If you are an Ohio resident, you can find your specific representative here:
and your specific senator here:
if you wish to contact all state assemblymen and/or are not an Ohio resident, here is the complete email list:
Steve Buehrer (R) SD01@senate.state.oh.us
Mark Wagoner (R) SD02@senate.state.oh.us
David Goodman (R) SD03@senate.state.oh.us
Gary Cates (R) SD04@senate.state.oh.us
Fred Strahorn (D) SD05@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Jon Husted (R) SD06@senate.state.oh.us
Shannon Jones (R) SD07@senate.state.oh.us
Bill Seitz (R) SD08@senate.state.oh.us
Eric Kearney (D) SD09@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Chris Widener (R) SD10@senate.state.oh.us
Teresa Fedor (D) SD11@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Keith Faber (R) SD12@senate.state.oh.us
Sue Morano (D) SD13@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Tom Niehaus (R) SD14@senate.state.oh.us
Ray Miller (D) SD15@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Jim Hughes (R) SD16@senate.state.oh.us
John Carey (R) SD17@senate.state.oh.us
Tim Grendell (R) SD18@senate.state.oh.us
Bill Harris (R) SD19@senate.state.oh.us
Jimmy Stewart (R) SD20@senate.state.oh.us
Shirley A. Smith (D) SD21@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Bob Gibbs (R) SD22@senate.state.oh.us
Dale Miller (D) SD23@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Tom Patton (R) SD24@senate.state.oh.us
Nina Turner (D) SD25@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Karen Gillmor (R) SD26@senate.state.oh.us
Kevin Coughlin (R) SD27@senate.state.oh.us
Tom Sawyer (D) SD28@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Kirk Schuring (R) SD29@senate.state.oh.us
Jason Wilson (D) SD30@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Tim Schaffer (R) SD31@senate.state.oh.us
Capri S. Cafaro (D) SD32@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Joe Schiavoni (D) SD33@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Ohio House of Representatives
Name Party District Email
John Adams Republican 78 firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Adams Republican 79 email@example.com
Ron Amstutz Republican 3 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Bacon Republican 21 email@example.com
Nan Baker Republican 16 firstname.lastname@example.org
Troy Balderson Republican 94 email@example.com
William G.Batchelder Republican 69 firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Beck Republican 67 email@example.com
Robin Belcher Democrat 10 firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Blair Republican 38 email@example.com
Louis W. Blessing,Jr. Republican 29 firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda S. Bolon Democrat 1 email@example.com
T. Todd Book Democrat 89 firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Boose Republican 58 email@example.com
Barbara Boyd Democrat 9 firstname.lastname@example.org
Edna Brown Democrat 48 email@example.com
Danny R. Bubp Republican 88 firstname.lastname@example.org
Armond Budish Democrat 8 email@example.com
Dave Burke Republican 83 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Patrick Carney Democrat 22 email@example.com
Ted Celeste Democrat 24 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen Chandler Democrat 68 email@example.com
William P.Coley,II Republican 55 firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtney Eric Combs Republican 54 email@example.com
David T. Daniels Republican 86 firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael DeBose Democrat 12 email@example.com
Timothy J.DeGeeter Democrat 15 firstname.lastname@example.org
Timothy Derickson Republican 53 email@example.com
Dan Dodd Democrat 91 firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew J. Dolan Republican 98 email@example.com
John Domenick Democrat 95 firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Driehaus Democrat 31 email@example.com
Stephen Dyer Democrat 43 firstname.lastname@example.org
Clyde Evans Republican 87 email@example.com
Lorraine M. Fende Democrat 62 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Foley Democrat 14 email@example.com
Randy Gardner Republican 6 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Garland Democrat 20 email@example.com
Jennifer Garrison Democrat 93 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald V. Gerberry Democrat 59 email@example.com
Bruce W. Goodwin Republican 74 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jay P. Goyal Democrat 73 email@example.com
Cheryl Grossman Republican 23 firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Hackett Republican 84 email@example.com
Robert F. Hagan Democrat 60 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Hall Republican 97 email@example.com
Marian Harris Democrat 19 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Stabile Harwood Democrat 65 email@example.com
Tracy Maxwell Heard Democrat 26 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cliff Hite Republican 76 email@example.com
Jay Hottinger Republican 71 firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Huffman Republican 4 email@example.com
Kris Jordan Republican 2 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Koziura Democrat 56 email@example.com
Peggy Lehner Republican 37 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Letson Democrat 64 email@example.com
Clayton R. Luckie Democrat 39 firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Lundy Democrat 57 email@example.com
Ron Maag Republican 35 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale Mallory Democrat 32 email@example.com
Josh Mandel Republican 17 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jarrod Martin Republican 70 email@example.com
Jeffrey McClain Republican 82 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross McGregor Republican 72 email@example.com
Robert Mecklenborg Republican 30 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Moran Democrat 42 email@example.com
Seth Morgan Republican 36 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Murray Democrat 80 email@example.com
Deborah Newcomb Democrat 99 firstname.lastname@example.org
W. Scott Oelslager Republican 51 email@example.com
Mark D. Okey Democrat 61 firstname.lastname@example.org
John R. Otterman Democrat 45 email@example.com
Matt Patten Democrat 18 firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Phillips Democrat 92 email@example.com
Connie Pillich Democrat 28 firstname.lastname@example.org
Raymond Pryor Democrat 85 email@example.com
Margaret Ruhl Republican 90 firstname.lastname@example.org
Allan R. Sayre Democrat 96 email@example.com
Mark A. Schneider Democrat 63 firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara R. Sears Republican 46 email@example.com
Michael Skindell Democrat 13 firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Slesnick Democrat 52 email@example.com
Todd Snitchler Republican 50 firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Stautberg Republican 34 email@example.com
Gerald L. Stebelton Republican 5 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Stewart Democrat 25 email@example.com
Vernon Sykes Democrat 44 firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Szollosi Democrat 49 email@example.com
Joe Uecker Republican 66 firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter S. Ujvagi Democrat 47 email@example.com
Lynn R. Wachtmann Republican 75 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Wagner Republican 81 email@example.com
W. Carlton Weddington Democrat 27 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian G. Williams Democrat 41 email@example.com
Sandra Williams Democrat 11 firstname.lastname@example.org
Roland Winburn Democrat 40 email@example.com
Tyrone K. Yates Democrat 33 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenny Yuko Democrat 7 email@example.com
James J. Zehringer Republican 77 firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is my original email template that I wrote and sent to each assemblyman. You’re welcome to reuse it in its entirety or as inspiration for your own note.
Subject: Providing adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates
As an Ohio adoptee born in [City/County] I implore you to support legislation to make original birth certificates unconditionally accessible to ALL adult adoptees. For too long Ohio has denied the rights and dignity of adult adoptees, the time has come for change.
Since my birth in 1970, I've wondered about my origins for 39 years. I'm frustrated that I should have to justify my need to know my own birth parents to anyone and even more frustrated that Ohio is willing to tolerate the current state of affairs. The bizarre situation that blocks birth record access to adoptees such as me, born between 1964 and 1996, is a testament to legislation run amok. I urge you to try to imagine what it would be like if you didn't know your birth parents and worse, what it would be like to know the state government has that information but denies you access to it because of the circumstances surrounding your birth - circumstances over which you never had any control. The thousands of adoptees, like me, that cannot access our original birth certificates are innocent and blameless in this matter, yet we are adult citizens who are denied the rights granted everyone else. It is time for the Ohio legislature and you, [ASSEMBLYMAN], to take action and quit tolerating the status quo.
The reasons for opening the records are obvious:
1) It is a right.
This is a birthright taken for granted by all non-adopted citizens of Ohio (and the rest of the nation for that matter) and it should not be denied adult adoptees. To continue to deny this right is to make adult adoptees second-class citizens and this is unacceptable.
2) Family medical history.
Family medical history is unknown to adult adoptees and Ohio enforces this ignorance by law. If you choose inaction on this effort, you will be denying people born in Ohio critical tools with which to maintain and plan for their long-term healthcare.
An adult adoptee’s desire to know his or her own birth parents is a fundamental need shared by all people. Again, please try to imagine what it would be like to not know your birth mother, but instead discover that the state knows but won’t share the information. Ohio must quit trying to intervene in the affairs of families affected by adoption and allow them to reunite on their own terms.
The arguments against opening the records are flawed:
1) Abortion rates will increase: False and immaterial.
Thanks to the efforts of progressive states like Oregon which opened its records to adoptees almost a decade ago, we now have statistics to support the fact that open records do not adversely affect abortion rates. Since opening records, abortion rates have actually declined and adoption rates have remained steady (see Oregon Bureau of Vital Statistics). Further, denying adult adoptees access to their own birth records simply because this might increase abortions is analogous (if you’re pro-life) to restricting the civil liberties of an innocent segment of the population (adult adoptees) in order to reduce the homicides of another (babies) at the hands of yet another 3rd party (birth mothers). How can this be considered even remotely just or logical?
2) The records are sealed to protect the birth mothers: False.
First, this was not the original intent of the law. William B. Norris, the attorney instrumental in sealing Ohio adoptee birth records testified under oath before the Ohio State Legislature in the 1990's that his goal was merely to protect his young adopted children from the prying eyes of the public and in the worst case the birth parents. He further testified that he didn’t anticipate the needs of his adult adopted children to want to learn about their heritage and regretted the law’s unintended consequence of blocking adult adoptees from accessing this information. Anyone who purports protection of birth mothers to be the motivation for the law is completely wrong.
Second, once the adoptee reaches adulthood, there is no one left to protect. Adult adoptees and their birth parents are perfectly capable of working through the challenging and uncomfortable situations that may arise from reunion. Adults do this every day and they do so without state intervention or protection. Ohio should acknowledge this and realize that placing the concerns of the birth mother over the desire for truth sought by the adult adoptee creates an inequality between the two citizens that is wrong. The birth mother's rights do not supersede those of the adult adoptee, period.
This issue has an obvious and just resolution. Unconditional access to original birth certificates is a birthright of all citizens that must not be denied adult adoptees.
Please exercise your good judgment and leadership and do your part to open Ohio's birth records to adult adoptees.
Thank you sincerely,
[YOUR NAME HERE]
p.s. – I welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter further with you should you wish to learn more and/or hear about my personal experiences.
Here is a template draft that I’ve shared with friends/supporters who aren’t themselves adopted. This text makes it easier for your friends to participate as you’ve saved them most of the time they’d otherwise spend crafting a custom note.
Subject: Providing adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates
As a person who knows an adoptee affected by Ohio’s closed birth record statutes, I implore you to support legislation to make original birth certificates unconditionally accessible to ALL adult adoptees. For too long Ohio has denied the rights and dignity of adult adoptees and the time has come for change.
Thanks to the efforts of progressive states like Oregon, we now have statistics to support the fact that open records harm none of the adoption triad (birth parents, adoptive parents and the adoptee). Since opening their records abortion rates have declined and thousands of adoptees have requested and received their original birth certificates. Further, the decision of a birth parent to not be contacted is no different from that in any adult relationship. It is obvious that sealing birth records to protect birth parents forces adult adoptees into a second-class citizen status vis-à-vis the birth parent. Why should the birth parent’s decisions supersede those of the adult adoptee? Adults can resolve complicated and uncomfortable situations themselves and do so every day without state intervention. Ohio should accept this and acknowledge that there is no one to protect once the adoptee reaches adulthood.
This issue has an obvious and just resolution. Unconditional access to original birth certificates is a birthright of all citizens that must not be denied adoptees.
Please exercise your good judgment and leadership and do your part to open Ohio’s birth records to adult adoptees.
Thank you sincerely,
[YOUR NAME HERE]
If you live in Ohio and are interested in becoming more involved, I noticed that Adoption Equity Ohio is looking for regional organizers to help coordinate the volunteers/supporter efforts to help get the upcoming bill passed.
Well, I guess that’s all for now. I hope this inspires you to action. Be sure to check back as I intend to do my best to keep you informed on how you can help further in the future – especially once we confirm there’s a new bill introduced in the Ohio State Assembly which will require multiple actions from many people to be successful.
Thanks for your time and attention!