Access to Adoption Records - Ohio

Date:

Who May Access Information

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.66; 3107.47; 3107.49

Nonidentifying information is available to the following:

  • An adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • An adoptive parent of an adoptee who is under age 18
  • An adoptive family member of a deceased adoptee
  • A birth parent of an adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • A birth sibling who is age 18 or older
  • A birth family member if the birth parent is deceased

Identifying information is accessible to the following:

  • An adoptee who is age 21 or older
  • An adoptive parent of an adoptee who is older than age 18 but younger than age 21
  • The birth parent or adult birth sibling

Access to Nonidentifying Information

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.66; 3107.60

An adoptee, an adoptive parent, or an adoptive family member may submit a written request to the agency or attorney who arranged the adoption or the probate court that finalized the adoption for nonidentifying information about the adoptee's birth parent or birth sibling contained in the agency's, attorney's, or court's adoption records.

A birth parent, birth sibling, or birth family member may submit a written request for nonidentifying information about the adoptee or adoptive parent.

The term 'nonidentifying information' means one of the following:

  • In relation to a birth parent, any information that is not identifying information, including all the following:
    • A birth parent's age at the time the child was adopted
    • The medical and genetic history of the birth parents
    • The age, sex, and medical and genetic history of an adoptee's birth siblings and extended family members
    • A person's heritage and ethnic background, educational level, general physical appearance, religion, occupation, and cause of death
    • Any information that may be included in a social and medical history, as specified in § 3107.09(B)-(C)
  • In relation to an adoptive parent, any information that is not identifying information, including all of the following:
    • An adoptive parent's age at the time of adoption
    • An adoptive sibling's age at the time of adoption
    • The heritage, ethnic background, religion, educational level, and occupation of the adoptive parent
    • General information known about the well-being of the adoptee before and after the adoption

Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.47; 3107.49

For adoptions completed before January 1, 1964, adopted persons have access, upon request, to the adoption file maintained by the Department of Health.

For adoptions completed between 1964 and 1996, the following applies:

  • Any birth parent or sibling who wishes to authorize the release of identifying information shall file a release form with the department. A release may be filed with the department at any time. The department shall establish and maintain a file of releases.
  • At age 21, an adoptee may file a petition with the probate court that finalized his or her adoption and inquire if a release form has been filed. In the event of a match, identifying information may be released to the adoptee.
  • The court that decreed the adoption may order that the contents of the adoption file be made open for inspection or available for copying.

For adoptions completed after 1996, the following applies:

  • A birth parent may file with the department a denial of release form that shall be placed in the adoption file. The birth parent may rescind an authorization of release form and rescind a denial of release form as many times as the birth parent wishes.
  • An adoptee age 21 or older, or an adoptive parent of an adoptee at least age 18 but under age 21, may submit a request to the Department of Health for a copy of the contents of the adoptee's adoption file. If there is not an effective denial of release form for either birth parent in the adoptee's adoption file, the department shall provide the adoptee or adoptive parent a copy of the contents of the adoptee's adoption file.

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3705.12; 3705.126

Upon the issuance of the new birth record, the original birth record shall cease to be a public record. The department shall place the original birth record and the items sent by the probate court pursuant to § 3107.19 in an adoption file and seal the file. The contents of the adoption file are not public records and shall be available only in accordance with § 3705.126. The contents of the adoption file include any contact preference form, birth parent's name redaction request form, or social and medical history accepted and maintained by the department.

The department shall neither open an adoption file nor make its contents available, except as follows:

  • The department shall inspect the file to determine the court involved.
  • The department shall make the file's contents available to an adoptee or lineal descendant of an adoptee in accordance with § 3107.38.
  • The department shall open the file to transfer releases to the file in accordance with § 3107.381.
  • The department shall open the file to file a contact preference form from a birth parent and remove any previously filed contact preference form from the birth parent.
  • The department shall open the file to file a birth parent's name redaction request form or to remove and destroy the form.
  • The department shall open the file to file a denial of release form or an authorization of release form.
  • The department shall make the file's contents available to an adoptee or adoptive parent, in accordance with § 3107.47.
  • The department shall open the file to file a request from an adoptee under § 3107.48 or to remove and destroy the request.
  • The department shall inspect the file to assist a birth parent or birth sibling in finding the adoptee's name by adoption in accordance with § 3107.49.
  • The court that decreed the adoption may order that the contents be made open for inspection or available for copying.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Ohio Adoption Registry