Ohio Lawmakers Object to Adoption Law Language “Husband and Wife”

Ohio adoption lawmakers

This week, Ohio lawmakers will vote to approve the budget recently presented to them by Republican Governor Mike DeWine. According to The Statehouse News Bureau, in addition to legislation that affects Ohio school funding and other key issues, the budget had aimed to revise the language of Ohio’s adoption law, which refers to the ability of “husband and wife” couples to adopt. Under DeWine’s budget, the wording would reflect that a “legally married couple” can adopt in the state.

However, the Ohio House rejected the change, which prompted some Democrats to push back. Their reason for championing “legally married couple” was clear. According to Representative Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland), such a revision would influence “whether or not Ohio truly is an inclusive state where people want to move to or to stay in.” Sweeney proposed a budget amendment that would restore the “legally married couple” language, but Republicans denied it.

Karen Kasler writes that the wording referring to “husband and wife” couples does not affect the actual law: “Sweeney stressed the status quo remains, and that single people and LGBTQ couples can adopt in Ohio.” Kasler continues, “The workarounds [for single and LGBTQ people to adopt] can be complicated.” And, Sweeney laments, “The fact that we couldn't do a simple name change is very frustrating.”