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Northeast Ohio Adoption Attorney

Dedicated to the Success of Our Clients

Helping Ohio Residents Start Families

Adoption is a compassionate act that allows children to experience the love and sense of belonging that comes with being a family. Also, prospective adoptive parents get to fulfill their dream of having a family of their own. However, the adoption process involves important legal issues regarding a person’s parental rights. That is why it is important to consult an experienced adoption lawyer in Northeast Ohio about the adoption process. At Erb Legal LLC, you can benefit from the skill and background that our lead attorney, Thomas L. Erb Jr., offers regarding legal issues in connection to the adoption process.

You don’t have to wait to receive the legal representation you need for legal matters involving adoptions—call Erb Legal LLC at (330) 446-3606 today.

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Who May Adopt a Child Under Ohio Law?

Adoption is a legal process, recognized by statute, involving the designation of a legal relationship between a parent and child from which certain legal rights and obligations arise. In general, adoption occurs between a child and an adult who is not their natural birth parent.

Under Ohio Revised Code § 3107.03, only the following persons may adopt someone:

The adoption process requires the adoptee’s birth parents to give up their parental rights so the adopting parents can assume the duties and rights of the adoptee’s legal parents. The adoptive parents generally have superior custodial rights compared to nonparents, including the child’s relatives.

Different Forms of Adoption

Adoptions can be distinguished into the categories of agency adoptions, independent adoptions, open adoptions, and closed adoptions.

In agency adoptions, the process is facilitated by an intermediary adoption agency that is responsible for pairing prospective adoptees with adopting parents. Additionally, agency adoptions typically involve more counseling and training for the prospective adoptive parents and the natural parents of the adoptee.

Independent adoptions—also known as “private adoptions”—is a process where the adopting parents work with adoption attorneys instead of an adoption agency.

Ohio Revised Code § 5103.16 lists the following requirements for independent adoptions:

Historically, most adoptions in the United States involved little-to-no contact between the prospective adoptive parents and the adoptee’s natural parents. This type of adoption is commonly referred to as a “closed adoption.”

Today, more and more adoptions involve greater levels of contact between adopting parents and the child’s natural parents—also known as “open adoptions.” In some cases, the child’s natural parents may retain certain rights that they would have otherwise relinquished in closed adoptions.

However, the emotional and developmental benefits of preserving some connection between the adoptee and their natural parents have inspired a growing trend favoring open adoptions. However, such adoptions can be more complicated. As a result, there are certain laws in place governing open adoption proceedings.

Ohio law regulates open adoptions, prohibiting the following:

Get Legal Advice from a Northeast Ohio Adoption Lawyer

If you have questions or concerns about your legal rights and the diverse legal issues involving adoptions, you should consult an experienced adoption attorney. At Erb Legal LLC, we have years of experience in the practice of Ohio family law, including adoption proceedings. We are here to help make sure your dream of starting a family can be realized with little or no legal complications.

If you would like to arrange for a free consultation with Attorney Thomas L. Erb Jr. to explore your legal rights and options, please call us at (330) 446-3606 or contact our office online today.