Ohio Adoption

Ohio Adoptions

Ohio Adoption Guide

Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.66; 3107.47; 3107.49Nonidentifying information is available to:

  • An adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • An adoptive parent of a adopted person who is under age 18
  • An adoptive family member of a deceased adopted person
  • A birth parent of an adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • A birth sibling who is age 18 or older
  • A birth family member if the birth parent is deceased

Identifying information is accessible to:

  • An adopted person who is age 21 or older
  • An adoptive parent of an adopted person who is older than age 18 but younger than 21
  • The birth parent or adult birth sibling

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.66; 3107.60

An adopted person, an adoptive parent, or an adoptive family member may submit a written request to the agency or attorney who arranged the adoption or the probate court that finalized the adoption, for information about the adopted’s birth parent or birth sibling contained in the agency’s, attorney’s, or court’s adoption records that is nonidentifying information.A birth parent, birth sibling, or birth family member may submit a written request for information about the adopted person or adoptive parent that is nonidentifying information.

The term ‘nonidentifying information’ means one of the following:

  • In relation to a birth parent, any information that is not identifying information, including all of the following:
    • A birth parent’s age at the time the child was adopted
    • The medical and genetic history of the birth parents
    • The age, sex, and medical and genetic history of an adopted person’s birth siblings and extended family members
    • A person’s heritage and ethnic background, educational level, general physical appearance, religion, occupation, and cause of death
    • Any information that may be included in a social and medical history as specified § 3107.09(B)-(C)
  • In relation to an adoptive parent, any information that is not identifying information, including all of the following:
    • An adoptive parent’s age at the time of adoption
    • An adoptive sibling’s age at the time of adoption
    • The heritage, ethnic background, religion, educational level, and occupation of the adoptive parent
    • General information known about the well-being of the adopted person before and after the adoption

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.47; 3107.49

For adoptions completed before January 1, 1964, adopted persons have access upon request to the adoption file maintained by the Department of Health.For adoptions completed between 1964 and 1996:

  • Any birth parent or sibling who wishes to authorize the release of identifying information shall file a release form with the department. A release may be filed with the department at any time. The department shall establish and maintain a file of releases.
  • At age 21, an adopted person may file a petition with the Probate Court that finalized his or her adoption and inquire if such a form has been filed. In the event of a match, identifying information may be released to the adopted person.
  • The court that decreed the adoption may order that the contents be made open for inspection or available for copying.

For adoptions completed after 1996:

  • A birth parent may file with the department a denial of release form that shall be placed in the adoption file. The birth parent may rescind an authorization of release form and rescind a denial of release form as many times as the birth parent wishes.
  • An adopted person age 21 or older, or an adoptive parent of an adopted person at least age 18 but under age 21, may submit a request to the Department of Health for a copy of the contents of the adopted person’s adoption file. If there is not an effective denial of release form for either birth parent in the adopted person’s adoption file, the department shall provide the adopted person or adoptive parent a copy of the contents of the adopted person’s adoption file.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Code § 3705.12

Original birth records of persons whose adoptions were decreed prior to January 1, 1964, that are in the possession of the Department of Health shall be open to inspection by and either shall be copied or made available for copying by, the adopting parents, the adopted person, or any lineal descendant of the adopted person, upon request.For adoptions completed between 1964 and 1996, the original birth record and such papers shall not be open to inspection, be copied, or be available for copying, except as follows:

  • The department shall copy and provide an agency with a copy of the original birth record upon the presentation by the agency of a certified copy of an order issued by a probate judge under § 3107.41.
  • The department shall inspect the file to determine the court involved in an adoption for the purpose of § 3107.09(D) or 3107.091 or provide the name of that court to an agency under the circumstances described in § 3107.41(B)(2)(b).
  • The department shall provide an adopted person a copy of the contents of the adoption file pursuant to § 3107.38(B)(1).
  • The court that decreed the adoption may order that the contents be made open for inspection or available for copying.

For adoptions completed after 1996, the department shall make the file’s contents available to the adopted person or adoptive parent in accordance with § 3107.47.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Ohio Adoption Registry, Ohio Department of Health — Vital Statistics

 

Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.014
Social and medical histories must be completed by an assessor. Only an individual who meets all of the following requirements may perform the duties of an assessor:

  • The individual must be in the employ of, appointed by, or under contract with a court, public children’s services agency, private child-placing agency, or private noncustodial agency.
  • The individual must be one of the following:
    • A licensed professional counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist
    • A licensed psychologist
    • o A student working to earn a 4-year, postsecondary or higher degree, in a social or behavioral science, who conducts assessor’s duties under the supervision of a trained assessor
    • A civil service employee engaging in social work without a license
    • A former employee of a public children’s services agency who, while so employed, conducted the duties of an assessor
  • The individual must complete training in accordance with rules adopted under § 3107.015.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.12
The report of a prefinalization assessment shall include all of the following:

  • The adjustment of the child to the adoptive placement
  • The present and anticipated needs of the child, as determined by a review of the child’s medical and social histories, for adoption-related services, including assistance under title IV-E or § 5153.163 and counseling, case management services, crisis services, diagnostic services, and therapeutic counseling
  • The physical, mental, and developmental conditions of the child
  • If known, the child’s birth family background, including identifying information about the birth or other legal parents
  • The reasons for the child’s placement with the petitioner and the circumstances under which the child was placed in the home of the petitioner
  • The attitude of the child toward the proposed adoption, if the child’s age makes this feasible
  • If the child is an Indian child, how the placement complies with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
  • If known, the child’s psychological background, including prior abuse of the child and behavioral problems of the child

The assessor shall provide a copy of the written report of the assessment to the petitioner with the identifying information about the birth or other legal parents redacted.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.09
An assessor shall record the social and medical histories of the birth parents of a child available for adoption. The assessor shall use the forms prescribed by the Department of Job and Family Services. The assessor shall not include on the forms identifying information about the birth parents or other ancestors of the child.

Social histories shall describe the following about the birth parents:

  • Age
  • Ethnic, racial, religious, marital, and physical characteristics
  • Educational and cultural backgrounds, talents and hobbies, and work experience

Medical histories shall identify:

  • Major diseases, malformations, allergies, and ear or eye defects
  • Major conditions and major health problems that are or may be congenital or familial

These histories may include other social and medical information relative to the birth parents and shall include social and medical information relative to the child’s other ancestors.

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.12
The assessor shall file the prefinalization report with the court no later than 20 days prior to the date scheduled for the final hearing on the adoption, unless the court determines there is good cause for filing the report at a later date.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.09; 3107.12
An assessor shall record the social and medical histories of the birth parents unless the child is to be adopted by his or her stepparent or grandparent.

A prefinalization assessment is not required if the petitioner is the child’s stepparent, unless, after determining a prefinalization assessment is in the best interests of the child, a court orders that such an assessment.

 

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.15
Except with respect to the spouse of the petitioner and relatives of the spouse, the final adoption decree terminates all legal relationships between the adopted person and the adopted person’s birth parents or other legal parents and relatives, for all purposes including inheritance.If a parent of a child dies without the relationship of parent and child having been previously terminated and a spouse of the living parent thereafter adopts the child, the child’s rights from or through the deceased parent for all purposes, including inheritance, are not restricted or curtailed by the adoption.Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.15
The adoption decree creates the relationship of parent and child between the petitioner and the adopted person, as if the adopted person were a birth descendant of the petitioner, for all purposes including inheritance. A person who is age 18 or older at the time the person is adopted, and the adopted person’s lineal descendants, are not included as recipients of gifts, devises, bequests, or other transfers of property for purposes of inheritance, unless the document or instrument expressly includes the adopted person by name or expressly states that it includes a person who is age 18 or older at the time the person is adopted.Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Rev. Code § 2107.34
If, after making a last will and testament, a testator adopts a child and no provision has been made in such will or by settlement for such pretermitted child or heir, or for the issue thereof, the will shall not be revoked. Unless it appears by such will that it was the intention of the testator to disinherit such pretermitted child or heir, the bequests and legacies granted by such will, except those to a surviving spouse, shall be abated proportionately, or in such other manner as is necessary to give effect to the intention of the testator as shown by the will, so that such pretermitted child or heir will receive a share equal to that which such person would have been entitled to receive out of the estate if such testator had died intestate with no surviving spouse, owning only that portion of the testator’s estate not bequeathed to or for the use and benefit of a surviving spouse. If such child or heir dies prior to the death of the testator, the issue of such deceased child or heir shall receive the share the parent would have received if living.

 

State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.18(A) A court decree establishing the relationship of parent and child by adoption, issued pursuant to due process of law by a court of any jurisdiction outside this State, whether within or outside the United States, shall be recognized in this State, and the rights and obligations of the parties as to all matters within the jurisdiction of this State shall be determined as though the decree were issued by a court of this State.A decree or certificate of adoption that is issued under the laws of a foreign country and that is verified and approved by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service* shall be recognized in this State.[*As of March 1, 2003, the responsibility for providing immigration-related services was transferred from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The statutes do not yet reflect this change.]Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.18(A)-(B)Nothing in this section prohibits a court from issuing a final decree of adoption or interlocutory order of adoption for a person the petitioner has adopted pursuant to a decree or certificate of adoption recognized in this State that was issued outside the United States.If a child born in a foreign country is placed with adoptive parents or an adoptive parent in this State for the purpose of adoption, and if the adoption previously has been finalized in the country of the child’s birth, the adoptive parent or parents may bring a petition in the probate court in their county of residence requesting that the court issue a final decree of adoption or an interlocutory order of adoption pursuant to § 3107.14. In a proceeding on the petition, proof of finalization of the adoption outside the United States is prima facie evidence of the consent of the parties who are required to give consent even if the foreign decree or certificate of adoption was issued with respect to only one of two adoptive parents who seek to adopt the child in this State.Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.18(C)At the request of a person who has adopted a person pursuant to a decree or certificate of adoption recognized in this State that was issued outside the United States, the court of the county in which the person making the request resides shall order the Department of Health to issue a foreign birth record for the adopted person under § 3705.12(A)(4).

The court may specify a change of name for the child and, if a physician has recommended a revision of the birth date, a revised birth date. The court shall send to the department with its order a copy of the foreign adoption decree or certificate of adoption and, if the foreign decree or certificate of adoption is not in English, a translation certified as to its accuracy by the translator and provided by the person who requested the order.


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