Guidance through the entire adoption process.
Adoption is the process through which a child and parent or parents form a legal parent-child relationship that did not exist before. Most adoptions happen before the child reaches age 18, but Ohio law also allows for adults to be adopted under certain circumstances.
- Stepparent and relative adoptions
- Private infant placement – domestic
- Private infant placement – interstate
- Infant placement through a private agency
- Adoption from a public child welfare agency
- Prospective adoptive parents
- Prospective birth parents – both mothers and fathers
- Relatives seeking adoption of children or adults
- Assistance with the federal and Ohio adoption tax credits
- Negotiating favorable adoption subsidies for children with special needs
- Strategies for connecting with birth parents or choosing adoptive parents.
Do I need an attorney to do an adoption in Ohio?
All adoptions of minor children in Ohio must be arranged by either an attorney or a licensed adoption agency. If you are not working with an agency, yes you must hire an attorney to assist with your adoption.
Do I need to go through an adoption agency to adopt a baby?
No, you are not required to use the services of an agency to adopt in Ohio. If you are connected with a birth mother already, there is usually no need to hire an agency. You will be required to hire an attorney though, because Ohio law requires that either an attorney or agency arrange the adoption of a minor child.
Can my stepparent adopt me if I am an adult?
Probably yes. Ohio law allows adoption of an adult by a stepparent if that stepparent-child relationship was formed before the adult turned 18. The adult must consent to the adoption, and if the stepparent is still married to the child’s original parent, that original parent must consent as well. We can help you family ensure that your adoption meets all the statutory requirements – give us a call today.
I have legal custody of my grandchild, niece, or nephew. Can I adopt?
Maybe. Ohio law does allow adoption by a legal custodian or guardian. The consent of the birth parents may, or may not, be required for this type of adoption. If you are interested in making a permanent parent-child relationship, schedule a consultation to learn more.
What expenses should I expect to pay with an adoption?
The costs of adoption vary widely depending on the type of adoption you pursue. With adoptions from foster care, the costs are minimal or non-existent, and you may be eligible to actually receive adoption assistance for the child throughout childhood.
With an adoption from a private agency, you should expect to pay fees to the agency for its services, and that amount can vary widely. There will be fees associated with your home study, supervision of the placement once you have been matched and placed with a child, and medical expenses for the birth mother. You will have attorney fees and court costs associated with finalizing your adoption in the probate court. You may also pay birth mother living expenses, which are limited to $3,000.00 in Ohio.
With a private infant adoption, where no agency is involved, the costs include attorney fees, court costs, the home study fee and post-placement supervision fee, birth mother expenses if applicable, and medical costs.
If you are adopting a child already in your custody, whether through an order of the juvenile court, a probate guardianship, or a stepparent relationship, you should still expect to pay attorney fees, court costs, and fees associated with the home study. The home studies are less rigorous in this context, and therefore usually less expensive than a home study through a private agency or for a private infant adoption.
We can help you budget for this process and brainstorm ideas for financial assistance if needed. Call and schedule a free consultation.
Is there financial assistance available to help with adoption costs?
Yes. At both the federal and state level you may be eligible for a tax credit associated with your adoption. There are also grants and other funding available through several organizations, some of which are listed here.
If you are adopting a child from foster care, you may be eligible for a monthly adoption subsidy as well.
We understand that the process can appear daunting but, like most every profession, experience provides wisdom. Our law firm is owned by attorney Abbie Obenour. We are located across High Street from The Shops at Worthington Place in Worthington Ohio.
7100 N High Street, Suite 200
Worthington, OH 43085
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