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Ohio Democrats Oppose Republicans' Change In Adoption Language

 State Rep. Bride Rose-Sweeney (D-Cleveland) speaks at a press conference in 2019.
Ohio House
State Rep. Bride Rose-Sweeney (D-Cleveland) speaks at a press conference in 2019.

One of the changes made by Ohio House leaders to the budget of their fellow Republican Gov. Mike DeWine deals with language for people who want to become parents through adoption.

DeWine’s budget had changed a reference in state law on who may adopt a child from "husband and wife" to "legally married couple."

The House stripped that change out in their version of the budget.

Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) proposed an amendment to restore the “legally married couple” phrase, but Republicans rejected it.

“The fact that we couldn't do a simple name change is very frustrating and plays into whether or not Ohio truly is an inclusive state where people want to move to or to stay in," Sweeney said.

Though Sweeney's amendment was rejected, along with more than a dozen others offered by Democrats in the House Finance Committee, she was among two Democrats to join all 22 Republicans in voting for the budget. She said she supported it because the school funding formula overhaul that she sponsored with House Bill 1 is included in the spending plan.

Sweeney stressed the status quo remains, and that single people and LGBTQ couples can adopt in Ohio, but says the workarounds to do it can be complicated.

After the budget vote, House Finance Chair Scott Oelslager (R-Canton) said he doesn’t think there’s any impact on adoption laws in Ohio by what he called a “change of semantics.”

The full Ohio House approved the budget on Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.