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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Ohio House Favors 'Husband And Wife' Over 'Married Couple' On Adoption Forms

[fizkes / shutterstock.com]
A family of hands piled on top of each other.

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 its  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.

And Sweeney stressed the status quo remains - that single people and LGBTQ couples can adopt in Ohio, but, she said, the workarounds to do so 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 votes on the budget Wednesday.

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