Understanding the New

Adoption Records Law in Ohio

In the last several years, Ohio has made important changes to its adoption records laws. Passed in December 2013, Senate Bill 23 now gives adoptees born in Ohio between January 1st, 1964 and September 17th, 1996 the ability to request their adoption file held by the Ohio Department of Health. This law also gives birthparents the ability to let the children they placed for adoption know their preferences for contact.

While advocates in Ohio fought hard for a uniform system of access, the law that ultimately passed still keeps in place different rules for adoptees and birthparents depending on the year that the adoption took place. Our friends at Adoption Network Cleveland have put together these helpful infographics to help birthparents and adoptees of all years understand their new options.

Explore the infographics below and find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Ohio’s newest adoption records law. Please note that some dates below have passed.

Learn More About Ohio's Records Law

Learn more about Ohio records law and find resources for search and reunion at Adoption Network Cleveland

Read archived material from the grassroots campaign for Adoptee Access in Ohio at the Adoption Equity Ohio facebook page

Find your request forms at Ohio Department of Health Adoption Records info page

A Guide for Birthparents

All Ohio birthparents now have the ability to take action to establish their preferences for contact. This Birthparent Decision Tree helps birthparents of all years understand their options under Ohio law.

A Guide for Adoptees

Adoptees born in Ohio and adopted (in any state) between Jan 1, 1964 and Sept 17, 1996 are now able to request their adoption files held by Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics in Columbus, OH. Regardless of your year of adoption, this Adoptee To-Do Chart chart explains what you can do to obtain information about your birth and adoption, from Vital Statistics and from other sources.