Stepparent Adoption

Notice: Representation by an Attorney is mandatory unless consent 18.3 has been obtained from the non-custodial parent.


The stepparent must be married to the birth parent for 6 months before the adoption can be finalized. Your wedding date is the start of the adoptive placement.


What I need to do for a Stepparent Adoption:

  • If the biological parent is deceased, you must provide the Court with a certified copy of the death certificate.
  • If the father is not on the birth certificate and paternity has been established, you must provide the Court with a copy of the DNA results or paternity affidavit.
  • If the child was born on or after January 1, 1997, and paternity has never been established, you must provide the final results of the Putative Father Registry JFS 1695.
  • If you cannot obtain consent and you want to prove consent is not required, you must provide a current or last known address for the non-custodial parent listed on the Petition.
  • If the address for the non-custodial parent is unknown, you must file an Affidavit (Attorney provided) and Form AD.2.3 – Order for Publication.
  • If the child to be adopted is in counseling/therapy, a letter must be filed from the treating professional regarding the adoption.
  • If the child is keeping their birth name (if different from petitioner) or taking their mother’s maiden name, a letter must be submitted by the petitioner regarding this decision.
  • A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate (long form/microfilm copy), obtained from the local health department, and must accompany the petition. This version of the birth certificate contains the doctor and hospital information.
  • A certified copy of the petitioner’s Marriage License Abstract/Application (from the Court that issued the license).
  • A certified copy of the original Birth Certificate for the petitioner and custodial parent.
  • Provide four Letters of Reference (all letters to include how long they have known the petitioner, a specific reference to the petitioner’s family unit, and an original signature).
    • One letter from a clergy member or employer
    • If self-employed, a letter from a co-worker
    • Three letters from non-relatives (in-laws are considered relatives)
  • Any petitioner, who is currently paying child support or owes child support, must provide a statement or printout from the applicable CSEA indicating any monies due and payable.
  • All persons residing in the home over the age of 18 (not the biological parent) must submit a completed BCI check, Form JFS 1653 – Medical Statement and Form Ohio-CR – Instructions and Request for Ohio’s Central Registry on Child Abuse and Neglect and Results.


When Filing for a Stepparent Adoption:

  • All forms must be typed.
  • Use full birth names; no initials.
  • If there is no middle name, use (NMI) in the spaces provided.
  • Make sure all signatures are on all forms.


Fill out and file these forms:

  • Form 18.0 – Petition for Adoption of Minor.
  • Form 18.3 – Consent to Adoption (from custodial and non-custodial parent).
  • Form AD.7 – Addendum to Consent (non-custodial parent).
  • Form JFS 1691 – ODHS Application for Child Placement (Fill out completely; include all family members).
  • Form AD.2.2 – Instructions for Criminal Background Checks and Results.
  • Form Ohio-CR – Instructions and Request for Ohio’s Central Registry on Child Abuse and Neglect and Results.
  • Form JFS 1681 – Applicant Financial Statement.
  • Form JFS 1653 – Medical Statement for Adoptive Applicant and All Household Members over the age of 18 (within 1 year of filing).
  • Form AD.2.2.a – Physician’s Report on Child to be Adopted (within 6 months of filing).
  • Form AD.2.1 – Order for Home Study Assessment.
  • Form 18.1 – Judgment Entry Setting Hearing and Ordering Notice.
  • Form 18.7 – Final Decree of Adoption.
  • Form HEA 2757 – Certificate of Adoption – State of Ohio Dept. of Health.
  • Form AD.2.3 – Affidavit and Order for Publication (if applicable).


Filing Fee:

  • The filing fee is $586 for the first child and $161 for each additional child.
  • If you use a credit card, a 3% charge will be added.
  • Make checks payable to the “Summit County Probate Court.”


Fee Notice: If you choose to have an adoption agency or an approved qualified assessor complete your home study, contact the Court as the cost and instructions vary with each case.