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Ohio Adoption Attorney

"Adoption makes you related, love makes you a family"
- Jennifer Brown

Adoption Guidance

Many families dream of raising a child, but the traditional route of having a biological child may not be possible for everyone. Fortunately, adopting a child can provide families with an amazing opportunity to experience the joys of parenthood. Adoption is a great way for families to welcome a child that needs a loving and stable home. Even though there are many children available for adoption, legal guidance from an Ohio adoption attorney is a must.

Arthur Law Firm Co., L.P.A. navigates the legal side of the adoption process, and we understand you may have a lot of questions about the adoption process and the exciting possibility of adopting a child of your own.

Different Types of Adoption

There are different ways that you can adopt a child in Ohio. The process you choose depends on your needs, as well as your financial circumstances. The following are examples of different types of adoption you may consider:

  • Foster Care Agency Adoption: Foster care adoption is the process of adopting a child from Ohio’s public foster care system who is in the permanent custody of a local job and family agency. If you choose this route, then you would work with a local job and family services as to children who are available for adoption.
  • Adoption Agency Adoption: Agency adoption involves working with a licensed private agency in Ohio. This type of adoption is typically more expensive than foster care adoptions, but it can assist the adoptive family with matching them with birth mothers, and provides more support throughout the process of searching for a child.
  • Kin Adoption: Frequently, grandparents and other family members are called upon to raise other family member’s children due to addiction, incarceration, or inability to provide a safe and stable home. What starts as a temporary placement or temporary legal custody, often turns into a family relative (“kin”) raising a child. Once a child has been integrated into a family member’s home, there may be reasons that the relationship needs to become more permanent. Adoption provides a solution to the worry that the family member may come back to take the child later or may never be available to care for the child ever.
  • Step-Parent Adoption: Step-parent adoption is when a biological parent wants their spouse to adopt their child. Absent consent of the birth parent, there are limitations when Ohio law allows a step-parent to adopt, including contact with the birth parent and support by the birth parent whose rights will be terminated.
  • Private Adoption: Private adoption is a type of adoption in which the adoptive parents and the birth mother find each other through various private means, typically friends, family, church, social media, or through an online website. Typically, the birth mother chooses the adoptive parents directly who will adopt the child.
  • International Adoption: International adoption is the process of adopting a child from another country. Families who choose this path will need to go through foreign, state, and federal regulations before they can finalize the adoption. This process can be rather long in time and higher in costs due to travel and lengthy legal process. This process tends to be favored by birth parents who want anonymity and privacy in the adoption process.

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Contact with Birth Parents After Adoption

Adoptive parents are not required to have any contact with birth parents after the adoption.   However, there can be benefits in having contact with birth parents for the child. Adoptive parents can choose to keep open lines of communication, and perhaps, allow visits with birth parents. Open adoption is where the birth parents maintain ongoing communication with the adoptive parents after the adoption.

The frequency and type of contact after the adoption is left up to the adoptive parents. If the relationship is a positive one, then an open adoption can help take some of the stigma and loss away as the child ages and understands their past. It can also allow the child access to medical information, other siblings, and extended family.

How an Ohio Adoption Attorney Can Help

Having an experienced adoption attorney guiding you through the adoption process is highly recommended. An adoption lawyer can help explain your options, find an adoption agency or private adoptee, assist with legal paperwork, and serve as a valuable resource for the many questions you’ll have. Additionally, an adoption lawyer can provide legal advice to help you navigate the various regulations and laws related to adoption.

What to Expect Through the Adoption Process

How long it takes to adopt depends on a number of different factors, including the type of adoption and whether you have your home study completed. Having a consultation with a lawyer is a great way to see how long it may take you to adopt.

A fully licensed parent with up-to-date fingerprints can be matched quicker and proceed to filing the adoption with less delays. An adoptive parent who needs to have their background checks, home inspections, home study, and attend some classes, will need a longer time period to complete their adoption.

Adoption through the foster care system can take months to years to finalize because children in foster care are forcibly removed from their birth parents — and state agencies are required to wait and attempt reunification plans. State agencies are hesitant to terminate parental rights, until they are sure the children cannot be successfully reunified with their birth parents. There also may be appeals and other delays until the child is in the permanent custody of the foster care agency.

International adoptions take longer because of the bureaucracy that’s involved. There are travel issues, foreign law issues, as well as state and federal laws to comply with foreign adoption.

Whatever type of adoption you choose, having a lawyer that can help guide you through the process can help minimize delays and ensure all the necessary paperwork is complete.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you’re considering adoption, finding a qualified lawyer is the first step. An adoption lawyer can provide you with the advice you need and the help you’re looking for to navigate the complicated legal process when adopting a child.

Having adopted three children, Jennifer Brown at Arthur Law Firm offers a unique perspective on adoption and insights into the adoption process. To learn more about Ohio’s adoption process and how we can help, contact Arthur Law Firm (419) 782-9881 to schedule a free consultation today.

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