Update 9: March 9, 2013
ROAR! 2013 – Restore Ohio Adoptee Rights in 2013
IN THIS UPDATE
• Next HB 61 Hearing: Possible vote on March 13th!
• Action Alerts: Things YOU CAN DO
• Re-Cap of March 6th hearings on HB 61 and SB 23
• About the Bills
POSSIBLE COMMITTEE VOTE ON HB 61! WE NEED YOU AT THE NEXT HEARING!
The next House Judiciary Committee hearing for HB 61 is now scheduled for Wednesday, March 13th at 3pm. A summary of the last hearing is available below. There is a strong possibility that the committee may vote on the bill on March 13th, so it is IMPERATIVE that all proponents attend this hearing- especially adoptees and birthparents! Because there are several other bills being discussed at this hearing, we have been asked by the committee to limit proponent testimony to 4-5 people for March 13th.
Four adult adoptees delivered fantastic testimony on 3/6, but the committee has yet to hear from birthparents. Currently, the action plan is for Betsie Norris of Adoption Network Cleveland, Kate Livingston of Ohio Birthparent Group and three birthparents (each having placed a child in a different decade of Ohio’s closed adoption record period) to testify on 3/13. We hope to have ALL birthparents in attendance stand behind the podium in solidarity with those three birthparents who will be testifying.
ACTION ALERT: THINGS YOU CAN DO
• Submit Your Written Testimony: Anyone can submit written testimony regardless of whether or not they deliver oral testimony at a hearing. This may be your last chance to submit your written testimony for HB 61. Please email your written testimony by noon on Tuesday, March 12th to: Jeff.Dillon@ohiohouse.gov
• Attend the March 13th Hearing! We need as many people as possible to be at this hearing. The committee could vote on the bill during this hearing, so it is critical that we have as many proponents as possible in the room. If there was ever a date to be there, this is it.
• Birthparents Stand Together- Attend the hearing and stand in solidarity at the podium with the three birthparents who will be testifying.
HEARING RE-CAPS from WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6th
Senate Bill 23 had sponsor testimony in the Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee. Senator Sponsors Bill Beagle and Dave Burke presented testimony and answered committee questions. Questions focused on medical history and on birthparent privacy. Questions brought up in sponsor testimony give us guidance on what to make sure the committee hears more about in future hearings. The second hearing on SB 23 will be on Wednesday March 20th at 2:30pm.
House Bill 61 had proponent testimony in the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing went quite well with 11 people testifying in support of HB 61. Before testimony began for our bill, Representative Blair (who was at the podium to speak about another bill) told the committee that he is an adoptee and that he fully supports this bill. Witnesses for HB 61 included legal and adoption experts in the field, public and private adoption agency administrators, a judge who is an adoptee, three Ohio adoptees (one who flew in from Atlanta for the hearing) and representatives from both Ohio Right to Life (who previously opposed adoptee access bills) and NARAL Prochoice Ohio (who previously never took a stand on adoptee access bills). All spoke powerfully for the passage of House Bill 61!
Read the legislative news summaries from the hearing: