At first glance, the 2014 Adoption Reform sponsored by Ohio Representatives Jim Buchy and Dorothy Pelanda may seem to be all about birth and adoptive parents. But in reality, the law is aimed at giving the best chance of stability to children.
The reform includes shortening finalization of the adoption from 12 months to 60 days, which still allows plenty of time to address concerns that may arise. Besides eliminating the year-long stress and anxiety for adoptive parents, this change allows for stability for the adopted child who will no longer have the chance of being disrupted from the only family he knows after several months of life.
Supporting the house bill is Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. Having adopted children of his own, one in-state and one internationally, he knows first-hand the benefit of these changes. The bill includes financial help with an enhanced tax credit for adoption as well as a more streamlined adoption process, making the adoption itself less costly.
The bill also addresses concerns of birth parents. It encourages the birth father to be involved during pregnancy and gives him opportunity to claim or renounce his parental rights during pregnancy. It is expected that birth father involvement early on will decrease the number of abortions in the state, giving the birth mother more support, whether she decides to parent or to place.
If the reform passes, birth parents and adoptive parents in the state of Ohio will have more clear, timely understanding and opportunities in regards to parenting and adoption.