OHIO UPDATE: SEALED AND SECRET GENERATION SHAFTED AGAIN

On April 30, the Ohio House Health Committee held another hearing on HB7. The hearing was dedicated to the testimony of the state’s “special class,” the Sealed and Secret Generation (1964-1996) of adoptees and natural and adoptive parents from that era who support the restoration of obc access language to the bill. MEA CULPA!It’s taken a long time to write this promised entry about that hearing. Perhaps because of the sheer overwhelming anger that I and the people involved on the right side of HB 7 feel right now. I originally intended to write a review of the testimony, quoting significant parts from some. (Much of the testimony is archived on the Adoption Network Cleveland HB 7 page, and quotes below comes from those documents.) But the real story lies in the dismissive behavior of prominent Health Committee members, particularly Matt Huffman (R-Lima, right). Only in office since January 2007, Huffman appears to wield an awful lot of influence, or at least acts like he does so that people hop-to at his whistle. I’ve been told, but not heard it from Huffman directly, that he’s claims if the Sealed and Secret Generation get their records, the Republicans will lose the Continue Reading →

OHIO: CALLING ALL OHIO 1964-1996 FIRST MOMS–TESTIFY FOR RECORDS ACCESS!

Betsie Norris from Adoption Network Cleveland issued the action alert (below) this afternoon. After attending yesterday’s hearing it is evident to me that the committee needs to hear the voice of first parents. This may be about OUR identity and rights, but the committee is seriously balking over first mother “privacy”–and that’s the hurdle we need to jump to get access back in the bill, passed, and on to the House floor. I was planning on contacting some moms personally, but this action alert makes it easier. If you are an Ohio mom or an adoptee or an adoptive parent from the closed black hole era of 1964 – 1996 and you support our right to recordds, please come and testify or to just show your support for us. Let them know that there was no other option but sealed and secret. Join us at the Statehouse, testimony and truth in hand. Snow them under with the truth! If you can’t testify, then submit written testimony to the committee. Kara Joseph, aide to sponsor Tom Brinkman, told me she will accept submitted testimony marked as such, duplicate it and make sure it gets to the Committee for the April 30 Continue Reading →

OHIO: KATE LIVINGSTON’S TESTIMONY TO RETURN OBC ACCESS TO AB 7

Yesterday Columbus first mother Kate Livingston, speaking on behalf of herself, testified before the Ohio House Health Committee in support of returning unrestricted obc language to HB 7. The recently introduced sub bill removed the language. Kate blew us away. Next week more mothers will testify. I’ll be sending out an action alert on that shortly. With Kate’s permission, I’m posting her testimony below. Testimony in Support of the Reinstatement of Unrestricted Access to Original Birth CertificatesSub HB 7April 23, 2008 My name is Kate Livingston and I am a 26-year-old resident of Columbus. I am an alumna of Columbus School for Girls and Smith College and I will be starting graduate school at the University of Cincinnati in the Fall. I am here today to speak in support of the reinstatement of unrestricted access to original birth certificates in HB 7 because, for the past 21 years, my family has been profoundly impacted by adoption. I myself am a birthmother in an open adoption. My son, Andy, is 6 years old and lives in Granville, OH with his adoptive family. Notably, I am one of three birthmothers in my family. In the late 1980’s, two of my mothers’ sisters Continue Reading →

OHIO: MESSAGE FROM BUCKEYES FOR EQUAL ACCESS: RETURN ACCESS TO HB 7!

On April 23, 2008,the Ohio House Health Committee met to take testimony on HB Sub Bill 7. The original HB 7 contained language which would have restored the right of all Ohio adoptees without restriction to access to their original birth certificates. It would have filled in the black hole and removed disclosure vetoes from the third tier. The sub bill stripped that language to maintain the YES NO and MAYBE status quo. Buckeyes for Equal Access (BEA) sent the following letter to all members of the Health Committee. It plans to add a bit more and submit it as testimony at the April 30, hearing. And no, the pictures were not part of the letter! Maybe they should have been! I attended yesterday’s hearing, and will write about it a little later today or tomorrow. ***** April 23, 2008 Buckeyes for Equal Access (BEA) is a voluntary group of adopted adults, birthparents, adoptive parents, and others connected to Ohio through adoption. We advocate unrestricted access to the unfalsified and unredacted original birth certificates (obc) upon request, for all Ohio adoptees. No exceptions. Our membership includes people from Akron, Columbus, Cleveland, Youngstown, Heath, Fostoria, Marion, Lakemore, Toledo, and all points Continue Reading →

OHIO: Buckeyes for Equal Access Action Alert! URGENT

BUCKEYES FOR EQUAL ACCESS: OPEN RECORDS FOR ALL OHIO ADOPTEES PLEASE DISTRIBUTE FREELY OHIO ACTION ALERT BUCKEYES FOR EQUAL ACCESS SAYS:OHIO ADOPTEES NEED YOUR HELP NOW! SUB BILL ERASES BIRTH CERTIFICATE ACCESS BeaOhio: [email protected]omhttp://www.myspace.com/beaohio On April 16, 2008 a substitute bill for HB 7, an adoption/fostercare reform bill, which included original birth certificate access for all post-1963 adopted adults without restriction, was introduced in the Ohio House Health The sub bill, (also called LSC ), deletes all reference to obc access found in the original bill; thus, maintaining the current 3-tiered yes-no-maybe system that divides obc access by date of adoption/date of birth and first parent permission.* BILL INFORMATIONOriginal HB 7: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=127_HB_7 (click on link at left)Sub HB 7: http://www.adoptionnetwork.org/filegallery.asp?f=270&linkId=1346 (2n square on right—pdf.) HEARINGA hearing on Sub Bill 7 bill is scheduled for 4:00 PM, Wednesday, April 23 in Room 017 (basement) of the Statehouse Testimony requesting the reinstatement of unrestricted obc access can be given. Bring 20 copies of your testimony for the committee. If you can’t testify, then come to support. If you plan to testify please call Kara Joseph in Rep. Tom Brinkman’s office at .We have been told that another hearing on Sub Bill 7 Continue Reading →

OHIO: Update on HB 7–Records Access Removed!

On Wednesday April 16, HB 7 (as introduced) was replaced with Sub (stitute) HB 7 which removed records access altogether. (The sub bill is not posted yet on the Ohio Leg page but can be found here under LSC ). A vote on the sub bill was delayed a week to give interested parties and pols time to respond. The schedule for next week’s hearing won’t be released for a couple days. I’ll post it here and send it elsewhere as soon as I have it. It will probably be on Wednesday. BEAOhio and Bastard Nation are very concerned that even if access is returned to the sub-bill, the bill may end up compromised with a disclosure veto, beefed up CI/Registry scheme, etc. The Ohio Catholic Conference, for instance, recommended that the legislature create a new and improved active reunion registry (it is now passive) in which the state would have 18 months, after an adoptee requests his or her identifying information, to obtain birth parent approval or veto for release of the document. After that period, if there is no word from the parent(s) the obc would be released. Yeah, the under-staffed, under-funded and over-worked Vital Stats folks will Continue Reading →