130th Ohio General Assembly
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S. B. No. 250  As Introduced
As Introduced

130th General Assembly
Regular Session
2013-2014
S. B. No. 250


Senators Jones, LaRose 

Cosponsors: Senators Beagle, Burke, Lehner 



A BILL
To amend sections 3107.055, 3107.16, 5747.37, and 5747.98, to amend section 5103.17 and to recodify it by subdividing it into sections 5103.17 and 5103.172, and to enact sections 3107.056, 3107.0610, 3107.0611, 3107.0612, 3107.0613, 3107.0614, 3107.0615, 3107.0616, 5103.171, 5103.172, and 5103.173 of the Revised Code to require that certain pre-birth adoption notifications be sent to each putative father; to permit a person to advertise that the person will adopt children; to define for purposes of an adoption, "living expenses" of a birth mother, to specify how they must be paid, and to allow a credit or refund of those expenses; and to increase, and make refundable, the adoption income tax credit.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 3107.055, 3107.16, 5103.17, 5747.37, and 5747.98 be amended, that section 5103.17 be amended and recodified by subdividing it into sections 5103.17 and 5103.172, and that sections 3107.056, 3107.0610, 3107.0611, 3107.0612, 3107.0613, 3107.0614, 3107.0615, 3107.0616, 5103.171, 5103.172, and 5103.173 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 3107.055.  (A)(1) Notwithstanding section 3107.01 of the Revised Code, as used in this section, "agency" does not include a public children services agency.
(2) As used in this section and section 3107.056 of the Revised Code, "living expenses" means any of the following expenses incurred by a birth mother:
(a) Rental or mortgage payments;
(b) Utility payments;
(c) Payments for food, household goods, personal care items, and the costs of transportation to work or school.
(B) An agency or attorney, whichever arranges a minor's adoption, shall file with the court a preliminary estimate accounting not later than the time the adoption petition for the minor is filed with the court. The agency or attorney, whichever arranges the adoption, also shall file a final accounting with the court before a final decree of adoption is issued or an interlocutory order of adoption is finalized for the minor. The agency or attorney shall complete and file accountings in a manner acceptable to the court.
An accounting shall specify all disbursements of anything of value the petitioner, a person on the petitioner's behalf, and the agency or attorney made and has agreed to make in connection with the minor's permanent surrender under division (B) of section 5103.15 of the Revised Code, placement under section 5103.16 of the Revised Code, and adoption under this chapter. The agency or attorney shall include in an accounting an itemization of each expense listed in division (C) of this section and any credit or refund provided under section 3107.056 of the Revised Code. The itemization of the expenses specified in divisions (C)(3) and (4) of this section shall show the amount the agency or attorney charged or is going to charge for the services and the actual cost to the agency or attorney of providing the services. An accounting shall indicate whether any expenses listed in division (C) of this section do not apply to the adoption proceeding for which the accounting is filed.
The agency or attorney shall include with a preliminary estimate accounting and a final accounting a written statement signed by the petitioner that the petitioner has reviewed the accounting and attests to its accuracy.
(C) No petitioner, person acting on a petitioner's behalf, or agency or attorney shall make or agree to make any disbursements in connection with the minor's permanent surrender, placement, or adoption other than for the following:
(1) Physician expenses incurred on behalf of the birth mother or minor in connection with prenatal care, delivery, and confinement prior to or following the minor's birth;
(2) Hospital or other medical facility expenses incurred on behalf of the birth mother or minor in connection with the minor's birth;
(3) Expenses charged by the attorney arranging the adoption for providing legal services in connection with the placement and adoption, including expenses incurred by the attorney pursuant to sections 3107.031, 3107.032, 3107.081, 3107.082, 3107.09, 3107.101, and 3107.12 of the Revised Code;
(4) Expenses charged by the agency arranging the adoption for providing services in connection with the permanent surrender and adoption, including the agency's application fee and the expenses incurred by the agency pursuant to sections 3107.031, 3107.032, 3107.09, 3107.101, 3107.12, 5103.151, and 5103.152 of the Revised Code;
(5) Temporary costs of routine maintenance and medical care for a minor required under section 5103.16 of the Revised Code if the person seeking to adopt the minor refuses to accept placement of the minor;
(6) Guardian ad litem fees incurred on behalf of the minor in any court proceedings;
(7) Foster care expenses incurred in connection with any temporary care and maintenance of the minor;
(8) Court expenses incurred in connection with the minor's permanent surrender, placement, and adoption;
(9) Living expenses not exceeding three thousand dollars for the birth mother that are incurred during pregnancy through the sixtieth day after the date the minor is born and paid by the petitioner to the birth mother through the attorney or agency arranging the minor's adoption.
(D) If a court determines from an accounting that an amount that is going to be disbursed for an expense listed in division (C) of this section is unreasonable, the court may order a reduction in the amount to be disbursed. If a court determines from an accounting that an unreasonable amount was disbursed for an expense listed in division (C) of this section, the court may order the person who received the disbursement to refund to the person who made the disbursement an amount the court orders.
If a court determines from an accounting that a disbursement for an expense not permitted by division (C) of this section is going to be made, the court may issue an injunction prohibiting the disbursement. If a court determines from an accounting that a disbursement for an expense not permitted by division (C) of this section was made, the court may order the person who received the disbursement to return it to the person who made the disbursement.
If a court determines that a final accounting does not completely report all the disbursements that are going to be made or have been made in connection with the minor's permanent surrender, placement, and adoption, the court shall order the agency or attorney to file with the court an accounting that completely reports all such disbursements.
The agency or attorney shall file the final accounting with the court not later than ten days prior to the date scheduled for the final hearing on the adoption. The court may not issue a final decree of adoption or finalize an interlocutory order of adoption of a minor until at least ten days after the agency or attorney files the final accounting.
(E) An attorney or agency that makes payments for services or items that qualify as living expenses under division (C)(9) of this section shall make a reasonable and good faith effort to make the payments directly to the entity providing the service or item.
(F) This section does not apply to an adoption by a stepparent whose spouse is a biological or adoptive parent of the minor.
Sec. 3107.056. If a petitioner pays a birth mother's living expenses to an attorney or agency arranging a minor's adoption and the adoption does not occur, the attorney or agency shall provide to the petitioner one of the following as requested in writing by the petitioner:
(A) A credit that may be applied to a future adoption petition equal to the living expenses paid in advance less the total amount of living expenses paid to, or for the benefit of, the birth mother of the minor;
(B) A refund equal to the living expenses paid in advance less the total amount of living expenses paid to, or for the benefit of, the birth mother of the minor.
Sec. 3107.0610.  (A) A birth mother who decides, during the pregnancy, to place the minor for adoption, or an attorney or other representative working on the birth mother's behalf, shall give written notice of the decision to each person who the birth mother identifies as the putative father of the minor. The notice shall be made by certified mail prior to the minor's birth.
(B) A birth mother is not required to provide notice under division (A) of this section to a putative father described in division (F) of section 3107.07 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 3107.0611.  The notice described under section 3107.0610 of the Revised Code shall contain the following:
(A) The name of the putative father to whom the notice is sent;
(B) The last known address of the putative father;
(C) The date of the notice;
(D) The name of the birth mother who has identified the recipient of the notice as the putative father of the minor;
(E) The anticipated date of birth of the minor;
(F) A statement of the birth mother's decision to place the minor for adoption;
(G) A statement notifying the putative father that he has been identified as the putative father of the minor;
(H) A copy of the definition of a putative father under section 3107.01 of the Revised Code;
(I) A statement notifying the putative father that he may register with the putative father registry under section 3107.062 of the Revised Code;
(J) A statement describing the right of a putative father, not later than thirty days after receipt of a notice under section 3107.0610 of the Revised Code and after registering with the putative father registry, to provide provisional consent to the adoption of the minor subject to the notice, which consent shall be provided in writing as described in section 3107.0614 of the Revised Code;
(K) A statement that a response to a notice under this section shall be sent by certified mail to the person that sent the notice;
(L) A statement that a putative father's provisional consent to the adoption of the minor prior to the minor's birth under sections 3107.0610 to 3107.0616 of the Revised Code does not become effective until seventy-two hours after the birth of the minor under section 3107.08 of the Revised Code;
(M) A statement notifying the putative father that provisional consent that has become effective may be withdrawn pursuant to section 3107.084 of the Revised Code;
(N) A description of the purpose of the putative father registry and the rights to which a registered putative father is entitled;
(O) A copy of the Ohio department of job and family services putative father registry form;
(P) Instructions describing how to complete and submit the putative father registry form;
(Q) The web site address for online registration with the putative father registry;
(R) A statement explaining that if a putative father fails to register with the putative father registry, the putative father:
(1) Shall lose the right to consent to the adoption of the minor subject to the notice;
(2) Cannot provide provisional consent to the adoption of the minor prior to the minor's birth under sections 3107.0610 to 3107.0616 of the Revised Code.
(S) A statement recommending that the recipient consider consulting with an attorney regarding the notice and the rights and responsibilities of a putative father.
Sec. 3107.0612.  A putative father shall have thirty days from the date he receives notice under section 3107.0610 of the Revised Code to provide provisional consent to the adoption of the minor subject to the notice.
Sec. 3107.0613.  A putative father who receives notice under section 3107.0610 of the Revised Code shall register with the putative father registry under section 3107.062 of the Revised Code in order to provide provisional consent to the adoption of the minor prior to the minor's birth under sections 3107.0610 to 3107.0616 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 3107.0614.  (A) If a putative father who receives notice under section 3107.0610 of the Revised Code decides to provide provisional consent to the adoption of the minor subject to the notice, the putative father shall respond as follows:
(1) The putative father shall, without appearing personally before a court, consent to the adoption of the minor by executing the consent in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments.
(2) The putative father shall send the following by certified mail to the person that sent the notice:
(a) A copy of the consent;
(b) Confirmation received from the Ohio putative father registrar's office that the putative father has been entered into the putative father registry.
(B) If the consent and confirmation are sent to the birth mother, the birth mother shall, upon its receipt, send a copy to the attorney or other representative working on the birth mother's behalf.
(C) Upon receipt of the consent and confirmation from the putative father or the birth mother, the attorney or representative shall file the consent and confirmation with the court, provide the birth mother and putative father with a copy of the consent and confirmation, and retain a copy of both in the attorney's or representative's records. The court shall keep a copy of the consent and confirmation.
Sec. 3107.0615.  (A) A putative father may revoke his provisional consent made pursuant to section 3107.0614 of the Revised Code at any time after providing the consent but not later than seventy-two hours after the birth of the minor subject to the consent.
(B) The putative father, without appearing personally before a court, may execute the revocation in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments and shall send a copy of such revocation, by certified mail, to the person that sent the putative father the notice under section 3107.0610 of the Revised Code regarding the minor.
(C) If a revocation is sent to the birth mother, the birth mother shall, upon its receipt, send a copy to the attorney or other representative working on the birth mother's behalf.
(D) Upon receipt of a revocation from a putative father or the birth mother, the attorney or representative shall file the revocation with the court, provide the birth mother and putative father with a copy of the revocation, and retain a copy in the attorney's or representative's records. The court shall keep a copy of the revocation.
Sec. 3107.0616.  If provisional consent is not revoked under section 3107.0615 of the Revised Code, the consent becomes effective seventy-two hours after the birth of the minor under section 3107.08 of the Revised Code and may be withdrawn as provided under section 3107.084 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 3107.16.  (A) Appeals from the probate court are subject to the Rules of Appellate Procedure and, to the extent not in conflict with those rules, Chapter 2505. of the Revised Code. Unless there is good cause for delay, appeals shall be heard on an expedited basis.
(B) Subject to the disposition of an appeal, upon the expiration of one year sixty days after an adoption decree is issued, the decree cannot be questioned by any person, including the petitioner, in any manner or upon any ground, including fraud, misrepresentation, failure to give any required notice, or lack of jurisdiction of the parties or of the subject matter, unless, in the case of the adoption of a minor, the petitioner has not taken custody of the minor, or, in the case of the adoption of a minor by a stepparent, the adoption would not have been granted but for fraud perpetrated by the petitioner or the petitioner's spouse, or, in the case of the adoption of an adult, the adult had no knowledge of the decree within the one-year sixty-day period.
Sec. 5103.17. (A) As used in this section, "advertise" means a method of communication by newspaper, radio, television, handbills, placards, or other print, broadcast, or electronic medium that originates in this state.
(B) Subject to section 5103.16 of the Revised Code, no person or government entity, other than a private child placing agency or private noncustodial agency certified by the department of job and family services under section 5103.03 of the Revised Code or a public children services agency, shall advertise that the person or government entity will adopt children or place them do the following:
(1) Advertise any of the following:
(a) That a child is being offered for adoption;
(b) That a child is wanted for adoption;
(c) That the person or government entity places, locates, and receives children for adoption;
(d) That the person or government entity places children in foster homes, hold.
(2) Charge, accept, pay, or offer to pay a fee for locating a child for adoption or for locating another person to adopt a child;
(3) Hold out any other inducements to parents to part with their offspring, or in;
(4) In any manner knowingly become a party to the separation of a child from the child's parents or guardians, except through a juvenile court or probate court commitment.
Sec. 5103.171. (A) Section 5103.17 of the Revised Code does not apply to a private child placing agency or private noncustodial agency certified by the department of job and family services under section 5103.03 of the Revised Code or a public children services agency.
(B) Division (B)(1)(b) of section 5103.17 of the Revised Code does not apply to the following:
(1) A person who is eligible to adopt under section 3107.03 of the Revised Code and has been found to be suitable to adopt a child under a home study conducted by an assessor under section 3107.031 of the Revised Code;
(2) An attorney arranging the adoption on behalf of a person described in division (B)(1) of this section.
Sec. 5103.172.  If the department of job and family services has reasonable cause to believe a violation of this section 5103.17 of the Revised Code has been committed, the department shall notify the attorney general or the county prosecutor, city attorney, village solicitor, or other chief legal officer of the political subdivision in which the violation has allegedly occurred. On receipt of the notification, the attorney general, county prosecutor, city attorney, village solicitor, or other chief legal officer shall take action to enforce this section through injunctive relief or criminal charge.
Sec. 5103.173.  An agency or attorney described in section 5103.171 of the Revised Code may charge a reasonable fee for services provided.
Sec. 5747.37.  As used in this section:
(A) "Minor child" means a person under eighteen years of age.
(B) "Legally adopt" means to adopt a minor child pursuant to Chapter 3107. of the Revised Code, or pursuant to the laws of any other state or nation if such an adoption is recognizable under section 3107.18 of the Revised Code. For the purposes of this section, a minor child is legally adopted when the final decree or order of adoption is issued by the proper court under the laws of the state or nation under which the child is adopted, or, in the case of an interlocutory order of adoption, when the order becomes final under the laws of the state or nation. "Legally adopt" does not include the adoption of a minor child by the child's stepparent.
There is hereby granted a credit against the tax imposed by section 5747.02 of the Revised Code for the legal adoption by a taxpayer of a minor child by a taxpayer who is a resident. The amount of the credit shall be one ten thousand five hundred dollars for each minor child legally adopted by the taxpayer. The taxpayer shall claim the credit for each child beginning with for the taxable year in which the child was legally adopted. If the sum of the credit to which the taxpayer would otherwise be is entitled under this section is greater than the tax due under section 5747.02 of the Revised Code for that taxable year after allowing for any other credits that precede the credit allowed under this section in the order required under section 5747.98 of the Revised Code, such excess shall be allowed as a credit in each of the ensuing two taxable years, but the amount of any excess credit allowed in any such taxable year shall be deducted from the balance carried forward to the ensuing taxable year refunded to the taxpayer. The credit shall be claimed in the order required under section 5747.98 of the Revised Code. For the purposes of making tax payments under this chapter, taxes equal to the amount of the credit shall be considered to be paid to this state on the first day of the taxable year.
Sec. 5747.98.  (A) To provide a uniform procedure for calculating the amount of tax due under section 5747.02 of the Revised Code, a taxpayer shall claim any credits to which the taxpayer is entitled in the following order:
(1) The retirement income credit under division (B) of section 5747.055 of the Revised Code;
(2) The senior citizen credit under division (C) of section 5747.05 of the Revised Code;
(3) The lump sum distribution credit under division (D) of section 5747.05 of the Revised Code;
(4) The dependent care credit under section 5747.054 of the Revised Code;
(5) The lump sum retirement income credit under division (C) of section 5747.055 of the Revised Code;
(6) The lump sum retirement income credit under division (D) of section 5747.055 of the Revised Code;
(7) The lump sum retirement income credit under division (E) of section 5747.055 of the Revised Code;
(8) The low-income credit under section 5747.056 of the Revised Code;
(9) The credit for displaced workers who pay for job training under section 5747.27 of the Revised Code;
(10) The campaign contribution credit under section 5747.29 of the Revised Code;
(11) The twenty-dollar personal exemption credit under section 5747.022 of the Revised Code;
(12) The joint filing credit under division (G) of section 5747.05 of the Revised Code;
(13) The nonresident credit under division (A) of section 5747.05 of the Revised Code;
(14) The credit for a resident's out-of-state income under division (B) of section 5747.05 of the Revised Code;
(15) The earned income credit under section 5747.71 of the Revised Code;
(16) The credit for employers that reimburse employee child care expenses under section 5747.36 of the Revised Code;
(17) The credit for adoption of a minor child under section 5747.37 of the Revised Code;
(18) The credit for purchases of lights and reflectors under section 5747.38 of the Revised Code;
(19)(18) The nonrefundable job retention credit under division (B) of section 5747.058 of the Revised Code;
(20)(19) The credit for selling alternative fuel under section 5747.77 of the Revised Code;
(21)(20) The second credit for purchases of new manufacturing machinery and equipment and the credit for using Ohio coal under section 5747.31 of the Revised Code;
(22)(21) The job training credit under section 5747.39 of the Revised Code;
(23)(22) The enterprise zone credit under section 5709.66 of the Revised Code;
(24)(23) The credit for the eligible costs associated with a voluntary action under section 5747.32 of the Revised Code;
(25)(24) The credit for employers that establish on-site child day-care centers under section 5747.35 of the Revised Code;
(26)(25) The ethanol plant investment credit under section 5747.75 of the Revised Code;
(27)(26) The credit for purchases of qualifying grape production property under section 5747.28 of the Revised Code;
(28)(27) The small business investment credit under section 5747.81 of the Revised Code;
(29)(28) The enterprise zone credits under section 5709.65 of the Revised Code;
(30)(29) The research and development credit under section 5747.331 of the Revised Code;
(31)(30) The credit for rehabilitating a historic building under section 5747.76 of the Revised Code;
(32)(31) The refundable credit for rehabilitating a historic building under section 5747.76 of the Revised Code;
(33)(32) The refundable jobs creation credit or job retention credit under division (A) of section 5747.058 of the Revised Code;
(34)(33) The refundable credit for taxes paid by a qualifying entity granted under section 5747.059 of the Revised Code;
(35)(34) The refundable credits for taxes paid by a qualifying pass-through entity granted under division (J) of section 5747.08 of the Revised Code;
(36)(35) The refundable credit under section 5747.80 of the Revised Code for losses on loans made to the Ohio venture capital program under sections 150.01 to 150.10 of the Revised Code;
(37)(36) The refundable motion picture production credit under section 5747.66 of the Revised Code.
(38)(37) The refundable credit for financial institution taxes paid by a pass-through entity granted under section 5747.65 of the Revised Code;
(38) The refundable credit for adoption of a minor child under section 5747.37 of the Revised Code.
(B) For any credit, except the refundable credits enumerated in this section and the credit granted under division (I) of section 5747.08 of the Revised Code, the amount of the credit for a taxable year shall not exceed the tax due after allowing for any other credit that precedes it in the order required under this section. Any excess amount of a particular credit may be carried forward if authorized under the section creating that credit. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to allow a taxpayer to claim, directly or indirectly, a credit more than once for a taxable year.
Section 2. That existing sections 3107.055, 3107.16, 5103.17, 5747.37, and 5747.98 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
Section 3. The amendment by this act of sections 5747.37 and 5747.98 of the Revised Code applies to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.
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