For decades, adoptees and their supporters have fought for access to their birth records.
Like-minded lawmakers have introduced numerous bills in the General Assembly over the years, but all were doomed by opposition from anti-abortion forces, including the influential Ohio Right to Life. Those groups feared it would promote abortion because fewer women would opt for adoption if their identities weren’t kept private.
But yesterday, Mike Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life and the father of two adopted children, was among those celebrating as Gov. John Kasich signed into law a bill giving an estimated 400,000 adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.
“Times have changed so much,” Gonidakis said. “Now there is the Internet and Google, and you can find out all sorts of things about people in 10 minutes.”
Senate Bill 23, approved unanimously by the Senate and by a 91-2 vote in the House, will allow those adopted between January 1964 and September 1996 to obtain their adoption files from the Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, just like those adopted before and after those dates can.