ohio Adoptee (Click here to view testimony)
Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D., founding Chair of the Cleveland Clinic Genomic Medicine Institute (Click Here to view testimony)
Frederick Greenman Jr., J.D., Legal Adviser, American Adoption Congress (Click here to view testimony)
Erin Hopkins McHugh, an Ohio Adoptee (Click here to view testimony)
Steve Kelly, an Ohio adoptee (Click here to view testimony)
Sonya Kimball, an Ohio adoptee (Click here to view testimony)
Jaime Miracle, Policy Director, NARA Pro-Choice Ohio (Click here to view testimony)
Betsie Norris, Executive Director and Founder, Adoption Network Cleveland (Click here to view testimony) The additional resources referenced in Betsie Norris' testimony are also available. Click here to access the Ohio Registry Flow Chart and click here to view William B. Norris' testimony from January 18, 1994.
Adam Pertman, Executive Director, Donaldson Adoption Institute (Click here to view testimony)
Patricia Rideout, J.D., Chief Administrator, Cuyahoga Division of Children and Family Services (Click here to view testimony)
Elizabeth Samuels, J.D., Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law (Click here to view testimony)
Paul Schibbelhute, Legislative Chairman, American Adoption Congress (Click here to view testimony)
Betsy Smalley, Adoption Training Manager, Institute for Human Services (Click here to view testimony)
Kayla Smith, Director of Legislative Affairs, Ohio Right to Life (Click here to view testimony) 
Jim Tobin, Associate Director, Catholic Conference of Ohio (Click here to view testimony) 



*Adoptees who were born before 1964 and after 1996 already enjoy nearly unfettered access to their original birth records.

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