Stepparent Adoption Attorney in Columbus, OH
Helping Local Families Grow for 29+ Years
As a stepparent, there may be times where you can provide the emotional and financial support a child needs and deserves, sometimes even more than their biological parent could provide. In these cases, adopting a stepchild to get full parental rights can be what is in the best interests of the child. Stepparent adoptions can be complicated, however, and the process includes a series of specific steps that require the guidance and assistance of a skilled and experienced stepparent adoption lawyer in Columbus, OH.
Attorney Richard L. Morris offers compassionate counsel and advocacy that puts your needs, and the needs of your family, first. With our firm’s dedication, you can confidently navigate the adoption process while we serve as your stepchild’s advocate and your family’s legal support.
Don’t face the adoption process without assistance from Richard L. Morris Co., L.P.A. Call (614) 656-4252 to discuss your situation during an initial consultation.
Stepparent Adoptions in Ohio
It’s important to understand what you will be facing as you begin the stepparent adoption process. This process is often complex and confusing, but Richard L. Morris Co., L.P.A is dedicated to helping families during the most crucial moments of their lives.
In Ohio, stepparents face the same legal process as any other adoptive family, with a few key conditions and differences. The stepparent may petition the court to adopt their partner’s child after they and the child’s biological parent have been married for at least one year. The biological parent who is not involved must also consent to the stepparent adoptions, unless it can be proven that there was no contact or no support one year prior to filing.
The process for a stepparent adoption includes:
- Filing the petition: The adoption process begins with filing a Petition for Adoption with the local Court of Common Pleas in the county where you, the child, or the biological parent resides. This petition includes relevant information about you and the stepchild and is filed with a fee to the court.
- Terminating parental rights: The other biological parent must be served the petition so they can consent to the adoption. If the absent parent refuses to terminate their parental rights, the case moves to court where a judge will decide what is in the best interest of the child. Parental consent is not needed in cases where the biological parent has not had any support or contact for one year.
- Evaluation: In Ohio, a home study and review are required in all stepparent adoptions. This is to ensure the stepparent and the household can meet the needs of the child. This step includes a criminal background check, a medical report of the prospective parent, and reference letters from those who can vouch for the stepparent’s character.
- The hearing: The judge will interview the stepparent, their spouse, and their child. The judge will then issue a temporary or final Decree of Adoption. If temporary, the decree will automatically become final after six months.
The adoption process is often emotional, and you cannot afford to make these important decisions without skilled counsel. As an experienced Columbus stepparent adoption lawyer can provide legal support that is trustworthy, professional, and dedicated to helping your family.
Contact Richard L. Morris Co., L.P.A to request a consultation. Call (614) 656-4252 today.
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