Stepparent Adoption Lawyers in Columbus
Strengthening The Bonds Between Stepparents & Stepchildren in Ohio
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.
In Ohio, the law requires:
- The stepparent and parent be married for one year prior to petitioning for adoption
- The stepparent must have an adoption agency or an attorney to represent him or her
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 Stepparent Adoption in Ohio
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.
What is the Process of Adopting a Stepchild?
Generally, the stepparent adoption process goes as follows:
- File a petition with the court
- Serve the petition to the child’s other natural parent
- Have 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
What Happens if I Cannot Reach My Stepchild's Other 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 & Compassionate 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.
If you are interested in adopting a stepchild in Columbus, please contact our firm online or by calling (614) 289-1227 to discuss your rights and responsibilities in stepparent adoption.
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Contact Us to Arrange a Consultation
Contact the Ohio Law Offices of William L. Geary today to discuss your family law concerns with an experienced and dependable divorce attorney. We are committed to getting to know you and involving you in the preparation and presentation of your case at every stage of the process.