About a year ago, an assorted group of adoptees plus birth family members and many professionals in the adoption field and Ohio’s state government, gathered together in Columbus for an historic event of a lifetime. It was affectionately named, Opening Day.
Thanks to the dedicated work of advocate, Betsie Norris from Adoption Network Cleveland, and Ohio senators Bill Beagle and Dave Burke, their “masterpiece”, Senate Bill 23, upgraded an antiquated state law, which banned adoptees from access to their OBCs. (Original or unammended Birth Certificates). The new and improved law allows adopted adults to gain their adoption records and OBCs in most cases. Specifics regarding this new law are here:
I attended this two-day event with some adoptee colleague-author/ friends of mine: Lynn Grubb and Becky Conrad Drinnen. The three of us all have our OBCs because we were all born and adopted prior to January 1964, but we came in support of others in the adoptee community and to celebrate greater unification of the adoption constellation. We walked in the drizzly morning weather with our fellow adoptees to the Vital Records building and celebrated at the Columbus State Building downtown. The sun broke free and temperatures warmed as Senate Bill 23 came to life.
Personally, my journey to Columbus was joyful and allowed me to revisit the excitement and wonder from the time when I also began my adoption search and first held my original paperwork. There is something very liberating, enlightening and magical about knowing yourself, and I am delighted for the close to 400,000 adopted people and their families touched by this new law.
This spring, we adoptees have an anniversary coming up! Thanks again to Adoption Network Cleveland, whose efforts to educate and unite the community never stop, there will be an ANC weekend conference – the Annual Adoption Gathering on March 18 to 20, 2016. It will take place at the Doubletree in Westlake, OH, 44145.
The purpose is to (re)connect members in the adoption constellation, celebrate our successes, process our concerns and to understand that being adopted is a lifelong experience. It doesn’t just go away because we now have paperwork. It doesn’t leave us once we find or reunite with birth family. For many adopted people and their significant others, the “What do we do now?” stage is also significant and needs to be addressed.
ANC succinctly promotes the activities – “We will be offering nine breakout session options and two award-winning theatrical presentations from New York City. Other highlights include – filmmaker Jean Strauss and footage from last year’s Ohio opening day events, Six-Word Stories from adoptees and found birth family members, and a time for sharing with an open mic.”
Here are more details: http://bit.ly/ancAnnualGatheringDetails
The event hashtags –
#OHadopteesSOAR (SOAR = Success Opening Adoptees’ Records)