Adoption in Columbus, Ohio
Everyone has a different reason for choosing adoption, but it’s always a very personal decision for prospective parents to make. Joslyn Family Law in Columbus knows exactly how strenuous and difficult the Ohio adoption process may seem. Many do not know that there are several different forms of adoption, but our team of family law attorneys can help guide prospective parents towards the path that fits them best. Understanding the different ways to adopt, and the processes that follow will help prospective parents achieve their goals and meet their adoption needs along the way.
Jump to: International Adoptions, Adoption From Foster Care, Adoption From Private Agencies, Private Adoptions Through Attorneys, Guardianship Adoptions, Kinship Care Adoptions, Step-Parent and Grandparent Adoptions, How an Ohio Adoption Lawyer Can Help With Adoption Cases, What Are The Requirements To Adopt In Ohio?, How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child In Ohio, How Long Does The Adoption Process Take?, Contact a Columbus Ohio Adoption Attorney
Most Common Types of Adoptions
In Columbus, the adoption process is not straightforward. There are different types of adoptions, and each caters to different circumstances with its own set of unique terms. Hiring a reputable adoption attorney, like the ones at Joslyn Family Law, will help you to better understand each type of adoption, and which form of adoption works the best for the prospective parents. Here are some of the most common types of adoption in Columbus, Ohio.
While COVID-19 still has a firm grasp on the world, families are finding that international adoption is becoming increasingly more difficult, if not impossible. Often, international adoptions are conducted through an adoption agency, but it doesn’t always have to. It’s important to know that not every country allows international adoptions, and therefore an agency is needed to complete the adoption. The country may even become closed to adoptions from out of the country, even when families are in the middle of the adoption process. When adopting from a different country, adoption laws from both the U.S. and the respective country must be followed. This can make the adoption process very tricky without an adoption lawyer present. They are well versed in international adoption and have the correct Ohio adoption resources to ensure everything is done properly and according to both country’s laws. When searching for an international adoption agency, it’s important to make sure they have been certified by the US State Department. Parents that are adopting internationally will also need to obtain an immigrant visa when they are adopting a child.
Adoption From Foster Care
In 2020, there were 25,104 children in foster or substitute care in Ohio. There are two different ways to adopt from foster care. Prospective couples can tell the agency that they want to adopt, and then they can wait for a prospective child to be available for adoption. The other way to adopt from foster care is when parents decide to foster without the intent of adopting. If they choose to adopt the child they are fostering the child’s biological parents must have their rights terminated first. There is a six-month waiting period for the foster parents to adopt their foster child. If the child has been in the care of the foster parents for more than six months, the waiting period will be waived.
When the biological parent’s rights have been waived, the child will be placed for adoption with the prospective adoptive parents, and this is generally a long process. Once the child has been placed, the rest of the adoption process is relatively seamless, though the specifics on adoption in Franklin County can differ from other counties. A recent home study on the adoptive parents is required. A skilled adoption lawyer in Franklin County, like the ones at Joslyn Family Law, will compile all necessary documents from the foster care agency and file a Petition for Adoption, which will then lead to an adoption hearing where the adoption will most likely be finalized. Foster care adoptions include children of all ages, as reunification with their biological families is always the goal.
Adoption From Private Agencies
Adoptions from private agencies mostly handle adoptions for newborns and infants, whereas foster care adoptions can be children of any age. Adoption through private agencies can discourage prospective parents, due to the costs of adopting. Adoption through an agency can cost between $30,000 and $50,000. Upfront, this can seem like a lot of money, but the agency coordinates all adoptions, connects birth families with adoptive parents through databases, conducts home studies and any other assessments needed, and coordinates with attorneys to finalize adoptions. Private agencies go through all the motions of the adoption process for the adoptive parents to take it off their plate, and that is why the cost of adopting through one is so high.
Private Adoptions Through Attorneys
Private adoptions, otherwise known as independent adoptions, are conducted through an adoption attorney in Columbus instead of an adoption agency. This usually happens when a birth mother has approached a prospective family and decides to place her child with that family. Private adoptions tend to have a long process. First, the prospective family and the birth mother must apply to the local court, seek placement of adoption, and perform any court-ordered assessments. If placement is approved before the child is born, then the child will be placed in the care of the adoptive family when released from the hospital, through a court order. After the parental consents have been received by the court, and the child has been placed in the care of the adoptive parents for more than six months the adoption can proceed to a hearing. It’s important to know that there may be an interlocutory order of adoption before there is a final hearing. Like other adoptions, the biological parent(s) must terminate their parental rights before the adoption can be finalized. Also if there is a putative father, it is required to conduct a search of the putative father registry.
When it comes to abandonment or other provisions that are described under Ohio adoption law, the court will deem it not necessary or applicable to have consent from the biological parents. A judicial finding of these provisions is required to proceed with the adoption without consent from biological parents. This is true for all adoptions except adoptions from foster care, as their parental rights have already been waived.
Guardianship, in most cases, is granted in probate or juvenile court. This means that the potential adoptive parent has already gone through the court process to obtain guardianship over the child. When they apply for adoption, they will not need to go over the same process for placement. The biological parents’ consent must be held to be unnecessary or they must terminate their parental rights.
Kinship Care Adoptions
Kinship care can be permanent or temporary. This is where a relative, or someone in a long-standing relationship with the child, has taken over primary care and responsibility for the child due to their biological parents being unwilling or unable to take care of the child. Kinship care can stem from guardianship or legal custody order, or a foster care placement with a relative.
Step-Parent and Grandparent Adoptions
Adoptions by step-parents and grandparents usually have fewer requirements than adoptions by non-kin. Home studies, placement orders, and other forms are not required. Consent of biological parents or termination of parental rights is required unless deemed unnecessary by the court.
How a Columbus Adoption Lawyer Can Help With Adoption Cases
Hiring an experienced adoption lawyer to handle the adoption process takes a lot of stress and anxiety off the prospective parents. Ohio adoption attorneys, such as the ones at Joslyn Family Law, are experienced and well versed in the differing types of adoptions, and the specific sets of rules for each type of adoption. Adoption attorneys in Columbus, Ohio will file all necessary paperwork, represent the prospective parents in any court hearing, and can even act as a source of communication between private parties. Joslyn Family Law focuses on protecting the legal rights of the adoptive parents and the birth mother, to ensure the adoption process is being followed according to federal and state laws. Hiring an adoption lawyer in Franklin County is the only way to ensure the adoption process meets legal and ethical standards.
What Are The Requirements To Adopt In Ohio?
To be eligible to adopt in the state of Ohio, and in Franklin County, there are certain Ohio adoption requirements that must be met. To adopt in Ohio, the prospective parents must:
- Be 18 years or older. (Must be 21 in order to foster)
- At least one person in the home must speak, read, and write in English. They must be able to communicate clearly with the child and with the agency that placed them in the home.
- Single or married. (All orientations are accepted)
- Any religious affiliation is accepted.
- Be able to provide contact information for those who can provide references.
- Must have enough income to support the basic needs of those who already live in the home, while making rent or mortgage payments on time.
- Must be free of any mental, physical, or emotional health conditions that could seriously injure the child or impair the parents’ ability to care for the child.
- Anyone over the age of 18 in the home must conduct a background check. They also must undergo child abuse and neglect checks.
- The home must pass a safety audit, fire inspection, and be free of any hazards.
- Prospective parents must complete any training required by the court or agency.
How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child In Ohio?
The cost of adoption in Ohio is determined based on which avenue the prospective parents take. Foster care adoptions tend to be relatively inexpensive and can cost from $0 to around $1,000. This is due to the state providing subsidies for expenses and living costs. Whereas adoption through an agency can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 or more. This is because the adoption agency handles every single aspect, without the prospective parents having to lift a finger.
Independent or Private adoptions tend to cost less than adopting through an agency, but the prospective parents must pay for their court costs and the birth mother’s court costs, as well as any medical fees or costs so it can end up costing more. The Child Welfare Information Gateway estimates independent adoption can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $40,000. It’s also important to know that the cost of each adoption will vary depending on the court and attorney costs.
How Long Does The Ohio Adoption Process Take?
When it comes to adoption, there is no “average” or “typical” timeframe. Adoption in Ohio can take between a month and several years to find the perfect match after the home study has been conducted. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the national birth rate has fallen, and as a result, fewer women are choosing to place their child for adoption. Different factors may affect the adoption timeline, and some of those include:
- Financial ability to react to situations presented.
- Being flexible with the needs of the birth parent.
- Availability of adoption situations.
- Flexibility regarding the characteristics of the child.
Contact a Columbus Ohio Adoption Attorney Today – Free Consultations
At Joslyn Family Law, we don’t just handle divorce law and child custody cases. We are dedicated to helping parents welcome a new life into their family while protecting everyone’s rights. Adoption and family law tend to be emotionally charged subjects, so we strive to empathize with each of our clients to ensure they are properly heard and represented. We treat each and every one of our clients like they are family, and we give our absolute best to fight for the desired outcome. The adoption process in Ohio can be tricky to navigate, and a complex process. If your family is looking to grow through adoption, Joslyn Family Law Firm’s adoption attorneys in Franklin County are more than willing to help guide you through the process. We are very passionate about the adoption process, and the joy of bringing a family together. If you are considering your options for adoption, contact the Joslyn Family Law Firm, or call us at (614)-420-2424 to start your adoption journey today!
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This page was last updated by Brian Joslyn