Can Anyone Adopt?

May 10, 2016

family law attorney

Oho law gives pretty much every adult living in the state the right to apply for adopting a child. The right to request a legal adoption also extends to many adults who perceive advantages in creating a parental relationship with another adult. Exercising one’s right to seek an adoption, however, does not guarantee that a court will agree to declare a girl, boy, man, or woman the legally recognized dependent of the person who files for adoption. 

The family law attorneys with Edward F. Whipps & Associates discuss the types of adoptions and adoption procedures on this webpage. Before clicking that link, read on to learn whether your personal situation grants you status to adopt in Ohio. 

Section 3107.3 of the Ohio Revised Code states that any person who falls into one of the following groups can apply to adopt a child or another adult: 

  • A husband and wife together, which is now a category that includes married same-sex couples
  • An unmarried adult
  • The unmarried minor parent of the person to be adopted, including a biological father who never marries the biological mother
  • A married adult whose spouse does not join in requesting the adoption because he or she is not the biological parent of the potential adoptee, a legal separation has occurred, or the nonconsenting spouse is absent, incapacitated, or in prison 

Unstated in the text of the law, but widely recognized by courts, stepparents and grandparents often find it relatively easy to legally adopt children for whom they have already provided a home and care. 

Regarding who can be named as an adoptee, section 3107.02 of the state code lists 

  • Any child younger than 18
  • A child who reaches the age of 18 while in foster care or while residing in a public placement facility or in a private facility for orphans
  • A permanently disabled adult
  • An adult determined mentally incompetent and incapable of caring for him or herself
  • An adult who consents to getting adopted by the spouse of one of his or her biological parents 

An experienced Ohio family law attorney can help individuals looking to adopt with filing all the proper paperwork and with preparing for interviews by and home visits from agency and state evaluators. Issues family law courts consider when determining if an adoption should be approved include the best interest of the adoptee, consent from adult adoptees competent to give it, the financial and health situations of the individual or couple requesting the adoption, and the social and physical environment that will be provided for the child or adult being adopted. Judges will generally not sign off on an adoption when they receive indications that an adoptee could be physically unsafe, lack sufficient monetary resources or medical care, or risk any type of exploitation, which can be a particular concern when an adult child seeks to adopt an aged parent. 

You can learn more about Ohio adoptions by scheduling a consultation with an Edward F. Whipps & Associates lawyer. Call us at (614) 461-6006 or reach out to us online.





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