COLUMBUS– The Ohio Senate today passed Senate Bill 23, sponsored by Senator Dave Burke (R–Marysville), which seeks to give adult adoptees appropriate access to their original birth records.
Senator Burke jointly sponsored the measure with Senator Bill Beagle (R–Tipp City).
Current law denies access to birth records based on the date of the person’s adoption. Thus, individuals adopted between January 1964 and September 1996 have no mechanism to access their birth records.
“As a person who was adopted in the years omitted from the records law, I understand first-hand how difficult and personal each family’s decision can be.  However, I believe the current system encumbers adoptees later in life as they attempt to do important things like learn their family medical history so they can discuss health risks with their doctor,” said Burke. “There are a lot of Ohioans who will benefit from this simple correction to the law.”
Senate Bill 23 would allow those individuals adopted within the 32-year gap to access their original birth records by contacting the Ohio Department of Health in the same manner as their pre-1964 and post 1996 counterparts.
Under the legislation, birth parents will have a one-year timeframe in which they may exercise an option to have identifying information about themselves redacted from the information release to the adoptee as to not reveal their personal identity.
Adoptions that occurred before 1964 or after September 1996 would not be affected by the bill.
In addition, the Senate put its stamp of approval on Senate Bill 154, also sponsored by Senator Burke, which works to modify the laws regarding the educational, examination, and licensing requirements for professional engineers and surveyors. Among the changes, the bill would modify the testing procedures and the number of necessary classroom hours required for a professional license.
The legislation also seeks to modernize the procedures by which the board reports its work to the Governor.
Both pieces of legislation will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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