Ohio History: Sealed Records Author said "parents don’t have to waste time on heredity"

A few days ago while going over testimony for Ohio’s HB61, I found a most astounding story  from Ohio Birth Parent’s Group leader Kate Livingston.  It was taken from her MA thesis, which documents through primary sources and interviews the involvement of Ohio Right to Life’s big role in the continued sealing of OBCs in the state. (As far as I know Kate’s thesis isn’t online. It should be!) Testifying that the intent in sealing records has never been to protect the “privacy” of relinquishing biological parents Kate quoted Rep, Edward Schumacher, chief sponsor of HB 202, the bill that sealed Ohio’s post-1963 records”.  My bill closes the book on background, which is the way it should be handled. My law gives the child a clear [sic] slate. [Adoptive] Parents start right away providing the child with necessary guidance and direction. They don’t have to waste time on heredity. People lay too  much stress on heredity. It’s advisable for children not to know they’re adopted. If they knew, they’d be seeking to find out why they do certain things. If a kid knows he’s adopted, he has a crutch. ‘Oh, that’s not my fault,’ he’ll say, ‘that’s my [birth] family’s fault.’ I closed the book because knowing isn’t Continue Reading →

Living Adoption: Life -long issues in the Birth Parent Experience: A Short Review

Earlier today it was my great pleasure to attend the first anniversary meeting of the Ohio Birth Parent Group (and Facebook). . The event. Living Adoption: Life-long issues in the Birth Parent Experience,  was held at Camp Mary Orton just north of Columbus and Worthington and featured Brenda Romanchik as facilitator and guest speaker. The first session was open only to “birthparents”, so I can’t report on that. The second session was a two-hour talk.open to the public including social workers who got CIUs,  and Q& A led by Romanchik.   About 19 attended the fist session (including one woman all the way from New York City!), about 60 the second. The group was mufti-generatinal and included parents in closed an open adoptions. Unfortunately I am sick with some kind of stomach bug (worse as the day goes on, and I’m going to bed in a few minutes) so and didn’t take notes. To make it worse, the shutter on my camera stopped shuttering, and I only got one picture.So here is a general review and some thoughts. I met Brenda online about 18 yeas ago on the original alt.adoption. Her son, Matt,  was a relatively little guy back then, and Continue Reading →


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 →