Monday, February 10, 2014

Adoption Reform Providing a Choice of Life

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Our current Ohio House of Representatives has made it a goal to discuss and pass numerous pro-life bills. The most recent of these bills is House Bill 307.

House Bill 307 focuses on reforming the at-birth adoption process, and affords significant rights to mothers who are looking to give their children up for adoption at birth. The goal of the bill is to speed up and simplify the adoption process for expectant mothers in the hopes that these women will choose to give birth, rather than to abort the child.

House Bill 307 addresses the financial well-being of expectant mothers by outlining appropriate living expenses to be paid to a biological mother from adoptive parents. This will allow women a greater opportunity to give the child up for adoption, without worrying about the costs that are sometimes associated with pregnancy.

Additionally, the bill makes it harder for a father who is late to the game to block the completion of an adoption after a mother has decided to give up the infant. Fathers who have known about the possibility of a pregnancy for up to nine months and have done nothing to support the mother will, under the new bill, have up to seven days after the birth of a child to step up to the plate.

The bill establishes a new procedure for notifying a putative father of his rights prior to the birth of a child. The new procedure is modeled after Indiana law, but uses the existing Putative Father Registry for a putative father to gain rights regarding decisions about the baby.

The pre-birth notification process secures constitutional rights afforded to birth fathers. The bill also reduces the time for a father to register with the Putative Father Registry after the birth of a child from 30 days to seven days in some cases where a father has not been involved in a pregnancy.

Currently, persons wishing to contest an adoption can do so for up to one year. HB 307 reduces this time period to 60 days, ensuring loving couples do not become attached to a child, only to have it taken away. This also lowers the risk for exorbitant legal costs for an adoptive family.

The bill encourages adoption right here in Ohio, which increases the odds that a child will find a loving home. Through a state tax credit of $10,000 over a five-year period, adoptive parents in Ohio will have greater incentive to adopt from a mother in the state, rather than looking elsewhere.

These measures all serve to decrease the burden upon a mother during the adoption process, and make it easier for women to choose adoption instead of abortion.

I understand that sometimes, raising a child is not in the cards for a woman. With this bill, I hope to make it easier for women to find a solution to their crisis pregnancy, and discourage them from turning to abortion as an escape from the blessing of a new child.

Please give me your opinion on this topic and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at

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