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. 

Additional information