Adoption Law

The process of adoption in Ohio.

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
  • Private infant placement – domestic
  • Private infant placement – interstate
  • Infant placement through a private agency
  • Adoption from a public child welfare agency
  • LGBT
  • Adult

Our Columbus adoption attorney offer skilled representation and legal guidance to prospective adoptive parents, prospective birth parents – both mothers and fathers, and relatives seeking to adopt children or adults. Our adoption lawyers will guide you through critical steps of the adoption process including; Federal and Ohio adoption tax credits, the negotiation of favorable adoption subsidies for children with special needs, and the development of strategies to connect with birth parents or choose adoptive parents

We certainly understand that the process of adoption can appear daunting but, like most every profession, experience provides wisdom.

Do I need an attorney to do an adoption in Ohio?
All adoptions of minor children in Ohio must be arranged by either an adoption attorney or a licensed adoption agency. If you are not working with an agency, yes you must hire a Columbus adoption attorney to assist you.
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 Worthington adoption 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. Our adoption attorney in Columbus, Ohio can help you family ensure that your adoption meets all the statutory requirements.
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 with Columbus adoption attorney 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 adoption 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.

Our Columbus adoption attorney can help you budget for this process and brainstorm ideas for financial assistance if needed.

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.

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