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North Canton Adoption Attorney

Adoption is a time of great joy, but also a time with a lot of uncertainty. Adoptive families have often been waiting a long time to be matched to a child. You need a skillful advocate to take care of the details and keep you fully informed of the process while you prepare to make a new addition to your family.

Attorney Fout has adopted two children and has personally gone through the adoption process herself. She completely understands what an adoptive family goes through and will help individuals and couples navigate the complexity of adoption.

For many Ohio individuals and couples, adoption is the ideal way to become a parent. Adoption can be a complicated legal process and the cost varies, depending on the type of adoption.

Types of Adoption

There are a few different ways to adopt a child. The four primary types of adoption Ohio couples can choose are:

  • International adoption. This is the adoption of a child who resides in another country. International adoptions can be handled privately or by adoption agencies. With an international adoption, the adopting couple must comply with United States adoption laws as well as those of the child’s home country.
  • Agency adoption. State-licensed adoption agencies can facilitate the adoption process between birth parents and adoptive parents by providing resources for all parties, including the child. Typically, birth parents transfer custody of their child to the adoption agency, which then transfers it to the adoptive parents.
  • Independent adoption. This type of adoption does not involve a third-party agency. Rather, it is conducted by the child’s birth parents, adoptive parents, and their respective lawyers.
  • Public adoption. This is the adoption of a child or a group of children who have been removed from their birth parents’ care. A public adoption involves the state foster care system and can involve an adoption agency.

Another type of adoption, stepparent adoption, occurs when an individual becomes the legal parent of their spouse’s child. Stepparent adoption is much different from other types of adoption. It has different legal requirements from the types of adoption listed above.

The Adoption Process for Prospective Parents in Ohio

An individual’s marital status does not impact his or her ability to adopt a child in Ohio. To adopt a child, a prospective parent must be at least 18 years old. When an individual applies to the State of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, every other adult in the household must be listed on the application.

For certain types of adoption, the individual or couple must complete an adoption education course. Those working with agencies may have to apply to work with a specific agency and be approved before they can take this step.

After receiving the adoption training, prospective parents must complete a home study. This is required for all adoptions. A home study is a comprehensive interview process conducted by an assessor, who may be a social worker, a licensed psychologist, a marriage and family therapist, a professional counselor, or a student working toward a relevant degree and acting under the supervision of a qualified assessor.

The purpose of the home study is to ensure that a child would be safe in the prospective parent’s home. If the parents are qualified to adopt, they may be matched with a child. The child’s caseworker remains in contact with the family for at least six months to ensure his or her continuing safety. After six months, the family may legally finalize the adoption.

Work with an Experienced North Canton Adoption Lawyer

Adopting a child is a loving choice. If you are considering adding a child to your family through adoption, speak with an experienced adoption lawyer about the processes for various types of adoption, your rights and requirements, and what you can expect from the adoption process. Contact Fout Law Office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your unique situation.

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