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Frequently asked questions about private adoption in Ohio

There are many considerations to take when making the decision to place a child up for private adoption. Birth parents often have a flood of questions about how the process works, and how much involvement they will have in the process.

One of the most frequently asked questions is "Do I get to choose the new parents?" The answer to that question is yes. Birth parents may choose their child's adoptive parents. However, this is not always a clear cut, easy decision, so it can be helpful to consider the input and advice of an adoption agent or attorney.

Another common question asked is whether the child's birth father, or grandparents, can legally oppose an adoption. First, let's talk about a birth father's rights. If he chooses to contest an adoption, a birth father must register, at any time during the pregnancy or up to 15 days after birth, with the Ohio Putative Father Registry. In addition to that registration, he must also file a written objection with the court, and present an alternative parenting plan. The adoption attorney who is handling the child's adoption process cannot represent him. He will be required to retain separate counsel. If the father does not meet these requirements within the allotted time frame, he then forfeits his right to oppose an adoption.

Grandparents have no legal right to contest an adoption, even if the birth parent is a minor. In Ohio, a birth parent, even as a minor, is treated as a consenting adult. The only exception to this rule would be if the birth parent were 12-years-old or younger. Then, some courts may require parental consent.

Speaking with an experienced adoption attorney can help alleviate any concerns you may have regarding the private adoption process. You may find that it will be a much more pleasant process than you expected, with an unforeseen positive outcome for all involved. An adoption attorney can become a great shoulder to lean on while going through what can often be an emotionally difficult process.

Source: Ohio State Bar Association, "What Birth Parents Should Know about Adoption Process," accessed on Dec. 19, 2017

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