The Steps to Adoption in Franklin County

The Steps to Adoption in Franklin County

Are you looking to adopt a child as a way of growing your family? Adoption in Franklin County, Ohio, can be life-changing for you, your family, the birth parent(s), and the adoptee. It can be an exciting and fulfilling lifelong experience. But, it is often emotional, lengthy, costly, and legally complex.

If you’ve done your research, you may be aware of the legal requirements, the unpredictable waiting time, and other complexities. For instance, a child may be placed for adoption due to the death of their birth parent, unplanned pregnancy, divorce, or child abuse. The circumstances surrounding adoption are not always pleasant.

However, on the bright side, adoption offers you an opportunity to positively impact the life of the child by giving them a stable, secure, and loving home. And an opportunity for a brighter future. If you are considering a Franklin County adoption but are worried about the complexity of the process, we are here for you.

Our Franklin County adoption lawyer at The Law Office of Jessica G. King will guide you through the complex process and help you achieve your adoption goals. Here is a comprehensive guide giving you the information you need to start your Franklin County adoption process.

Understanding the Types of Adoption

To understand the Franklin County adoption process, you need to understand the adoption options available to you. There are several adoption options; adopting an infant in America, adopting a child from another country, and adopting a child from the foster care system. You can also adopt your stepchild, grandchild, niece, or nephew.

  1. Domestic vs. International Adoption

Domestic adoption involves adopting an infant at birth. It focuses on adopting infants in the United States rather than older children. It often occurs when an expectant woman places their soon-to-be-born baby for adoption after an unexpected pregnancy. A private or a public adoption agency will help you through the process. An adoption lawyer can also assist you.

An international adoption involves adopting a baby or an older child from another country. Since adoption laws vary across nations and can change at any time, it is important to work with a reliable and ethical international adoption agency.

  1. Foster Care Adoption.

Foster care adoption involves adopting older children in the foster care system. There are thousands of children in foster care in Franklin County who need a loving, stable, and secure home environment. While the Franklin County foster care system prioritizes reuniting children with their birth families, it is not always possible.

In many such cases, foster care adoption becomes the only option for the good of the child. The foster parents or another family may decide to adopt the child when they become available for adoption. Foster care adoption can be challenging. But, it is often fulfilling for the child and the adoptive family.

  1. Stepchild Adoption.

Besides domestic, international, and foster care adoption, you can also adopt a child already known to your stepchild, grandchild, nephew, or niece. This can occur if the child’s parent is absent, unfit to parent, or is ready to give up their parental rights.

The Franklin County Adoption Process

Whether your adoption is domestic, international, or through the foster care system, all Franklin County adoptions follow some basic steps, including:

Step 1: Initial Consultation

When looking to adopt a child, the first step is to find out about the legal requirements, eligibility, and the cost of adoption. This step involves getting all the information you need from adoption agencies, adoption lawyers, and related organizations and individuals. It is the research phase.

Step 2: Choosing an Adoption Pathway

After gathering information, you are now in a position to decide which adoption route best suits you and your family’s needs. It is also at this stage where you select an adoption agency or attorney. You can now start the formal adoption process after submitting an adoption application with the adoption agency.

Step 3: Attend an Orientation Meeting or Training

Franklin County requires prospective adoptive parents to attend a pre-service training or meeting to learn about adoption, including policies and practices. In this meeting, you will meet social workers and get insights about the rewards and challenges of adopting a child.

However, an assessor can waive the requirement to attend this training if they determine that you already have the necessary skills or experience to raise an adopted child.

Step 4: Home Study

Anyone looking to adopt has to complete a home study. The home study assessment includes a licensed home study provider or a social worker evaluating your ability and readiness to provide a safe and stable home for a child.

The assessment has to begin or start within thirty days of the adoption application and should be complete within 180 days. It can cost up to $3,000. Sometimes it is free.

Step 5: Finding a Match

Unless you are adopting a stepchild or a relative, you need to work with your adoption agency or social worker to find a match.

Step 6: Visiting the Child and Placement

After your agency or social worker matches you with a prospective adoptee, you need to visit the child. If it is a domestic infant adoption, you need to go to the hospital and have the birth mother sign the adoption consent form. Foster care adoption often involves visiting the child before taking them home.

If you are adopting from another country or out of state, you may need to follow the birth country or state regulations.

Step 7: Post-Placement and Adoption Finalization

The child must have been in your home for at least six months before you request the court to finalize the adoption. This step involves post-placement supervision similar to the home study but to check how you and the child are adjusting to the new life.

Adoption finalization involves filing a petition with the probate court to adopt the child, the adoption hearing, and the signing of a final decree of adoption by the judge. You now have legal and permanent parental rights. The last action is applying and obtaining a new birth certificate for the child to reflect their new surname.

Contact a Franklin County Adoption Lawyer

Adoption is not always easy. It can be overwhelming trying to balance the emotional, financial, and legal needs of a Franklin County adoption. You need a reliable and skilled adoption professional to help you navigate the complex process. Our well-qualified, licensed, and experienced Franklin County adoption attorney at The Law Office of Jessica G. King will help you. We will offer legal guidance and help you choose an adoption option that fits your objectives and family needs.  Contact us today for an adoption consultation and to learn more about our services.

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