If you care about adoption law and foster care issues, you might be willing to add your voice to this pending legislation. Ohio Representative Gayle Manning created House Bill 506 which is designed to prioritize the desire of foster parents hoping to adopt over that of relatives. If passed, it would create a new Ohio law that prohibits moving a child from a foster home to a relative that they do not know, or have never met, if they have resided in the foster home for more than 6 months. Clearly, this would be a huge roadblock to relatives seeking custody, and a court order would need to be obtained proving that the move is in the best interest of the child (which takes time and money and is reduced to a judgement call by the courts). If a law like this passes in Ohio, it is safe to assume that it would only be a matter of time before other states follow suit.
A few local advocacy organizations have been effective in educating Rep. Manning on the horrific implications of this bill, she feels compelled to carry it forward due to the backlash she would receive from foster parents if she withdrew the legislation. Ohio families need your help! Please take a moment now to e-mail Ohio state Representative Gayle Manning at Rep55@ohiohouse.gov and “cc” her aide at Bryanna.Austin@ohiohouse.gov.