This morning SB23–now Sub(stitute) Bill 23, sailed through the Ohio Senate Medicaid, Health, and Human Services Committee, 8-0.
No substantive changes to the bill were made, but several amendments were added to clarify procedures in the original bill. The sub bill is not online as of this writing, but should be available on the SB23 page shortly.
- Removes the 90-day deadline for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to mail the contents of an adoption file to the requesting adoptee. The original bill time-framed the response window to 90 days, but ODH, fearful of the time it will take to process the large influx of requests it expects immediately after the bill becomes law, asked that the time frame be removed
- The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) will create the contact preference form (cpf))as opposed to ODH, designated in the original bill.
- Requires any previous release of information forms on file under current law to be released with the adoption file.
- Deletes relatives “by marriage” from the definition of lineal descendant. (Ex: .the adult child of a deceased adoptee can request the file, but his or her spouse cannot.).
- Removes a provision prohibiting a birthparent from including identifying information in a social or medical history form..
- Removes provisions requiring ODH to review any social/medical history forms and attempt to identify and remove inaccuracies . ODH argued rightfully that it is in the business of collecting information, not ferreting out inaccuracies in that information. ODH also pointed out the amount of time such ferreting would entail.
- Clarifies that contact preference forms and social and medical history forms are to be considered part of the adoption file, and as such are not public records. That is, the cpf, just as the OBC, will not be available for public perusal.