Wednesday, May 11, 2011

State Representative Jarrod MartinImage by OhioHouseGOP via Flickr
COLUMBUS—State Representatives Peter Beck (R-Mason) and Jarrod Martin (R-Beavercreek) have announced that the House Judiciary and Ethics Committee passed House Bill 92, which will allow individuals to adopt an adult child as long as the adult child gives consent to the adoption. Currently, individuals are unable to adopt their spouse’s children from a previous marriage simply because the children were age 18 or older at the time of marriage.

“As an adoptive father myself, this bill is important to me and will give families the opportunity to come together and aid the needs of both stepparents and stepchildren,” said Rep. Beck. “House Bill 92 would address this gap in Ohio law regarding adult adoptions and help to strengthen our families.”

Under current law, an adult can only be adopted if he or she is totally and permanently disabled; is determined to be a mentally handicapped person as defined in current law; has established a child-foster caregiver or child-stepparent relationship with the petitioners for adoption as a minor and now consents to the adoption; and was, at the time of his or her 18th birthday, in the permanent custody of a public children services agency or a private child placement agency and now consents to the adoption.

“House Bill 92 is a piece of legislation that I have been working on for the past year with the Franklin family who live in my district,” said Rep. Martin. “They brought the issue to my attention, and to see the smiles on their faces after committee was one my proudest moments as a legislator. This bill will help unite families throughout Ohio, and I want to further thank Representative Beck for joint sponsoring the bill, as well as the committee members for helping with the process.”

An amendment was added in committee by the Public Children Services, which would allow adoption of youth who are transferring out of foster care. This would establish “kinship caregiver” relationships and allow youth who are in the “planned permanent living arrangement” to be adopted if they turn eighteen while in this arrangement.

Reps. Martin and Beck jointly introduced this legislation on February 8th with the hopes that House Bill 92 will align Ohio with most states regarding this issue. It passed from committee with bipartisan support and now awaits a vote on the House floor.
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