SKILLED IN ADOPTION CASES
Adopting a child is one of the most exciting experiences in life. It also requires careful legal planning so that all boxes are checked and no problems crop up that disrupt the process.
If you are interested in adoption in Toledo, you should meet with an attorney to review. At our firm, we have helped newly married couples adopt domestically or internationally. We have also helped stepparents, foster parents, and single parents adopt a child. Please contact our Toledo adoption attorney to schedule a free consultation.
For a legal consultation with a adoption lawyer serving Toledo, call (419) 930-3030
OPEN AND CLOSED ADOPTIONS
Adoption has changed dramatically over the past 40 years. Once upon a time, all adoptions were done secretly, and some adoptees were never told that they were adopted, or else the news only came out after an adoptive parent had died.
Today, both adoptive parents and birth mothers have more options. One consideration is whether the adoption is opened or closed. In an open adoption, the birth mother will stay involved to some extent in the child’s life. This can include regular visits, phone calls, or sending letters. The child is legally adopted and may even take the adoptive parent’s last name. Nevertheless, the birth mother has some presence, and the child knows from the get-go that they were adopted.
Some couples prefer the traditional “closed” adoption, wherein the birth mother has no contact with the child. The adoptive parents can then control when (or if) their child ever finds out they were adopted.
Choosing between open and closed adoption can be difficult. Prospective parents benefit from discussing their concerns with a lawyer.
Even when working through an adoption agency, parents should have an attorney by their side. Many legal issues can arise that threaten to derail an adoption, and an agency might not always have the best perspective to offer.
Family Lawyer Near Me (419) 930-3030
Adopting a stepchild happens regularly in Ohio. The only real obstacle to stepparent adoption is terminating the other parent’s rights. When Mom marries a new husband, he cannot adopt a child until the father’s rights are terminated by a court.
Often, termination is relatively easy because the other parent has been out of the picture for a very long time. Many judges are grateful to allow an adoption when a stepparent is waiting in the wings to love and take care of a child.
Nevertheless, Ohio law takes parental rights seriously, and no termination will take place unless there is good cause to proceed. If the other parent objects to termination, then a court will need to decide whether to terminate and allow adoption.
With an attorney, you should discuss how to approach the biological parent about the prospect of adoption. If the other parent has gone missing, you might need to perform an investigation to find him or her.
Stepparent adoption can be relatively seamless, especially when both biological parents agree. Nevertheless, there are still vitally important legal rules to follow.
FOSTER PARENT ADOPTIONS
Even a minor car accident can result in major injuries that can prevent you from working or engaging in hobbies and activities you enjoy, will requiring ongoing care and treatment resulting in heavy medical expenses. NHTSA research on car accidents indicate the following are among the most common types of injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents:
- Head injuries, such as whiplash, concussions, and traumatic brain injury;
- Broken bones, such as leg, hip, and shoulder fractures;
- Back and spinal cord injuries, such as herniated or ruptured disks;
- Muscle and tendon sprains, strains, and tears;
- Dislocated joints in the shoulders, hips, and pelvis; and
- Severe cuts and lacerations caused by contact with sharp surfaces or broken glass.
In the aftermath of any car accident, regardless of how minor, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. You may have serious injuries that are not readily apparent, and failing to get the medical care you need could dramatically worsen your condition.
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FOSTER PARENT ADOPTIONS
Foster parents provide care and love for thousands of children in Ohio. Without them, many children would be without the emotional and financial support they need to become productive adults.
Some foster parents decide to adopt a child in their care, and we can help with the process. Because the state already knows the foster parents, you might think this is an easy procedure, but many laws come into play.
Foster parents formalize the adoption process by filing appropriate legal documents in court. We can also help with the home study that is required. Even if you already went through a home study to become foster parents, it is helpful to approach the process again with fresh eyes.
Family law is state law, and Ohio’s laws are in many ways different from those of other states, even nearby states like Indiana. When parents hope to adopt a child from a different state, two bodies of law are involved. To make the process go as smoothly as possible, a lawyer needs to understand not only Ohio law but the law of the state where the birth mother and child reside.
At Groth & Associates, we can help coordinate an inter-state adoption. Both states have agencies that will be involved, and we can handle communication and troubleshoot any problems as they arise.
Adopting a child from a different country presents unique challenges. We can help parents think through whether an international adoption is even something they want to proceed with or whether a domestic adoption might be preferable.
Some of the challenges involved with international adoption include:
- Having to comply with a foreign country’s rules regarding adoption, which could be onerous.
- Filling out extensive amounts of paperwork.
- Visiting the child’s home country to see the child, sometimes multiple times, before being able to leave with him or her. These visits can require extended absences from work.
International adoptions can also be very expensive. If you choose this option, you want to do it right the first time, and Groth & Associates will shepherd you through the entire process.
Under Ohio law, grandparents can adopt their grandchildren. This is not a given, however, and grandparents would be well advised to hire an attorney. Many grandparents are currently acting as guardians for their grandchildren, either because a biological parent is in jail, struggling with drug addiction, or simply unable to care for their child.
Society’s view of what makes an acceptable “family” has changed dramatically over the years. Nevertheless, LGBT individuals and couples can face unique challenges when it comes to adoption. In some same-sex couples, one person is the biological parent of children and the other hopes to adopt. If the other biological parent is on the scene, then this is in effect a stepparent adoption.
Increasingly, same sex couples are using surrogates and/or sperm donors to have children, and we can help with legal issues surrounding those procedures as well. If you are interested in international adoption, realize that some countries will not place a child with an LGBT individual or couple.
ADOPTIONS BY SINGLE PARENTS
Ohio does not prohibit single parents from adoption, though there might be challenges since many social workers consider a two-parent family the ideal. These challenges are not insurmountable, but you should talk with a lawyer. We have seen growth in the adoption of special needs children by single people, so this is an option to consider as well.
Interested in Adoption? Contact Us Today
Groth & Associates can simplify the adoption process and bring loving families and children together. To meet with an attorney, call us today for a free consultation.
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