This page provides information about Ohio laws pertaining to adoptions. If you have questions about how these laws pertain to your personal situation, we encourage you to contact one of our attorneys for additional information.
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3107: Adoption
Section 3107.011: Arranging Adoptions
In Ohio, all persons seeking to adopt must work with an adoption agency, an attorney, or both. An attorney may not represent both the person(s) seeking to adopt and the parent placing the child for adoption. Making false statements in connection with an adoption is a criminal offense. Ohio Revised Code Sections 3107.011(A) and (B).
Section 3107.02: Who May Be Adopted
Ohio law allows for adoption of any minor children and adults who: are totally or permanently disabled or mentally incapacitated, formed a relationship with the adoptive parent as a minor and consents to the adoption, or are the child of the spouse of the adoptive parent (stepparent adoption). Ohio Revised Code Sections 3107.02 (A) and (B).
Section 3107.03: Who May Adopt
The following persons may adopt: an unmarried adult, the unmarried minor parent of the person to be adopted, a husband and wide together, and a married adult separately (subject to conditions). Ohio Revised Code Sections 3017.03 (A)-(D).
Section 3107.031: Assessor to Conduct Home Study – False Statements
Individuals seeking to adopt in Ohio must submit to a home study, “for the purpose of ascertaining whether a person seeking to adopt a minor is suitable to adopt.” Ohio Revised Code Section 3107.031.
Sections 3107.04 and 3107.05: Filing and Contents of Petition
Petitions for adoption must be filed in the court in the county in which the person to be adopted was born, in which the adoptive parent or the person to be adopted resides, in which the adoptive parent is stationed for military service, or in which the agency with custody of the person to be adopted is located. The petition must be captioned, “In the matter of adoption of . . . .” Ohio Revised Code Section 3107.04.
A petition for adoption must include the following information (list is not exhaustive): the date and place of birth of the person to be adopted (if known), the name of the person to be adopted (if known), the name to be used for the person to be adopted, the relationship of the adoptive parent to the person to be adopted, and a description and estimate of value of the adoptive parent’s property. Ohio Revised Code Section 3107.05.
Section 3107.06: Consent to Adoption
Subject to certain exceptions, under Ohio law adoption of a minor requires the consent of: the minor’s mother, the minor’s father (subject to limitations), any person or agency having permanent custody of the minor, and the minor himself or herself if over age 12. However, consent of the minor is not required if the court determines that the adoption would be in the best interests of the child. Ohio Revised Code Section 3107.06.
Section 3107.084: Withdrawing Consent
“A consent to adoption is irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn after the entry of an interlocutory order or after the entry of a final decree of adoption when no interlocutory order has been entered.” Consent can only be withdrawn prior to interlocutory order or final decree if the court determines that withdrawal is in the best interests of the person to be adopted. Ohio Revised Code Section 3107.084.
Section 3017.13: Waiting Period for Finality
An adoption does not become final until, “the person to be adopted has lived in the adoptive home for at least six months after placement by an agency, or for at least six months after the department of job and family services or the court has been informed of the placement of the person with the petitioner, and the department or court has had an opportunity to observe or investigate the adoptive home.” For a stepparent adoption, the adoption does not become final until at least six months after the filing of the petition or the child moving into the stepparent’s home. Ohio Revised Code Section 3107.13.
Section 3107.16: Appeals
Adoption decrees can be appealed in the same manner as other court decisions. However, appeals must be filed within six months of issuance of the final adoption decree unless: the adoptive parent has not taken custody of an adopted minor, a stepparent adoption was obtained through fraud, or an adopted adult had no knowledge of the adoption within the six-month period. Ohio Revised Code Section 3107.16.
Section 3107.18: Foreign Decrees
Generally speaking, the Ohio courts will recognize valid adoptions from other states and countries. If parents in Ohio have adopted a child from a foreign country, they can file a petition in their home county requesting a final decree of adoption under state law. Proof of the foreign adoption will be considered prima facie evidence that the necessary parties have consented to the adoption. Ohio Revised Code Section 3107.18(A) and (B).
More Articles about Adopting in Ohio
For more information about adopting in Ohio, you can read:
- Overview of Adopting a Child in Ohio
- Things to Know if You are Preparing to Adopt in Ohio
- Consent to Adoption Under Ohio Law
- What Adoption Expenses are Recoverable Under Ohio Law?
- Considerations in International Adoptions
- New Law Goes Into Effect That Opens Up Thousands of Adoption Records
- Ohio House Passes Bill to Ease Adoption Costs and Expedite Process
Laubacher & Co. | Cleveland, OH Adoption Lawyers
Adopting is an incredibly rewarding, but also quite challenging, experience. At Laubacher & Co., we have decades of experience helping Ohio residents complete efficient and legally-binding adoptions. If you are thinking about adopting, or if you are in the process of adopting and need help, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.