Impact of New Law on Adoptions Finalized Between January 1, 1964 – September 18, 1996
Senate Bill 23 modified the law governing records of adoptions that were finalized between January 1, 1964, and September 18, 1996. This law will allow those whose adoptions were finalized between January 1, 1964 to September 18, 1996 to gain access to their adoption file and original birth record from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
INFORMATION FOR ADOPTEES AND LINEAL DESCENDANTS
Effective March 20, 2015, adult adoptees may submit an application to ODH for a copy of the adoption file. The requesting adoptee must be at least 18 years old. The adult lineal descendants (lineal descendants are described as children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the adoptee) may also submit an application for a copy of the adoption file. The adoption file request form is also be available in our lobby. Please note: a copy of an adoption file CANNOT be ordered online, nor can a copy of an adoption file be provided in our lobby on the same day. Customers may mail the required documents with payment or submit them in our lobby; requests will be verified and researched, then copies will be mailed within one month.
Below are the forms available to be submitted by the adoptee:
- Application for Adoption File (HEA 3011) - This form allows for anyone whose birth occurred in the State of Ohio and was adopted to obtain their adoption file located at ODH. This form must be notarized and submitted with two forms of identification and the fee of $20. An adoption file usually contains the original birth certificate and a court order decree of the adoption. It may also include biological parent release forms and/or biological sibling release forms that were submitted to ODH before March 20, 2014 and some of the contents located in the "Birth Parent Information Packet". The biological parent and/or sibling release forms and birth parent information packet are not required before the adoption file can be released.
- Authorization of Release of Adopted Name (HEA 3036) - This form grants permission for ODH to release the adoptive name to the biological parents or siblings of the adopted person upon their request. This form must be notarized and submitted with two form of identification.
- Rescission of Authorization of Release of Adopted Name (HEA 3037) - An adoptee may rescind an Authorization of Release of Adopted Name form, by completing this rescission form. By rescinding the Authorization of Release of Adopted Name form the biological parents or siblings will not be able to obtain the adoptive name of the adopted person upon their request. This form must be notarized and returned with two forms of identification.
Below is the form available to be submitted by a lineal descendant of an adoptee:
- Application for Adoption File (HEA 3011) – This form allows for a lineal descendant of an adoptee as described above to obtain the contents located in the adoption file at ODH. This form must be notarized and submitted with two forms of identification and the fee of $20. Please note: One form of identification should show linkage to the adopted person.
INFORMATION FOR BIRTH PARENTS
Starting now the biological parents can complete and submit a Birth Parent Information Packet which contains: a Contact Preference Form, Social/Medical History Form and an Application for the Release of the Adopted Name. Below you will find detailed information as to the purpose of each form.
- The Contact Preference Form will allow the biological parent to state how they would like to be contacted if the adoption file is released. They can choose direct contact, contact through an intermediary or no contact at all. This form is advisory only and not enforceable. It does not ensure that contact will or will not be made. The Social/Medical History Form is not required with this form, but is urged to be completed.
- The Social and Medical History Form will allow the biological parents to update any social and medical information they wish for the adoptee or any lineal descendants to be aware of.
- The Application for Release of Adopted Name form will allow the adopted child's name to be released to the biological parents in the event that an adopted child has submitted an Authorization of Release of Adopted Name form (HEA 3036).
Please click here to obtain the Birth Parent Information Packet which includes instructions on completing the forms.
*** Any prior releases submitted before March 20, 2014, by the Birth Parent or Biological Sibling will be merged into the adoption file. The biological parent and/or sibling release forms are not required before the adoption file can be opened. ODH cannot add other types of correspondence, such as letters or photos, to the sealed adoption file. Any additional materials will be returned to the sender.***
*** The law provided that the Biological Parent of an adoptee could submit a Redaction Form in the event they did not want their name released with the adoptee’s original birth certificate. This form was effective until March 19, 2015 and will no longer be accepted. ***
INFORMATION FOR BIOLOGICAL SIBLINGS
Biological Siblings of adoptees can complete the Application for Release of Adopted Name (HEA 3039). This will allow the adopted child’s name to be released in the event that an adopted child has submitted an Authorization for Release of Adopted Name. The form must be submitted with two pieces of identification with one showing linkage to the adopted person.
A short film was created with input from staff at ODH to explain the process; you may view this film at http://youtu.be/84OVyrw4jUc .
Should you have a question about these forms or this topic, please call the ODH customer service team at (614) 466-2531.
Should you have general questions regarding the adoption process in Ohio, feel free to contact the following private organizations:
Adoption Network Cleveland: www.AdoptionNetwork.org
Ohio Birthparent Group: www.ohiobirthparents.org