|Who May Adopt?
Who May be Adopted?
Can a same-sex partner adopt with me?
Yes. Summit County Probate Court is approving Second Parent adoptions.
Must I have an Attorney or Agency Arrange the Adoption?
Yes. Only an attorney or agency may arrange an adoption.
Who Must Consent?
The parents of the child to be adopted, a minor being adopted who is over 12 years old, and an adult adoptee must consent to adoption. Questions concerning consent should be directed to an agency or attorney.
What are the Rights of an Unwed Father?
An unwed father, known as a putative father, may preserve his rights to consent to an adoption of a child born after January 1, 1997, by registering with the Ohio Department of Human Services, Putative Father Registry. Registration must occur prior to the birth of the child or no later than 15 days after the child’s birth. As to the rights of a putative father prior to January 1, 1997, contact an agency or attorney.
What is an Open Adoption?
As an alternative to a traditional closed adoption where identities are not disclosed, an open adoption occurs when both the natural and adopting parents, prior to the adoption, voluntarily disclose their identities to each other. Open adoption law applies only to non-relative adoptions, and may involve a non-binding agreement for contact between the adopted child and the natural parent(s). However, all parental control of the adopted child remains with the adopting parents.
Where Should I File for Adoption?
Since the Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over Adoptions, you are required to file in the Probate Court of the County where any one of the following apply:
Is a Home Study Necessary?
Yes. Regardless of the type of adoption, a home study is required. An individual known as an assessor, who is qualified and trained for the task, will complete the home study.
Does the Court ever appoint an attorney or waive Courts costs?
No. If you are unable to hire a private attorney, you may contact Legal Aid. Adoption fees are never waived.
Must I Appear in Court?
Yes. It is mandatory, whether adopting through an agency, or independently, that the person adopting and the child or children sought to be adopted appear before the Probate Court for the final hearing. In certain circumstances, there may be other appearances required. Any exceptions can only be granted by the Court for good cause shown.
Can I Access to Adoption Files?
Adoption files are confidential, and closed to the public. The adoptee or adopting parents, however, may obtain the following information:
Will the Birth Certificate be Changed?
Yes. The original birth certificate will be sealed and a new birth certificate issued. The adopting parent or parents will be reflected on the birth certificate, just as though they had been the biological parents.
Adopted children born in Ohio or a foreign country, receive their new birth certificate from the Office of Vital Statistics, Columbus, Ohio, Request for Foreign Birth Record. Children adopted in Ohio, but born in other states, obtain their new birth certificates from the Office of Vital Statistics in the state where they were born.
Can an Adoption be Undone?
No. An adoption is permanent and forever! Contesting an adoption must be done within one year after the final decree is issued.
Where can I Obtain Information About Adoptions?
Summit County Agency:
Office of Vital Statistics
Putative Father Registry
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services