Another One Bites the Dust
Remember when I predicted that glasnost would come to adoption? That the walls erected in the name of shame and secrecy will inevitably fall, state by state, thanks to the hard work of adoption reform activists around the country –because anything built on a foundation of shame and secrecy simply isn’t sustainable?
Well, another wall has fallen, and the number of closed states in my original post just last year is off now by at least 3 (click here for a current count). Add Ohio to the list of state legislatures that have restored civil rights to adult adoptees.
I’m participating in this week’s social media thrust, tagged #ohadopteelaw, to highlight a bill that was passed in 2013 and goes into effect March 20. From organizer Adoption Network Cleveland (and my friend Linda Schellentrager):
In 2013 Adoption Network Cleveland achieved a major success towards our long term legislative goal of gaining the right for all Ohio adoptees to have access to their original birth records. This new law gives 400,000 adult adoptees adopted between 1964 and 1996 access to their original birth certificates. For a historical overview of this process, click here.
What are the implications regarding original birth certificates?
What does this new law mean for adoptees who were placed in Ohio? Find answers at this adoptee access timeline. And how does this new law affect birth parents who placed in Ohio? Find answers via the birth parent decision tree. The 400,000 people adopted in Ohio between 1964 and 1996, as well as the people who love and support them, will find the video below of interest, as it explains what the new law means and how to request one’s own vital (and accurate) record of birth — something many non-adopted people have probably not given a whole lot of thought to.
Walking Through Ohio’s New Adoption Records Law
Also of interest to those who have followed the struggle for civil rights is this video by filmmaker and activist Jean Strauss. She tells the story of Betsie Norris, Executive Director of Adoption Network Cleveland. Along her journey, Betsie discovered that her own father had inadvertently helped create the very laws she was trying to reverse.
An Adoptee ROARed in Ohio – the Betsie Norris Story by Jean Strauss
This week let’s celebrate the liberation of sealed birth records in Ohio. And next week, let’s turn our attention to remaining legislatures that still need to right this wrong. The walls must fall. The walls will fall.
Please visit these other #OHadopteelaw posts (and add your own link if you’re writing about #OHadopteelaw).