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Legal Steps to Finalizing an Adoption In Ohio

Legal Steps to Finalizing an Adoption In Ohio

Earlier this year, in an article quoting Adam Perlman, Executive Director of the pre-eminent Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Reuters reported that over 50,000 children were adopted from within the country’s foster care system in the 2012 fiscal year.

Once you have decided to adopt through a specific agency and have been approved as a suitable adoptive parent, a social worker helps you identify an adoptive child. If your initial meetings with the child go well, they are placed in your care. After six months, you become eligible to legally finalize the adoption. If you are at this stage in the journey to adoption, contact a family lawyer to help you navigate the legal formalities involved.

Ohio statutes set down the laws relating to adoption. The legal steps to completing the process include:

Petitioning for adoption

A petition to adopt the child must be filed with the Probate Court specifying:

  • The name by which the child will be known upon adoption (if granted)
  • Information about the petitioner, the child, and persons whose consent is required but has not been obtained
  • Details about all those living in the petitioner’s household
  • A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate (if available) and copies of any necessary consents and relinquishments of consents

Once a petition is filed with all of the proper documents, the judge sets a hearing date and orders a written report detailing the child’s placement with the petitioner, as well as the minor’s needs and circumstances. 

The hearing

At the hearing, the judge ensures that all the necessary consents to the adoption have been given, and that the child was properly placed in the petitioner’s home. If adoption is in the best interests of the child, it can be approved immediately by the judge entering the adoption decree. Alternatively, the court can make an “Interlocutory Order of Adoption” to become final at a future date once further investigations of the adoptive home are complete.

The final decree  

The adoption decree creates a parent-child relationship as if the child were the adoptive parents’ biological child. A new birth certificate naming the adoptive parents is issued by Ohio’s Bureau of Vital Statistics for children born in either Ohio or a foreign country. New certificates for children born in another state are issued by their state of birth.

For help in completing adoption formalities for your child, contact an experienced Dayton family lawyer at Fox and Associates, CO, LPA.

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