Step-Parent Adoption

Items necessary to file a Step-Parent Adoption

  1. An attorney is required for this filing;
  2. Petitioner must be a Delaware County resident;
  3. Copy of Driver's License or Government issued picture ID for the Petitioner;
  4. A certified copy of the "book copy" birth certificate for the children, not simply a certified copy of the birth abstract (the "book copy" birth certificate contains more detailed information regarding the city and county of birth, the attendants' name, the registrar's name, and the date originally filed with the registrar that is needed for these proceedings)
  5. Petitioner and the children will be required to attend a court hearing;
  6. A Delaware County Probate Court Adoption Assessor will be assigned to perform a home study as determined by the Court;
  7. The base court cost deposit is five hundred sixteen dollars ($516.00), this amount includes the cost of a birth certificate; and    
  8. Complete the Probate Forms listed to the right.


The applicant or applicant’s attorney will complete the Certificate of Adoption and for Ohio born children the completed form required by the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics. The Court will send the copy to the Bureau of Vital Statistics to obtain a new birth certificate.  A new birth certificate will arrive in approximately 4 months. 

Frequently Asked Questions

ADOPTION

Who May file a Step-parent Adoption?

  1. A step-parent, or
  2. A Married Adult without the spouse joining if (a) the other spouse is a parent of the person being adopted and supports the adoption, or (b) the applicant and the other spouse are legally separated

Who May be Adopted through a Step-parent Adoption?

  1. A minor child, or
  2. A consenting adult provided a child-parent relationship existed during the adoptee's minority.

What is a Step-parent Adoption?

 The person seeking to adopt is the spouse of the parent of minor being adopted. The parent whose right is being terminated must consent unless his or her consent is determined to not be required because of a failure, without justifiable cause, to provide more than de minimis contact or to provide for the maintenance and support of the minor as required by law or judicial decree, for at least 1 year immediately preceding the filing of the petition or placement.

Who Must Consent?

The parents of the child to be adopted, a minor being adopted who is over the age of 12 years, and an adult adoptee must consent to step-parent adoption. Under certain facts, parental consent may be waived or determined to not be necessary.  Questions concerning consent should be directed to an attorney.


Where Should I File for Step-parent Adoption?

The Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over Adoptions and you are required to file in the Probate Court of the county where any one of the following applies:

  1. The child was born;
  2. The person seeking to adopt resides; or
  3. The person seeking to adopt is stationed in the military service.

Is a Home Study Necessary?

Yes.  Regardless of the type of adoption, a home study is required.  A qualified and trained individual known as an adoption assessor will complete the home study.

Must I Have an Attorney?

The adoption process requires guidance of an attorney

Must I Appear in Court with the Child being Adopted?

Yes.  It is mandatory that the person adopting and the child or children sought to be adopted appear before the Probate Court for the hearing.  Any exceptions can only be granted by the Court for good cause shown.

Is the Birth Certificate Changed?

Yes. The original birth certificate will be sealed and a new birth certificate issued. The adopting step-parent will be reflected on the birth certificate, just as though one of the biological parents.

The address of the Bureau of Vital Statistics is:

Bureau of Vital Statistics
Ohio Department of Health
225 Neilston St.
P.O. Box 15098
Columbus, OH 43215

For a child adopted in Ohio, but born in another state, counsel for the Petitioner is responsible for providing the Court with (a) completed forms required by the birth state for obtaining a new birth certificate and (b) the address of the birth state's bureau of vital statistics.

Access to Adoption Record 

Consult the Ohio Department of Health website, "Adoption Information" webpage for information on access to adoption records.  The availablilty of adoption records varies with the date that the adoption occurred. 

PRIVATE ADOPTION/PREPLACEMENT


Items necessary to file a Private Adoption/Pre-Placement:

  1. An attorney is required for this filing;
  2. Petitioner(s) must be a Delaware County resident;
  3. Copy of Driver’s License or Government issued picture ID of the Petitioner;
  4. A certified copy of the "book copy" birth certificate for the child(ren), not simply a certified copy of the birth abstract (the "book copy" birth certificate contains the more detailed information regarding the city and county of birth, the attendant's name, the registrar's name, and the date the original filing was made with the registrar that is needed for these proceedings); 
  5. Petitioner(s) and the child(ren) will be required to attend a court hearing;
  6. A Delaware County Probate Court Adoption Assessor will be assigned to your case to perform a home study as determined by the Court;
  7. The base court cost deposit is one thousand four hundred ninety-three dollars ($1,493.00); this amount includes the cost of a birth certificate; and
    • the base cost deposit for each additional child is one hundred seventy-five ($175.00).
  8. Complete the Probate Forms listed to the right.

The applicant or applicant’s attorney will complete the Certificate of Adoption and for Ohio born children the completed form for the Ohio Bureau of Statistics.  The Court will send the copy to the Bureau of Vital statistics to obtain a new birth certificate.  A new birth certificate will arrive in approximately 4 months.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

ADOPTION

Who May file for a Private Adoption?

  1. A husband and wife jointly, if at least one of them is an adult.
  2. A Single Adult.
  3. A Married Adult without the spouse joining if the applicant and the spouse are legally separated.

Who May be Adopted through a Private Adoption?

  1. A minor child.
  2. A person determined to be totally or permanently disabled, either physically or mentally.
  3. A consenting adult, provided a child-parent relationship, child-foster caregiver relationship, or kinship caregiver relationship existed during the adoptee's minority.
  4. A consenting adult who at age 18 was in the permanent custody of a public children’s services agency or a private child placing agency.

What is a Private Adoption? 

In this instance, a licensed adoption agency is not involved. It is generally handled by a private attorney working directly with the Court and a attorney representing the party(ies) relinquishing parental right.  On occasion, the child may be related to persons seeking to adopt, such as a grandchild, niece, nephew, etc.  Other times, there is no relationship between the child to be adopted and those adopting.

Who Must Consent?

The parents of the child to be adopted, a minor being adopted who is over the age of 12 years, and an adult adoptee must consent to adoption. However, under certain circumstances, parental consent may be waived or determined to not be necessary. Questions concerning consent should be directed to an attorney.

What is Preplacement?

A preplacement petition may be filed by the attorney for the Petitioner(s) in an anticipation of a future adoption being filed.

What are the Rights of an Unwed Father?

An unwed father, known as a putative father, should seek legal counsel to ascertain how his rights can be protected. One method to preserve rights to consent to an adoption of a child born after January 1, 1997 is to register with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Putative Father Registry. Registration must occur prior to birth or no later than 30 days after birth.  The Probate Court may determine, after notice and hearing, that the consent of a properly registered putative father may be unnecessary due to the willful abandonment of the mother during the pregnancy, that prior to the surrender the putative father willfully abandoned and failed to care for or support the minor, or that he is not the father.

The address of the Putative Father Registry is:

Ohio Putative Father Registry
PO Box 182709
Columbus, OH 43218-2709

1 (888) 313-3100


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?

The Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over Adoptions and you are required to file in the Probate Court of the county where any one of the following applies:

  1. The child was born;
  2. The person or persons seeking to adopt reside;
  3. The person seeking to adopt is stationed in military service; or
  4. Where the natural parent resides.

Is a Home Study Necessary?

Yes.  A home study is required.  An individual known as an assessor, who is qualified and trained for the task, will complete the home study.

Must I Have an Attorney?

Yes.  The adoption process requires guidance of an attorney

Must I Appear in Court with the child being adopted?

Yes.  It is mandatory 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.  Exceptions can only be granted by the Court for good cause shown.

Is the Birth Certificate 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 receive their new birth certificate from the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics.

The address of the Bureau of Vital Statistics is:

Bureau of Vital Statistics
Ohio Department of Health
225 Neilston St.
P.O. Box 15098
Columbus, OH 43215

Children adopted in Ohio, but born in other states, obtain their new birth certificates from the bureau of vital statistics in the state where they were born.

How do I access my adoption records?

Consult the Ohio Department of Health website, "Adoption Information" webpage for information on access to adoption records.  The availablilty of adoption records varies with the date that the adoption occurred.
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Petition to Recognize Foreign Adoption

RC 3107.18 permits the probate court to conduct adoption refinalization proceedings.   The parents of minor children whose adoptions have been finalized in the original country of residence of the children may petition the Probate Court for a refinalization of the foreign adoption.  The Court considers the petition and utilizes the Court's adoption assessor to make a home visit, interview the petitioners and if appropriate the children, and render a report to the Court.  Upon refinalization the adoptive parents receive an Ohio Adoption Decree and an Ohio Birth Certificate.

Items necessary to file a Petition to Recognize Foreign Adoption:

  1. Petitioner(s) must have previously adopted a child(ren) in a foreign county and are seeking a domestic adoption order for the purpose of obtaining a birth certificate(s) issued by the State of Ohio;
  2. Petitioner(s) must be a Delaware County resident(s);
  3. An attorney is not required for a Petition to Recognize Foreign Adoption, but is suggested;
  4. Copy of Driver’s License or Government issued picture ID of each Petitioner;
  5. Petitioner(s) and each child are required to attend a court hearing;
  6. A copy of the foreign birth certificate(s) with a certified English translation of the same;
  7. A copy of the foreign adoption proceedings with a certified English translation of the same;
  8. Petitioner(s) must submit proof that the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has approved the foreign certificate or adoption decree;
  9. A Delaware County Probate Court Adoption Assessor will be assigned to the case to perform a home study as determined by the Court;
  10. For a single child the base court cost deposit is four hundred dollars ($400.00); this amount includes the cost of a birth certificate; and
    • For each additional child the cost deposit is seventy-five ($75.00); and
  11. Complete the Probate Forms listed to the right.

The applicant or applicant’s attorney will complete the form for Vital Statistics and Certificate of Adoption.  The Court will send the copy to the Bureau of Vital Statistics to obtain a new birth certificate.  A new birth certificate will arrive in approximately 4 months.

 

Petition for Adoption of Adult

RC 3107.02 states that a petition for the adoption of an adult may only be filed if:

  1. Adoptee is totally and permanently disabled;
  2. Adoptee is determined to be a developmentally disabled person;
  3. Adoptee established a child-foster caregiver, kinship caregiver, or child-stepparent relationship with the petitioner as a minor, and the adult consents to the adoption;
  4. Adoptee at the time of their eighteenth birthday was in the permanent custody of or in a planned permanent living arrangement with a public children services agency or a private child placing agency, and the adult consents to the adoption;
  5. Adoptee is the child of the spouse of the petitioner, and the adoptee consents to the adoption.

Items necessary to file a Petition for the Adoption of an Adult:

  1. Applicant is a Delaware County resident, or the person being adopted is a Delaware County resident or was born in Delaware County;
  2. An attorney is not required for an Adoption of an Adult;
  3. Certified copy of the original "book copy" birth certificate, not simply a certified copy of the abstract of birth (the "book copy" birth certificate contains additional information that is required for these proceedings);
  4. Copy of Driver’s License or Government issued picture ID of the applicant;
  5. The base court cost deposit is one hundred twenty-six dollars and fifty cents ($126.50); this amount includes the cost of a birth certificate; and
  6. Complete the Probate Forms listed to the right.


The applicant or applicant’s attorney will complete the Certificate of Adoption and for Ohio born adoptees the completed form required by the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics.  The Court will send the copy to the Ohio Bureau of Vital statistics to obtain a new birth certificate.  A new birth certificate will arrive in approximately 4 months.  If the adoptee was born outside of Ohio, the Petitioner and the adoptee are responsible for providing the Court the correct paperwork and addresses  for obtaining a new birth certificate from the birth state.