Stepparent Adoption Attorney
Serving the greater Columbus, Franklin county and Central Ohio areas.Schedule a consultation
Columbus Stepparent Adoption Attorney
Family Law specialists with OVER 63 YEARS of experience.
Blended families are on the rise in Ohio. As people with children marry or remarry, they face the task of trying to integrate their disparate parts into one new whole.
Many people contact our Columbus office looking for help with stepparent adoption. This is a wonderful option for most of our clients, but it requires a thorough understanding of the adoption process. Often, a biological mother or father must give up their parental rights unless the state has already terminated them. At each step, you will need compassionate legal guidance, which only experienced attorneys like those at the Lawrence Law Office in Columbus can provide.
Procedural Steps to Stepparent Adoption
Stepparent adoptions are not always straightforward, which might be surprising since the child is currently living with you. Nevertheless, you need to jump through many hoops, only some of which we summarize here:
- Complete and file a petition for adoption form with the court.
- Provide notice to the noncustodial parent of the adoption proceeding. This gives the biological mother/father a chance to come into court and contest the adoption.
- Hire an agency to perform a home study. A home study is a medical, financial, criminal, social, and psychological assessment of the person petitioning to adopt the child.
- Complete other various forms and submit them to the court.
All of these steps must be completed before a judge can set a hearing to consider the adoption. This paperwork is time consuming and fraught with potential landmines, which is why an experienced lawyer’s help is vital. A lawyer can fill out the paperwork and help clients prepare for the home study by troubleshooting any problems that might arise.
Consent to Adoption
A child cannot have three parents, so the biological parent you are trying to replace must consent to the adoption. If he or she doesn’t, then a court must find that the parent has not been supporting the child or maintaining a relationship for the adoption to go forward. However, consent is usually the easier route for most people.
An attorney can help track down the biological mother or father, who might not have had any contact with the child for years. An attorney can also discuss the adoption with the biological parent and see if he or she is willing to consent to the adoption. Often, biological parents agree to adoption since that will relieve them of child support payments. Many biological parents have abandoned their children years before and have no problem giving up their rights, but each case is different. If our clients can clear this hurdle, then most of the other work becomes easier.
A judge will require that the person petitioning the court to adopt appear at a hearing before deciding whether to grant the adoption. The child must also appear. Many of our clients are very nervous about the hearing; however, we have found that there is little to be worried about at this stage. If you have worked with an experienced lawyer throughout the adoption process, then nothing surprising should happen at the hearing. You should have a good idea of the questions a judge will ask and how to answer them.
If the judge agrees to the adoption, then he or she will sign off on an order of adoption. If the judge raises any concerns during the hearing, then your attorney can try to put the judge’s concerns to rest. Usually, hearings are very straightforward but also emotional, since most of our clients leave the courthouse as newly adoptive parents.
Why You Need Lawrence Law Office by Your Side
No relationship is more important than that between a parent and a child. With so much at stake, do you really want to take a risk with an inexperienced attorney?
At Lawrence Law Office, we have helped many families in Columbus successfully complete a stepparent adoption, so we are intimately familiar with the process. It is much better to complete everything correctly the first time rather than trying to fix mistakes made later, so you need someone who has worked in this field for years.
Other Practice Areas
- Family Law
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Stepparent Adoption
- Grandparent Visitation Rights
- Spousal Support
- Equitable Distribution
- Military Divorce
- Social Media in Divorce
- Contempt & Enforcement
- Post Divorce
- Business Owners Divorce
- Tax issues
- Child Custody
- Grandparent Rights
- Same-Sex Couples Child Custody
- High Asset Divorce
- Retirement Assets
- Estate Planning
The place to go.
Lawrence Law Office is the place to go if you need expert and experienced legal counsel. Very knowledgeable about the court system. Been around along time. I highly recommend them!Stephen
Contact Us Today
To find out more about the adoption process, you can schedule a confidential consultation with our law office. We can identify any potential impediments that might pop up and help strategize for getting the biological parent to consent to the adoption if you think that will be an issue.
Call us today at 614-228-3664. The sooner you get to work planning a stepparent adoption, the better.