3107.41 [Repealed Effective 3/20/2015] Adult adopted person may petition for release of certain information.

(A)

(1) Any person who is twenty-one years of age or older and who believes he is an adopted person may file a petition for the release of information regarding his name by birth, and the identity of his biological parents and biological siblings, as follows:

(a) If the person is a resident of this state, the petition shall be filed in the probate court of the county in which he resides or in the probate court that entered the final decree of adoption in the adoption proceedings pertaining to him;

(b) If the person is not a resident of this state, the petition shall be filed in the probate court that entered the final decree of adoption in the adoption proceedings pertaining to him, or, if the person does not know which probate court entered that decree, in the probate court of any county.

(2) The petition shall be accompanied by the fee that the probate court has fixed pursuant to division (E) of section 2101.16 of the Revised Code.

(B)

(1) Upon the filing of a petition for the release of such information and the payment of the fee fixed by the probate court, the probate judge to whom the petition is assigned shall do each of the following:

(a) Appoint the agency that was involved in the adoption proceeding to perform the tasks described in divisions (B)(2), (C), and (D) of this section, or if no agency was involved in the proceeding, it is not possible to determine the agency involved, or the court determines that it is not feasible for the agency involved in the proceeding to perform those tasks, appoint any agency to perform those tasks;

(b) Issue an order to the department of health that requires it to provide the agency appointed pursuant to division (B)(1)(a) of this section with a copy of the original birth record of the petitioner or with the identity of the court involved in the petitioner's adoption if the department does not possess the original birth record of the petitioner;

(c) Give a certified copy of the order issued pursuant to division (B)(1)(b) of this section to the appointed agency;

(d) Require the appointed agency to perform the tasks described in division (B)(2) of this section within the time that the judge shall prescribe, which time shall be no later than ninety days from the date of appointment or as extended by the judge for good cause shown.

(2)

(a) An agency appointed pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section shall present, by mail or in another reasonable manner, the certified copy of the order issued pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section to the department of health. Upon receipt of the order, the department shall provide the agency with a copy of the original birth record of the petitioner, if any. If the department possesses no original birth record of the petitioner, it shall inform the agency, in writing, of this fact and shall provide the agency with the identity of the court that was involved in the petitioner's adoption, and the agency, upon receipt of this information, shall present, by mail or in another reasonable manner, a copy of the order issued pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section and a copy of the information provided by the department to that court and shall request the court to provide the agency with a copy of the original birth record of the petitioner. Upon receipt of the copy of the order and the copy of the information provided by the department, the court shall provide the agency with a copy of the original birth record of the petitioner, if any. If the court possesses no copy of the original birth record of the petitioner, it shall inform the agency of this fact, and, if the court determines that the petitioner was born outside of this state, the department also shall inform the agency of the petitioner's state of birth and shall provide the agency with any pertinent information contained in its file that normally is noted on a birth record in this state.

(b) If the agency receives a copy of the petitioner's original birth record, it shall inspect the record. If the agency determines, upon the inspection, that the petitioner is not an adopted person, it shall report this determination to the probate court in writing. If it determines, upon the inspection, that the petitioner is an adopted person, it shall contact the department of health and request the department to determine whether the file of releases contains a release or releases filed by one or both of the petitioner's biological parents and authorizing the release of identifying information to him, to determine whether the file of releases contains a release or releases filed by any biological sibling of the petitioner and authorizing the release of specified information to him, to determine whether a withdrawal of release also has been filed with respect to any such release, and to provide the agency with a copy of each release with respect to which a withdrawal of release has not been filed. If the agency determines, upon the inspection, that the petitioner is an adopted person, the agency also shall review its records to determine whether they indicate that one or both of the petitioner's biological parents as indicated on the petitioner's original birth record are deceased.

Upon receipt of an agency's request as described in this division, the department of health shall search the file of releases to determine whether it contains a release or releases filed by one or both of the petitioner's biological parents and authorizing the release of identifying information to him, to determine whether it contains a release or releases filed by any biological sibling of the petitioner and authorizing the release of specified information to him, and to determine whether a withdrawal of release also has been filed with respect to any such release. The department promptly shall inform the agency, in writing, of its findings and provide the agency with a copy of each such release with respect to which a withdrawal of release has not been filed.

(c) If the department of health informs an agency either that the file of releases does not contain a release or releases filed by one or both of the petitioner's biological parents that authorize the release of identifying information to him and does not contain a release or releases filed by any biological sibling of the petitioner that authorize the release of specified information to him or that it contains at least one such release but a withdrawal of release has been filed that negates each such release, the agency shall report its determination that the petitioner is an adopted person and the findings of the department to the probate court, in writing, and shall attach to the report the copy of the petitioner's original birth record. If the department informs the agency that the file of releases contains a release or releases filed by one or both of the petitioner's biological parents that authorize the release of identifying information to him for which no withdrawal has been filed or contains a release or releases filed by any biological sibling of the petitioner for which no withdrawal has been filed, and provides the agency with a copy of each such release, the agency shall report its determination that the petitioner is an adopted person and the findings of the department to the probate court, in writing, and shall attach to the report the copy of the petitioner's original birth record and the copy of each release provided by the department. In either case, if the agency after its review of records, has determined that one or both of the petitioner's biological parents as indicated on the petitioner's original birth record are deceased, the agency also shall report that fact to the probate court, in writing, and shall identify the deceased parent or parents.

If the department informs the agency that it possesses no original birth record of the petitioner, the agency shall report that fact and the identity of the court that was involved in the petitioner's adoption, as provided by the department, to the probate court, in writing; if the court that was involved in the adoption informs the agency that it possesses no copy of the original birth record of the petitioner, the agency also shall report that fact to the probate court, in writing; and if the court that was involved in the adoption informs the agency that the petitioner was born outside of this state, the agency also shall report that fact and the identity of the other state to the probate court, in writing.

(d) An agency shall perform all tasks required of it by division (B)(2) of this section within the time prescribed by the probate judge pursuant to division (B)(1)(d) of this section.

(C) Upon receipt of an agency's report submitted pursuant to division (B)(2) of this section, the probate judge shall review the records of the court to determine whether they indicate that one or both of the petitioner's biological parents as indicated on the petitioner's original birth record are deceased, and shall do whichever of the following is appropriate:

(1) If the agency determined that the petitioner is not an adopted person, or if no original birth record was possessed by the department of health and no copy of such record was possessed by the court that was involved in the petitioner's adoption, the judge shall enter an order dismissing the petition, which order shall state the reason for the dismissal.

(2) If the agency determined that the petitioner is an adopted person, if the department of health informed the agency either that the file of releases does not contain a release or releases filed by one or both of the petitioner's biological parents that authorize the release of identifying information to him and does not contain a release or releases filed by any biological sibling that authorizes the release of specified information to him or that the file of releases contains at least one such release but a withdrawal of release has been filed that negates each such release, if the agency did not inform the court that it had determined that one or both of the petitioner's biological parents as indicated on the petitioner's original birth record were deceased, and if the court did not determine that one or both of the petitioner's biological parents as indicated on that record were deceased, the judge shall order that the petition remain pending until withdrawn by the petitioner and order the department of health to note its pendency in the file of releases according to the surname of the petitioner as set forth in his original birth record; shall inform the petitioner that he is an adopted person and, if known, of the county in which the adoption proceedings occurred; shall inform the petitioner that information regarding his name by birth and the identity of his biological parents and biological siblings may not be released at that time because the file of releases at that time does not contain an effective release that authorizes the release of any such information to him; and shall inform the petitioner that, upon the subsequent filing of a release by or the death of either of his biological parents, or the subsequent filing of a release by any of his biological siblings, the petition will be acted upon within thirty days of the filing in accordance with division (E) of this section.

(3) If the agency determined that the petitioner is an adopted person and either the agency informed the court that it had determined that one or both of the petitioner's biological parents as indicated on the petitioner's original birth record were deceased or the court determined that one or both of the petitioner's biological parents as indicated on that record were deceased, the judge shall proceed as follows:

(a) The judge shall inform the petitioner that he is an adopted person and, if known, of the county in which the adoption proceedings occurred;

(b) The judge shall inform the petitioner that one or both of his biological parents, whichever is applicable, is deceased, provided that the information provided under this requirement shall not identify either biological parent of the petitioner;

(c) If two biological parents were indicated on the petitioner's original birth record, if only one of those biological parents is deceased, and if an effective release of the surviving biological parent that authorizes the release of identifying information to the petitioner was provided the agency by the department of health, the judge shall comply with division (C)(4) of this section in relation to the surviving biological parent, and the judge may enter an order granting the petition in relation to the deceased biological parent and requiring the agency and the department of health to release identifying information in relation to the deceased biological parent, subject to the limitations of division (D)(2) of this section and within the time prescribed by the judge;

(d) If two biological parents were indicated on the petitioner's original birth record, if only one of those biological parents is deceased, and if either no effective release of the surviving biological parent that authorizes the release of identifying information to the petitioner is contained in the file of releases or such an effective release is contained in the file but the judge does not enter an order of a type described in division (C)(3)(c) of this section, the judge shall inform the petitioner that one of his biological parents is deceased, shall order that the petition remain pending until withdrawn by the petitioner and order the department of health to note its pendency in the file of releases according to the surname of the petitioner as set forth in his original birth record, and shall inform the petitioner that upon the subsequent filing of a release by or the death of the surviving biological parent, the petition will be acted on in accordance with division (E) of this section;

(e) If two biological parents were indicated on the petitioner's original birth record and both of them are deceased or if only one biological parent was indicated on that record and is deceased, the judge may enter an order granting the petition in relation to each such deceased biological parent and requiring the agency and the department of health to release identifying information in relation to each such deceased biological parent to the petitioner, subject to the limitations of division (D)(2) of this section and within the time prescribed by the judge; if the judge does not enter such an order the petition shall be dismissed;

(f) The judge shall comply with division (C)(4)(d) of this section in relation to any biological sibling of the petitioner who has filed a release that authorizes the release of information to the petitioner and that has not been withdrawn.

(4) If the agency determined that the petitioner is an adopted person and the department of health provided the agency with a copy of each release that authorizes the release of identifying information or specified information to him, the judge shall do each of the following that applies:

(a) Enter an order granting the petition in relation to each biological parent who has filed a release that has not been withdrawn;

(b) Inform the petitioner that he is an adopted person and, if known, of the county in which the adoption proceedings occurred;

(c) In relation to a biological parent:

(i) Require the agency to release identifying information to the petitioner, subject to the limitations of division (D)(2) of this section and within the time prescribed by the judge;

(ii) If an effective release of only one of the petitioner's biological parents that authorizes the release of information to him is contained in the file of releases and either the agency has informed the court that it has determined that the other biological parent is deceased or the court has determined that the other biological parent is deceased, comply with division (C)(3) of this section in relation to the deceased biological parent;

(iii) If an effective release of only one of the petitioner's biological parents that authorizes the release of identifying information to him is contained in the file of releases, if the agency has not informed the court that it has determined that the other biological parent is deceased, and if the court has not determined that the other biological parent is deceased, order that the petition remain pending as to the other biological parent until withdrawn by the petitioner and order the department of health to note its pendency in the file of releases according to the surname of the petitioner as set forth in his original birth record, and inform the petitioner that, upon the subsequent filing of a release by or the death of that biological parent or the filing of a release by any biological sibling, the petition will be acted upon within thirty days of the filing in accordance with division (E) of this section.

(d) In relation to a biological sibling:

(i) If the agency or the court has determined that each biological parent indicated on the petitioner's original birth record is deceased or has filed a release authorizing the release of identifying information to the petitioner that has not been withdrawn, enter an order granting the petition in relation to the biological sibling, require the agency to release the information specified in the biological sibling's release to the petitioner, subject to the limitations of division (D)(2) of this section and within the time prescribed by the judge;

(ii) Order that the petition remain pending until withdrawn by the petitioner and order the department of health to note its pendency in the file of releases according to the surname of the petitioner as set forth in his original birth record, and inform the petitioner that, upon the subsequent filing of a release by any biological sibling or biological parent whose effective release is not contained in the file, the petition will be acted upon within thirty days in accordance with division (E) of this section.

(D)

(1) Each agency that is required by an order of a probate judge entered under division (C)(3) or (4) of this section to release information to a petitioner shall do both of the following:

(a) Gather all the information that is subject to the order that it is permitted to release;

(b) Subject to the limitations of division (D)(2) of this section and within the time prescribed by the judge, release to the petitioner the information that is subject to the order that it is permitted to release.

(2)

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, if a biological parent of a petitioner is deceased or an effective release of a biological parent of a petitioner is contained in the file of releases, and an agency is required by an order of a probate judge entered under division (C)(3) or (4) of this section to release identifying information pertaining to that biological parent to the petitioner, the agency shall not release to the petitioner any identifying information pertaining to a surviving biological parent who filed a withdrawal of release, a surviving biological parent who did not file a release, or a deceased biological parent other than in the circumstances described in division (C)(3) of this section, or any information pertaining to a biological sibling of the petitioner. The agency shall release identifying information pertaining to any biological parent of the petitioner who the probate court's or agency's records indicates is deceased in accordance with an order to do so issued under division (C)(3) of this section, and if a biological sibling has filed an effective release, shall release the information specified in the release, in accordance with any order issued under division (C)(4) of this section requiring the release.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this division, if an effective release of a biological sibling of a petitioner is in the file of releases and an agency is required by an order of a probate judge entered under division (C)(4) of this section to release information specified in the release of that biological sibling to the petitioner, the agency shall not release to the petitioner any information pertaining to a biological sibling of the petitioner who filed a withdrawal of release or who did not file a release, or any identifying information pertaining to a biological parent of the petitioner. The agency shall release identifying information pertaining to any biological parent of the petitioner who the probate court's or agency's records indicate is deceased in accordance with an order to do so issued under division (C)(3) of this section, and shall release identifying information pertaining to any biological parent who has filed an effective release, in accordance with any order issued by a probate judge under division (C)(4) of this section requiring the release of identifying information.

(E) The petition of a petitioner to whom no information is released in relation to a biological parent in accordance with an order entered pursuant to division (C)(2) of this section, or in accordance with division (C)(3) or (4) of this section, shall remain pending until withdrawn by the petitioner. The petition of a petitioner to whom identifying information is released concerning only one biological parent in accordance with an order entered pursuant to division (C)(3) or (4) of this section shall remain pending as to the other biological parent and as to biological siblings until withdrawn by the petitioner. At the same time as it enters the order under division (C)(2), (3), or (4) of this section, the probate court in which the petition is pending shall order the department of health promptly to provide both the agency appointed pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section and the court with a copy of each release that subsequently is filed by one or both of the petitioner's biological parents, or by the petitioner's other biological parent, whichever is applicable, or by a biological sibling of the petitioner, and that authorizes the release of identifying information to the petitioner, and promptly to notify the agency and the court of the death of a surviving biological parent as indicated on the petitioner's original birth record for whom no identifying information had been released relative to the petition for release, of which the department gains knowledge. Upon receipt of a copy of any such release or of notice of the death of any such biological parent, the probate judge, within thirty days of the date on which the release was filed with the department or the date on which the department gained knowledge of the death, shall do each thing listed in divisions (C)(3)(a) to (f) or (4)(a) to (d) of this section that applies.

Any petitioner who has filed a petition with the probate court that is to remain pending under this division and who wishes to update it with respect to a new mailing address may inform the department in writing, through the court, of the new address. The court shall promptly file the writing with the department and provide the department with the petitioner's name as set forth in his original birth record. The department shall attach the writing to the notation of pendency of the petition contained in the file of releases. Any petitioner who has filed a petition with the probate court that is to remain pending under this division may file a written withdrawal of the petition with the court at any time. Upon the filing of such a withdrawal, the court shall enter an order dismissing the petition, and shall notify both the agency appointed pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section and the department of health of the withdrawal, and upon receipt of such a notice, the department does not have to provide copies of any subsequently filed releases to the agency or the court, as otherwise would be required by this division.

(F) An agency that performs any task described in this division relative to or in connection with a petition for the release of identifying information filed under this section may be reimbursed a reasonable portion of the fee charged for the filing of that petition, in accordance with division (D) of section 2101.16 of the Revised Code, for any services it renders in performing any such task.

Cite as R.C. § 3107.41

History. Repealed by 130th General Assembly File No. 56, SB 23, §2, eff. 3/20/2015.

Effective Date: 01-01-1990