Adoption is a major life event, no matter what role you play in the process. Adoption decrees create permanent legal relationships between adoptive parents and the child. Birth parents have many important decisions they must make before, during, and after the child’s birth. The same goes for prospective adoptive parents, who may be family members or other parties working with an adoption lawyer or agency.
Let Chris Smith Law help you with your adoption. We know the legal process can be intimidating and confusing, but it’s our goal to help you navigate it and find the best solutions for everyone involved, especially the child.
Call (614) 412-4442 to schedule an appointment with our adoption attorney in Columbus, or send us your questions using our contact form.
Adoptive Parents in Ohio
If you’re a prospective parent, it’s important to know that Ohio requires you to have an attorney or agency arrange your adoption. Attorneys and agencies are responsible for facilitating the adoption process, ensuring your compliance with Ohio’s adoption laws, and filing your paperwork with the court. You and the party placing the child for adoption cannot have the same lawyer.
In Ohio, any single adult or adult married couple can adopt a minor child, so long as they are not legally separated, and the court agrees the adoption serves the child’s best interests. In certain situations, non-minors can also be adopted.
Non-minors who can be adopted include:
- Adults with permanent disabilities
- Adults whose prospective parents were their caregivers during childhood
- Adults whose prospective parents are married to a legal parent
- Adults who were in the custody of child services or an agency as a minor
Birth Parents’ Adoption Rights
Birth parents have the option to make their child’s adoption plan “open” or “closed.” In open adoptions, birth parents may choose the adoptive parents. In closed adoption plans, they let an agency decide. Birth mothers also have other important parental privileges before signing the final paperwork. For example, they have the right to limit the birth family’s interactions with the child before the adoption, including those of the paternal father. Birth fathers with established paternity have limited parental rights. However, if they disagree about the adoption, they can file an objection and propose an alternative adoption plan through the court.
Once the final paperwork is signed, the adoptive parents or agency have legal custody, and they can decide who interacts with the child. Adoptive parents are usually responsible for paying the birth mother’s medical and legal expenses through their attorney or agency.
Adoption Lawyer Serving Franklin County and Surrounding Areas
The adoption process varies from case to case. What’s true for one person might not be true for you. That’s why it’s a good idea to begin the process by contacting an experienced adoption attorney. At Chris Smith Law, we’ll talk with you to understand your unique situation and help you explore your options. We’ll also help you with paperwork, receive reference letters, communicate with the other parties, prepare you for each phase of the legal process, handle any disputes, and advocate for your parental interests. We offer our adoption services to residents of Franklin County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Licking County.
If you need help with an adoption, call our Columbus adoption lawyer at (614) 412-4442 or send us a message.
I would recommend him to anyone.Barry
The service was exceptional.Ralph
"Christopher Smith is a trial attorney who has litigated many different types of cases in various courts across the State of Ohio. From cases involving divorce to cases that take the unique skill of fighting for parental rights, Christopher Smith has earned the reputation as an aggressive advocate for his clients."Read Full Bio
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