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OH House Bill 33


State: Ohio
Signed: July 04, 2023

Effective: July 04, 2023
Chapter: Session Law No. 17


 House Bill authorizes an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit to be witnessed by two witnesses or notarized instead of solely being notarized as required under current law.

Amends Section 3111.21, 3111.22, 3111.23, 3111.31, 3111.44, and 3111.71, 3111.72, 3705.091, 3727.17 of the Ohio Revised Code.
  1. Authorizes an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit to be either notarized or witnessed by two adult witnesses.
  2. Defines "certification" to mean to attest, declare, or swear before a judge or notary public.
  3. Provides that under the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, before a child is sent or brought, or caused to be sent or brought, into a receiving state, a request for approval of a placement must be submitted that includes "certification" by a licensed attorney or authorized agent of a private adoption agency that the consent or relinquishment is in compliance with the applicable laws of the sending state, or, where permitted, the laws of the state where finalization of the adoption will occur.

By signing an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit, unmarried parents agree that a man is the biological father of a child and choose to make him the legal father of the child.

Completing the paternity affidavit form is the quickest and easiest way for unmarried parents to establish legal fatherhood and have the father’s name placed on the birth certificate. Establishing paternity gives parents and child certain rights and opportunities. A father gains legal rights to the child. The child then has access to benefits such as Social Security, health insurance, life insurance, military benefits, and inheritances.

House Bill 33 simply allows an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit to be witnessed by two witnesses instead of being notarized, which is the only means of execution allowed under current law. The NNA recommends that parents filing an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit still choose to have their signatures notarized, as notarization adds a layer of trust and integrity to any document, including one so important as an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit.

House Bill 33 also revises the current Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) governing interstate placement of abused, neglected, dependent, delinquent, or unmanageable children and children for possible adoption with the proposed new ICPC. The new compact has a provision requiring a notarized "certification" for placements by a private adoption agency.

This provision takes effect on the 91st day after filing with the Secretary of State. At the time this new law update was issued, House Bill 33 had not yet been filed with the Secretary, so the effective date reported above is the date of signing.

Readers should be aware that House Bill 33 is a lengthy omnibus bill that contains the budget for fiscal years 2024-2025. We recommend searching for the sections noted under “Affects” above to see the changes that are the subject of this new law update. The enrolled version of the bill is linked below. The Governor line-item vetoed several provisions of the bill, but the sections of the bill reported in this new law update made it into the enacted version.

Read House Bill 33.