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Adoption Attorneys Serving Middletown, Hamilton, West Chester, Trenton and Lebanon

The process of adoption can be complicated yet very rewarding. So take the complication out of it. Here at Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little we would be pleased to provide you with the assistance needed to get you on your way to creating the family you deserve. Adoption is a process that creates a legal parent-child relationship between you and a child. It is a complicated procedure that often requires the confidential and expert counsel of trustworthy family law attorneys like ours at Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little. Our firm has consistently achieved the desired result for many families seeking to adopt children in Southwest Ohio. We have represented adoptive parents in Butler, Warren, Preble, and Montgomery Counties.

Step-Parent adoptions

Often, a stepparent plays a primary role in raising a child in place of one of the biological parents. Under certain circumstances, Ohio law provides for the stepparent to adopt the child.
A stepparent adoption is initiated when the stepparent files a petition for adoption with the Probate Court where the child resides. The child’s biological parent must be notified of the petition and must be provided an opportunity to object to the petition. In order for the stepparent adoption to proceed, Ohio law requires that both biological parents consent to the adoption. However, the consent of the noncustodial biological parent may not be necessary where the biological parent has either failed to communicate with the child or financially support the child, without justification, during the twelve months immediately preceding the filing date of stepparent’s adoption petition. Should the noncustodial biological parent contest the adoption, then the Court will hold a hearing to determine whether the biological parent’s consent is necessary.
When the court grants a stepparent adoption, the adopting parent (stepparent) thereafter assumes all legal rights and responsibilities to care for and protect the adopted child. Furthermore, the adopted child is vested with all rights as if he or she were the stepparent’s natural child, including rights to the stepparent’s estate and assets upon death, and, in cases of divorce, the adopting parent would be responsible for financially supporting the child. As with all matters dealing with legal custody of a child, the Court must find that the stepparent adoption is in the child’s best interest.

Technical issues associated with adopting

Ohio law provides for both open and closed adoptions:

In an open adoption, the birth parent knows the adoptive family and sometimes even has their contact information.

In a closed adoption, the birth parent does not know the adoptive family, and the names of the parties remain confidential.

Every adoption consists of a home study conducted by an adoption agency, if an agency is used, or by the court’s assessor. The purpose of a home study is to ascertain if the adoptive parents have the necessary skills and are suitable parents to ensure the child is being placed in a loving and stable home. The agency or assessor conducts personal interviews with the prospective parents, and criminal background are also performed. The agency and assessor may visit your home and investigate your finances, education and health background. Our group of innovative and caring family law attorneys can assist you in preparing for a successful home study and help you navigate the many stages of the adoption process.

Assisting adoptive parents to the fulfillment of a dream

Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little has vast experience in adoptions, serving prospective parents in Middletown, Hamilton, Liberty Township, West Chester and other areas in Ohio. We can guide you through the steps to make your hopes of parenthood a reality. We make sure that your rights are protected in the adoption process, and ensure that the rights of the birth parent(s) are protected as well. Where an adoption is contested, we have the litigation background and negotiating skills to advocate successfully for you.

Contact our Middletown, OH law office now

Contact us online or by telephone at 513-393-8872 to make your adoption dream a reality. Our attorneys at Combs, Schaefer, Ball & Little would be pleased to provide you with the assistance to get you on your way to creating the family you deserve.