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Ohio Adoptee's Access to Records Law: A Retrospective

Access to Records: Archives

This area serves as a historic archive of Senate Bill 23/House Bill 61, championed by Adoption Network Cleveland, (the bill was sponsored by Senators Beagle and Burke and Representatives Pelanda and Antonio). The legislation passed in 2013, creating access to records for 400,000 Ohio adoptees beginning in 2015.

For over 25 years, Adoption Network Cleveland was the primary advocate for legislation in this area. Between 1988 and 2013 we developed and advocated for this legislation repeatedly.

In 2013 we achieved success when SB 23/HB 61 became law. This new law, implemented March 20, 2015, grants 400,000 adult adoptees adopted between 1964 and 1996 access to their original birth certificates. This important legislation was the result of hard work by many people over several years. Adoption Network Cleveland Executive Director Betsie Norris began this advocacy work in 1988, when she founded the organization, and followed it through to its success.

The content of SB 23 and HB 61 were identical in language, and the effort on both bills resulted in SB 23 passing and becoming law.

Senate Bill 23 Hearings

House Bill 61 Hearings

Additional Archived Information on SB23/HB61

  • A two-page factsheet about SB23/HB61 with information about the bills, the impact of sealing adoptee birth certificates and the needed reform.

  • Answers to four of the most common myths and perceptions about lifting the seal on adoption records and on the scope of SB23/HB61.

  • A description of what SB23/HB61 would do, and the list of sponsoring senators and representatives.

Updates to Advocates

To continually inform SB 23/HB 61 supporters of the legislation's progress, Adoption Network Cleveland sent out email correspondence with the latest updates and ideas for action. Those emails are preserved below in their original language.

Other Materials

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

Birthparents can access the Contact Preference and Medical History Forms through the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics. Access the Ohio Department of Health website and access the Ohio Department of Health's Birthparent Information Packet and Forms.

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