Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Seal of Hancock County, Ohio

COLUMBUS— State Representatives Peter Beck (R-Mason) and Jarrod Martin (R-Beavercreek) have announced the passage of House Bill 92 from the Ohio House of Representatives. This legislation 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.

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.

“I was inspired to draft House Bill 92 by Randy and Barb Franklin, a couple who live in my district and who wished to see a change in the law. I am proud to have been able to work with them, as well as Representative Beck on this legislation. Seeing their joy after the bill passed the House makes my job entirely worthwhile,” said Rep. Martin.

“I am pleased to see the passage of House Bill 92 from the Ohio House of Representatives because, as an adoptive father myself, I feel this is an important piece of legislation that will help strengthen Ohio’s families and will aid the needs of stepparents and stepchildren,” said Rep. Beck. “House Bill 92 will bridge the gap of Ohio’s adoption laws and allow the adoption of adults as well as adults who are transferring out of foster care.”

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 37 other states regarding this issue. The bill passed by a vote of 97-0 and will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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