I’ve been writing for the Columbus Free Press since 1980. My latest article: Ohio Right to Life: Infant Adoption Reform Bill Threatens Birthparent Righrts; Doles Out Tax Credits was published today in the Columbus Free Press Weekly.
Here are a couple excerpts:.
HB 307, known as the Infant Adoption Reform Bill, shortens the time that an adoption in Ohio can be challenged post-finalization, decreases the time a man is eligible to file with the Putative Father Registry, permits individuals and couples to advertise for a child to adopt and increases the Ohio adoption tax credit from $1500 to $10,000.
ORTL president Mike Gonidakis claims that these measures will reduce abortion rates and encourage adoption by relieving potential adoptive parents (popularly known in adoption reform as “paps”) from the stress and expense of a long drawn-out, often expensive, adoption process.
There is nothing in the bill, however, to indicate how making the adoption process easier and cheaper will increase newborn adoption rates since newborns are traditionally in short supply. Nor does it address how to increase the adoption of hundreds of available children warehoused in the state’s over-burdened foster care system. During the first hearing, a member of the House Committee on Health and Aging asked bill sponsor Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) why the bill didn’t include foster care. He replied “that’s obviously a different issue.”
ORTL appears to have no clear idea what it seeks to accomplish with HB 307. Dawn Friedman, a Columbus therapist who specializes in adoption issues sums it up, “I’m confused about the emphasis on domestic infant adoption since there isn’t a lack of potential parents waiting to adopt newborns but there is a very real need for more placement options for older child adoption.”
Ohio Right to Life, either by design or ignorance, has co-opted adoption reform for its anti-abortion agenda, but fails to show how its bill relates to that agenda. Instead of setting realistic adoption goals such a streamlining foster care placement, capping adoption fees and in increasing funds for child/mother welfare services and foster care placement, it’s creating imaginary children for thwarted potential adoptive parents .
What I didn’t say in the article is that this bill is really about state-facilitated therapy for paps and new adoptive parents. Honestly, I think ORTL is way over their heads with this.
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