Ohio Adoption Attorney
Changing the Lives of Children
We always tells people, “Adoption is the gift of life.” At our firm, the mission of our adoption services is to find loving, nurturing homes for children. Both birth mothers and prospective adoptive parents play critical roles in this process. A birth mother placing her child for adoption is making the ultimate sacrifice by offering a new life to her child. Prospective adoptive parents open their hearts and homes to such children – providing them with the safety and security they may not otherwise have.
If you are looking for an experienced private adoption attorney serving the Central Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas, we have the knowledge and resources to give you the best adoption experience possible. The mission of our adoption services is to find loving, nurturing homes for children while meeting your needs. We offer legal adoption services including:
- Foster Parent
- Single Parent
The decision to adopt a child is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. There are numerous reasons why individuals choose the private route. Prospective adoptive parents open their hearts and homes to children while providing them with the safety and security they may not otherwise have. One of the key differences between a private and public adoption is that the birth parents’ rights will be terminated in probate court.
Typically, private adoptions are quicker than an agency adoption. Going with an agency is a process that takes place outside of the courtroom and the agency may not provide the birth mother with a lawyer. The legal custody of the child will go directly from the biological parent to the adopting parents. We respect, honor and understand the individual needs of each birth mother and adoptive parent.
Step Parent Adoption
This process can be simple. After the adoption, any and all legal rights or duties the previous parent had regarding the child are then terminated. All stepparent adoptions take place in the court of common pleas in the county where the child resides, the individual seeking the adoption resides, or the natural parent resides. The child’s last name can also be changed in this process and a new birth certificate would then be issued with the adopting parent as the child’s natural parent following the conclusion of the process. We respect, honor and understand the individual needs of each birth mother and adoptive parent.
State laws can make adopting a child from a different state complicated. All inter-state adoptions require a firm understanding of state laws where both the child resides and the adopting parent resides. A child may not be moved from one state to another state without approval from both states.
Unless a child is being moved between their birth mother and the child’s birth grandmother, the state needs to be involved. Every state has an office dedicated to helping children and the adoptive parents deal with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). Always consult with an attorney when considering inter-state adoption.
Foster Parent Adoption
There are numerous reasons why individuals choose to legally make a foster child their own. Foster parents open their hearts and homes to children – providing them with the safety and security they may not otherwise have. Foster care laws can make it difficult to determine when a child can go from foster care to foster parent adoption.
One of the first steps in foster parent adoption is filing a petition in court. Our offices will help you complete the paperwork, file, and prepare for a home-study to make sure that living with you permanently is in the best interest of the child. If any issues are to arise in the process, we are here to help you and the child transition under your care.
Laws of different countries can make this process complicated. All international adoptions require a firm understanding of the country’s laws where both the child resides and the adopting parent resides. A child may not be moved from one country to another without approval from both countries. Always consult with an attorney when considering international adoption.
In Ohio, a grandparent can adopt their grandchildren, but specific steps must be taken before this can be made permanent while considering what is best for the child. A home-study is conducted and then proper notice would be given. The child’s last name can also be changed in this process and a new birth certificate would then be issued with the adopting parent as the child’s natural parent following the conclusion of the process. In certain cases, the state of Ohio does not require the consent of either birth parent to proceed with the grandparent adoption.
Single Parent Adoptions
As a single adoptive parent, you may have a little more of a challenge adopting a child than a married couple would have. At our firm, the mission of our services is to find loving, nurturing homes for children and help you become a single parent as easily as possible. There are numerous reasons why an individual chooses to have a single parent adoption. Ohio allows single adoptions by gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people acting as an individual.
We have helped nearly 2000 adoption cases, helping countless single parents realize their dreams of being a parent.
Contact a Knowledgeable Adoption Attorney
At our firm, we have nearly twenty years of experience in the process, thus providing prospective parents and birth mothers with the guidance needed to make sure each finalized adoption is legally secure.
Our law firm serves clients throughout the state of Ohio, specifically the Columbus metro area, including Franklin County, Delaware County, Knox County, Licking County, Fairfield County, Pickaway County, Madison County, Lancaster, Pickerington and Union County in probate and estate administration. In adoption law matters we serve the entire state of Ohio. If you are in need of an experienced adoption attorney in the Columbus, Ohio area, call us today (614) 241-2181.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to adopt?
Total adoption costs depend on the type of adoption, your specific circumstances, and in which State/States the parties are located. Call us for an estimate.
How long does it take to adopt?
This depends on what type of adoption you are interested in and/or how open you are to any unique birth parent issues. It also depends on how many attorneys and/or agencies with whom you work. If you want to do it on your own, i.e. locate a birth parent, and are aggressive with a networking/marketing/advertising campaign, you could save a substantial amount of money, and you should locate 1 to 2 birth parent leads within 6 to 12 months.
Is Advertising for a baby legal in Ohio?
Ohio law allows you to advertise for adoption only if you are a QAP, i.e. a Qualified Adoptive Parent (an “approved” adoptive parent).
You may also advertise to adopt in other states where permitted. Most adoption agencies and attorneys use some form of advertising to attract birth mothers, why shouldn’t adoptive parents? It is possible to advertise without revealing personal details.
Nothing prohibits you from networking or advertising to adopt as long as you are pre-approved for adoption. If you are aggressive in networking and advertising, you should locate 1-2 birth parent leads within six to twelve months.
What is the difference between Open or Closed Adoptions?
Open Adoption Agreements are non-binding. Open Adoption allows for the exchange of contact and information, including identifying information. A Closed Adoption is where the parties do not have any identifying information about each other.
Does a birth parent get to choose the family who adopts their baby?
Yes. You may select the prospective adopting parents by screening Lifebooks/Profiles. You can also call and/or meet to interview prospective adoptive parents.
Is there any contact after an adoption is final? Is that contact enforceable?
You can design your own individual type of adoption plan, i.e. you can choose to do an open/semi-open/closed adoption. You may receive and/or exchange status letters and photos, phone calls, and even visits and/or any other kind of contact is allowed and may be arranged between you and the adoptive parents. However, Ohio law will not force either of you to comply with this. Written agreements are not legally binding in most states, rather, they are moral.
An open adoption agreement cannot do any of the following:
- Share parental control
- Deny adoptive parent or child access to social or medical history forms
- Deny adoptive parent or child a copy of child’s adoption file
- Deny all parties to the adoption access to non-identifying information
- Provide that the open adoption is binding or enforceable
Adoption Tax Credit May Increase With H.B. 206!
House Bill 206 would increase the amount and change the refundability of an existing tax credit for adoption. Under current law, this credit equals the greater of $1,500 or a taxpayer’s adoption expenses, up to $10,000….
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