Adoption is a complex legal process by which you become the full legal parent of a child. While the adoption process may at first seem intimidating and overwhelming, our Dayton adoption lawyers can effectively guide you through the entire process swiftly and successfully. Whatever your adoption needs may be, you can be confident that our attorneys have the capability to deliver positive resolutions as quickly and successfully as possible.
The most common type of adoption in Ohio is where a stepparent adopts a stepchild. This process typically requires the consent of the biological parent. Adoption gives the stepparent the full legal rights and responsibilities of a biological parent. When a stepparent adopts, the child will receive a new birth certificate listing the adoptive parent.
In the event of a divorce, an adoptive stepparent has all the same rights as a natural parent would. That may include visitation rights and child support obligations.
In addition, adoption completely terminates the legal rights and responsibilities of the other parent. In other words, a father’s legal parental status is terminated when a stepfather who adopts his wife’s children. He no longer has any claim to visitation or to a say in the rearing of the child. He also no longer has any obligation to support the child. Because of this effect, both natural parents must give written consent for the adoption. If one parent doesn’t want to allow the adoption, it can’t happen unless that parent has failed to communicate with the child without any justification or if the parent has failed to meet support obligations for at least a year before the start of the adoption process.
People may also choose to adopt a child from another family. These adoptions are typically arranged through a public or private agency. Families may choose to adopt children from nearby or from around the world. Adoptions of this sort typically require in-depth background checks and one or more court hearings. All sorts of families may choose to adopt children – single or married people, people with or without other children, people who rent a home, people who own a home, and people in a wide range of socioeconomic positions. The main issue is that you’re capable of providing a stable, happy home for a child.
In order to adopt in Ohio, you must be over the age of 18 and you must have a stable source of income. In most cases, you’ll be required to attend a certain number of hours of training to learn about the adoption process, what sorts of issues can arise with adopted children, dealing with behavioral issues, addressing cultural concerns, and other relevant information. You’ll be assigned a caseworker who will work with your family to help you determine if adoption is right for you and if you’re ready to be an adoptive parent.
If you adopt a child with special needs, you may be entitled to financial support through the Title IV-E program or through the State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy (SAMS) program. You may also qualify for certain other programs that offer financial support for adoptive families. Finally, adoptive families may be eligible for tax credits at the state and federal level.
When you’ve made the decision to adopt, the legal hurdles can seem insurmountable. That’s where we come in. We can help you make sense of the complicated adoption process and navigate the maze of paperwork and hearings. You have a new child to worry about – leave the rest to us. If you would like to begin your adoption journey with an experienced firm that truly cares about clients, contact Kirkland & Sommers today.