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.