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Adoption Bill at the Statehouse

Updated: Tuesday, March 5 2013, 08:10 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- Experts from across the country are expected to testify Wednesday on behalf of a bill that would fix an oddity in state law that denies some adult adoptees access to their birth certificates.

"Those who were adopted in the years prior to 1964 and after 1996 have free access to their original birth certificate," said Rep. Dorothy Pelanda, (R)- Marysville.

She said the bill aims to create parity.

"There's a small group of individuals adopted between the years 1964 and 1996 who do not have the same rights," Pelanda said.

Rep. Nickie Antonio, (D)-Lakewood is shares sponsorship of the bill. A companion bill in the Ohio Senate also enjoys bipartisan support.

Lawmakers have tried to address the issue in the past.

Now Pelanda believes opposition has disintegrated.

Advocates with Adoption Network Cleveland say the bills have attracted national attention because other states are considering similar legislation.

House Bill 61 will have a hearing at 3 p.m. before the House Judiciary Committee.
Catie Mehl, an adoptee from Dublin, plans to be there as state and national experts testify.

She was born in 1981. She had to hire a private investigator to locate her birth parents.

She said allowing an adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates satisfies curiosity, creates  opportunities to access important health information, and a provides equality.

"Adoptees didn't have a say in being adopted. We didn't get a voice in this. Being able to have our basic birth certificate is important," Mehl said.


Reporter: Dana Jay
Web Producer: Kellie HannaAdoption Bill at the Statehouse

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