Wednesday (February 20, 2013) I attended the Ohio House Judiciary Committee Sponsor’s Hearing for HB 61, which would restore the right of OBC access to Ohio adoptees born between January 1, 1964-September 17, 1996. Those born after that date currently have access at the age of 21 (at 18 their aparents can access), unless a birthparent has filed a Disclosure Veto with the state. Ohio Vital Statistics does not know how many DV’s are on file (!), but the number is probably minuscule Washington State, which has a similar law, reports only four DVs submitted since 1993, and all of them last year. Lawyer dirty tricks?
Senate Bill, 23 is HB61′s companion bill. . Both have bi-partisan support. Ohio Right to Life, opposed for decades to OBC access for 1964-1996s, due to its belief that access to those old records would compromise “the state’s promise of anonymity” in adoption; thus causing women to seek abortions now, has dropped its opposition. ORTL President Mike Gonidakis told the press recently, “Historically, Ohio Right to Life has opposed efforts to disclose identities of birth parents.That position has thawed, for lack of a better term..” Goindakis credits the Internet with some of the change saying that “you can find out information that you couldn’t in the past.” (paid access, Columbus Dispatch, January 27, 2013).
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