The benefits of adopting a child can be significant. Considering adoption for a couple or a single person can be a rewarding, positive way to grow a family. Adoption is an avenue that gives infertile couples, LGBT couples and single persons the ability to become parents when they would not be able to have children otherwise. It gives people the opportunity to experience the joy and rewards and blessings of becoming parents and raising a child in need of a loving home.
Adoption benefits not only the parents but especially the child by offering a stable, loving home with chances for a bright future. This may include the financial resources to provide opportunities like extracurricular activities or college.
Ohio adoption laws are overwhelming and require a knowledgeable attorney or adoption agency to assist in the intricacies of the adoption process. In Ohio, adoption is governed by O.R.C. §3107. Adoption agencies have policies and procedures that assist you in the process. Alternatively, an attorney well-versed in adoption procedures has processes and knowledge to assist through the particulars of an adoption.
Ohio law only allows for certain types of adoptions. Those who may adopt, under R.C. §3107.03, include: (A) A husband and wife together, at least one of whom is an adult; (B) An unmarried adult; (C) The unmarried minor parent of the person to be adopted; (D) A married adult without the other spouse joining as a petitioner under certain criteria. However, Ohio is one of the few states that currently does not recognize second-parent adoption. Second-parent adoption allows for a second parent in the home who is not married to the legal parent of the child to adopt that child without terminating the biological first parent’s legal rights.
Ohio currently recognizes the following adoption procedures:
- Step-Parent Adoptions
Step-Parent Adoption: The person seeking to adopt is the step-parent of the child to be adopted. A stepparent adoption is used to legalize the parent-child relationship between a stepparent and his/her spouse’s child. The stepparent assumes financial and legal responsibility for the spouse’s child. Depending on the circumstances, a stepparent adoption can be straightforward.
Parties may use the services of a licensed adoption agency. This adoption facilitated through a state agency or adoption agency. The birth parents either voluntarily surrender custody of the child to the agency, or the Juvenile Court may have terminated the parental rights of the birth parents.
A private adoption is when an attorney or a private adoption agency acts in-between the adopting parents and the birth parents.
A child born in a foreign country and adopted by an Ohio family is referred to as a foreign adoption. Under R.C. §3107, the first adoption is established under the laws of the foreign country in which the child was born, with a second adoption proceeding in Ohio.
An adult adoption is used when an individual over 18 years wishes to be adopted and meets the criteria under Ohio law.