Ohio Adoption Laws

Ohio Adoption Law

The Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics, houses birth and adoption records of persons born in Ohio and adopted anywhere in the United States. Below is the list of Adoption laws and procedures that are used in Ohio:  

  • Adoptions Prior to January 1, 1964 - Adoption records open to people who were born and adopted in Ohio, with proper identification.

  • Adoptions Between January 1, 1964 and September 18, 1996 - Ohio Right to Life partnered with other organizations to lobby the legislature to pass the Open Records Adoption Law. opening up adoption records from this time period. This bill  went into effect on March 20, 2015, and allows adopted adults (adopted between 1964-1996) to obtain their birth certificate. This allows adopted children to fill a missing puzzle piece in their life. Adoption records for people born during this period are available via the Ohio Department of Health.

  • Adoptions After September 18, 1996 - Adoption records are open to adoptive parents when the adopted person is between 18-21 years of age.  If the adopted person is 21 years or older, the records are open to the adoptee. Records will only be opened if the required documentation and releases are on file.  

  • For information on how to procure adoption records, please visit the Ohio Department of Health's website.

Ohio Right to Life 2014 Infant Adoption Reform

Ohio Right to Life is grateful to the leaders who worked with us to make this bill a reality in 2014--to all representatives and senators, Democrats and Republicans alike, who stood behind these important, life-changing reforms, thereby ensuring a more affordable and accessible adoption process for both adoptive and birth parents. We are grateful for a General Assembly and Governor who put families first.

Amended Substitute SB 250 puts in place provisions that will make adoptions easier while protecting the rights of the birthmothers, birthfathers, adoptive parents and most importantly the children whose lives would be impacted by this legislation.

  • Under Sub. S.B. 250, putative fathers will have 15 days after the birth of the child to register with the putative father registry.

  • Sub. S.B 250 provides mothers a mechanism of providing pre-birth notices to a putative father.

    • Upon receiving a notice a putative father may file an action to determine parentage of the child within 30 days of receiving a birth notice.

  • Sub. S.B. 250 reduces the timeline for a final adoption decree from one year to 6 months.   

    • While increasing the tax credit from 1,500 to 10,000 to be collected by the tax payer over the course of five years

We have no doubt that Substitute SB 250 will provide best adoption law practices and advance infant adoption in the state of Ohio.   

Sponsor: Representatives Jim Buchy and Dorothy Pelanda and Senators Shannon Jones and Frank LaRose

Status: Signed into law by Governor Kasich Friday, December 19, 2014.


Revised 6/5/19


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