Catholic Social Services maintains files of past adoptions facilitated within the Diocese of Columbus. Files from the following agencies exist:
- Catholic Social Services, formerly known as Catholic Welfare Bureau
- St. Vincent Orphanage
- St. Ann’s Maternity Home
Those looking for information regarding a past adoption may submit a request using the forms in the post-adoption information packet (PDF).
Counselors are available for additional support during the search and reunion process. Please contact our intake worker for more information: (614) 857-1218.
Search and Reunion Resources
Adoptions Prior to January 1, 1964 – Adoption Records Open to Adopted Person with Proper ID. For adoptions that took place prior to 1964, the adopted person can receive contents of the adoption file by submitting a notarized affidavit to the Ohio Department of Health.
Adoptions between January 1, 1964 and September 19, 1996 – Adoption Records are Sealed and Only Opened by a Court Order (H.B. 84). For adoptions that took place after 1964, the Ohio Department of Health keeps records of Authorization for Release of Information submitted by birth parents and biological siblings of adopted persons. The birth parents can file an Authorization for Release of Information with the Ohio Department of Health that gives permission for their identity to be released to the adoptee. If the adopted person petitions the Ohio probate court for his/her adoption information, then the authorized information will be provided.
Adoptions after September 19, 1996 – Adoption Records are Open if Adopted Person is between 18-21+ Years of Age (H.B. 419). An adoptive person older than age 21 and was available for adoption after September 18, 1996, can request birth information. If he/she is older than 18, the adoptive parents can request the information for them. Birth information will be disclosed if an authorization of release (or signed disclosure) has been registered and authorizes the information released. Adoptees can request a Request for Assistance by Adopted Person or a Rescission of Request for Assistance by Adopted Person can be obtained from the Ohio Department of Health. In order to make their information available or to deny the release of information currently available, a birth parent can file an Authorization for Release of Information or a Denial for Release of Information with the Ohio Department of Health.
Franklin County Probate Court:
Franklin County Probate Court is the court that finalizes adoptions in Franklin County. An adopted person older than age 21 who was adopted after 1964 can file a Petition for Release of Adoption Information. If the adopted person’s birth parent has filed an Authorization for Release with the Ohio Department of Health, then the Probate Court can release the requested identifying information. If an Authorization for Release is not on file with the Ohio Department of Health, then the Probate court instructs Catholic Social Services to release non-identifying information to the adopted person. For more information on filing a Petition for Release of Adoption Information, please contact Franklin County Probate Court.
Franklin County Probate Court
373 S. High St., 22nd Fl.
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6311
Ohio Adoption Registry
The Ohio Adoption Registry was established by the Ohio Legislature to provide a confidential and voluntary way for adopted Ohioans and their biological families to find one another (please see attached brochure).
Ohio Department of Health Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 118 Columbus, Ohio 43216-0118
International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISSR)
The International Soundex Reunion Registry is a nonprofit, mutual-consent reunion registry for persons desiring a reunion with their birth relative.
P.O. Box 2312
Carson City, NV 89702
Reunite of Ohio
Reunite is an organization that provides search assistance to adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents who are in search of birth relatives. Donations are requested.
Reunite of Ohio
PO Box 461
Mt. Gilead, OH 43338-0461
Angela Tampone, President
Searching to Reunite
Kenna Peterson is a licensed Private Investigator who is dedicated to helping people reunite with their birth families. There is a fee for this service, which is determined by the amount of work involved.
Child Welfare Information Gateway
This website is intended to help individuals find information and resources on searching for birth relatives, reunion, obtaining birth and adoption records, support groups, and relevant laws and policies. This website provides a packet titled, Searching for Birth Relatives: Adoption Packet 3. This packet is provided by the Child Welfare Information Gateway for birth parents, adopted persons and other interested in learning more about the process of searching for birth relatives.
American Adoption Congress
This website provides a collection of articles, databases, forums and references, including links to other websites that may be useful to searchers working on their own.
The National Center for Adoption Law and Policy
This website is designed to deliver a single online resource where prospective adoptive parents, biological parents, and adoption and child welfare professionals can turn for child welfare and adoption law information.
This website is a part of the larger umbrella of www.adoption.com. This site features access to public records, people searches, reunion registries and more. It also provides tips and offers support services for individuals searching for birth relatives.
The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search, Reunion and Beyond by Julie Jarrell Bailey & Lynn Giddens.
Journeys After Adoption: Understanding Lifelong Issues by Jayne E. Schooler and Betsie L. Norris.