When are the birthparents rights terminated?
The birthparent is required to meet with an Assessor or Social Worker, who explains the birthparents' rights and ensures he or she understand what they are signing. If the birthparents meet with the Assessor/Social Worker before the child is born, then the birthparents' rights may be terminated 72 hours after the child is born. If the birthparents fail to meet with the Assessor/Social Worker before the child is born, then they would have to meet with the Assessor/Social Worker and then terminate their rights 72 hours after that meeting.
If you are involved in an agency adoption, consents/surrenders are done outside of Court usually at the agency's office. This means no judge to supervise the most important part of an adoption. Sometimes there are no attorneys present as well. Insist on having attorneys present.
What recourse does a birthparent have if they have a change of heart after the child is placed for adoption?
The birthparent can petition the Court for a Hearing to withdraw the consent to adoption prior to Interlocutory Order (usually 30-45 days after the placement) or prior to the Final Decree if no Interlocutory Order. To exercise this right one must present evidence that best interests of child have changed. This is virtually impossible. The birthparent can also contest the adoption within one year after Final Decree issued based on gross error/fraud and that best interests of child have changed. This is also virtually impossible.
When is an adoption considered "final?"
An adoption is finalized six months after the Interlocutory Hearing (usually 30-45 days after the placement). However in some surrounding counties the Court does not require an Interlocutory Hearing and in such cases the adoption would be finalized six months after the placement of the child in the home of the petitioner.
Do the rights of an adoptive parent differ from the rights of a biological/natural parent?
Not necessarily. Most rights of birthparents coincide with those of the adoptive parents. However, the overall theme of adoption law in Ohio is designed to protect the best interests of the child.
Can a gay couple adopt? Are they both legally the child's parents?
No. Only one person can adopt if they are not legally married.
Can a single parent adopt?
Yes. Some counties place restrictions on the type of child that they will allow to be placed for adoption with a single parent. This is not law but merely the policy of some local probate courts.
What about someone who has had past legal issues (such as a DUI) or financial issues (such as a bankruptcy)?
These issues should not preclude someone from adopting, but may affect whether the adoption is in the child's best interests.