US

New adoption law provides easier access to birth certificates for thousands of adoptees

  • FILE-  Mark Kassouf, chief fraud officer for the Ohio Department of Health stands at the entrance to the Ohio Department of Vital Statistics in Columbus, Ohio, in this Sept. 1, 2004 file photo. Beginning Friday, March 20, 2015 individuals who were adopted between January 1, 1964, and September 18, 1996, can request their adoption files and birth certificates from the Ohio Department of Health.  (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

    FILE- Mark Kassouf, chief fraud officer for the Ohio Department of Health stands at the entrance to the Ohio Department of Vital Statistics in Columbus, Ohio, in this Sept. 1, 2004 file photo. Beginning Friday, March 20, 2015 individuals who were adopted between January 1, 1964, and September 18, 1996, can request their adoption files and birth certificates from the Ohio Department of Health. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sarah Bear holds application documents she'll need to request copies of her adoption records under a new law opening previously sealed records from 1964 to 1996, on Thursday, March 19, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Bear mainly wants family medical information but is also curious about her heritage. A new law allows applications beginning Friday, March 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

    Sarah Bear holds application documents she'll need to request copies of her adoption records under a new law opening previously sealed records from 1964 to 1996, on Thursday, March 19, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Bear mainly wants family medical information but is also curious about her heritage. A new law allows applications beginning Friday, March 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)  (The Associated Press)

  • Adoptees wait outside the state Office of Vital Statistics to apply in person for their birth certificates and adoption records, on Friday, March 20, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. A new law allows adult adoptees access to records that were sealed from 1964 to 1996. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

    Adoptees wait outside the state Office of Vital Statistics to apply in person for their birth certificates and adoption records, on Friday, March 20, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. A new law allows adult adoptees access to records that were sealed from 1964 to 1996. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of Ohio adoptees are about to take advantage of a law giving them access to their adoption files and birth certificates.

Beginning Friday, individuals who were adopted between January 1, 1964, and September 18, 1996, can request the information from the Ohio Department of Health.

The law affects records for about 400,000 people, information that has been largely blocked without a court order.

Lawmakers put adoption records off limits in 1964, then made them public again in 1996. But the law was not retroactive for those caught between the two laws.

Adoptee Sarah Bear of suburban Columbus says she's mainly interested in learning about her medical history. But the 37-year-old mother of two also hopes to learn more about her heritage.