COLUMBUS, Ohio--Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed Ohio Right to Life's adoption reform legislation, Substitute H.B. 307, with an historic bipartisan majority vote. This adoption reform will eliminate unnecessary costs, protect birth parents and adoptive families, prevent fraud and minimize the bureaucracy in the Ohio adoption process. This pro-ilife legislation now heads to the Ohio Senate.
"Ohio Right to Life sincerely thanks Representatives Jim Buchy and Dorothy Pelanda for sponsoring our pro-life initiative," said Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life. "This legislation will ensure that the adoption process is less daunting for birth parents, and more enabling to Ohio families wishing to adopt. A mother placing her child for adoption is truly the most selfless act imaginable. We owe it to birth mothers and adoptive couples to ensure our laws are compassionate and supportive."
At present, middle-class and low-income Ohio families are essentially unable to adopt due to the accumulation of expenses of the adoption process. The adoption reform legislation targets these expenses by increasing the current $1,500 tax credit to $10,000.
"There are Ohio families who want to adopt but are simply hesitant to do so because the current process can be burdensome, emotional, and at times - heartbreaking," said Representative Dorothy Pelanda. "This bill, in essence, will help to dramatically reduce the costs and eliminate the unnecessary time and emotional burdens while still respecting the rights of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptive children alike."
The legislation's provision regarding the pre-birth notice system will smooth the process of adoption for birth parents. This system allows a birth father to declare or deny parental rights before the birth of his child if the birth mother chooses an adoption plan. Furthermore, because of the emotional strain of allowing an adoption decree to be challenged for up to 12 months, the provisional time will be shortened to 60 days - thus eliminating the prolonged burden for all parties involved.
"I was pleased to work with the Ohio Right to Life on a bill that not only protects life - but provides more opportunities for women in this state." said Representative Jim Buchy. "House Bill 307 is a bill that benefits Ohio women and families. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to gain support for this bi-partisan bill."
To see a visual representation of the adoption reform, created by Ohio Right to Life, click here.
|ORTL Staff with Representative Pelanda|
|ORTL Staff with Representative Buchy|