Stepparent Adoption Lawyers in Columbus
Quality Representation from Caring Family Law Attorneys
In a stepparent adoption, the stepfather or stepmother of the child becomes that child’s legal parent. The complexity of the process depends on the individual situation. Ohio law requires that the stepparent and parent be married for one year prior to petitioning for adoption, and you must have an adoption agency or an attorney to represent you. At Law Offices of William L. Geary, our Columbus stepparent adoption attorneys take the time to explain your rights and responsibilities, the legal requirements, and guide you through the process.
Understanding the Legal Process
After the adoption, the relationship between the stepparent and child is the same as any other parent/child relationship. Adoption is permanent, so the stepparent would have the same rights and responsibilities in a divorce as a natural parent. In addition, the child is eligible for inheritance from the estate of the stepparent.
The requirements of the stepparent adoption process include:
- Filing a petition with the court
- Serving the petition to the child’s other natural parent
- A home visit with an assessor
- The court approves the adoption
- A new birth certificate is issued with the stepparent listed as the biological parent
Before the adoption can be finalized, the legal relationship with the biological parent and the child must be terminated. This means that the other natural parent must consent to the adoption and relinquish his or her parental rights. However, if the non-custodial parent has failed to communicate with the child or provide financial support for at least a year, the adoption may proceed without consent.
Reliable Guidance for Your Adoption
The law can be complex and the specific requirements and documentation that is needed can vary from county to county. It can be extremely helpful to have an attorney to guide you through the process, answer your questions, advise you of your rights, and ensure that all requirements are met. Our Columbus stepparent adoption lawyers can assist with all aspects of the process, from filing the necessary paperwork to representing you in courtroom proceedings.
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