Adoption Rights For Same-Sex Couples In Ohio
If you are in a same-sex marriage or relationship in Ohio and are considering adoption, let attorney Shelly L. Kennedy help you navigate the process.
Same-sex couples in Ohio who are interested in adopting a child have the same rights as heterosexual couples who adopt every day. Many members of the LGBTQ community are interested in adoption but have no idea what to expect or even whether they have a legal right to adopt in the first place.
If you want to adopt a child and are concerned about the process, you need an attorney who understands the process and has experience helping members of the LGBTQ community. At The Law Offices of Shelly L. Kennedy, Ltd., in Sandusky and Port Clinton, we focus on family law matters, including adoption for same-sex parents-to-be.
Home Studies Required
All couples, LGBTQ or otherwise, are required to complete a home study in order to be considered for adoption. It is understandable that, as a prospective parent, you may be nervous about this process. You do not need to be, however, as our firm can help you prepare for the home study and help improve your chances of being approved for adoption.
The person who conducts the home study will ask you a number of personal questions, including ones about your career, your marriage or romantic relationship, income, family, health and more. They will look around your home and inquire as to where a child would be living. They will want to talk to family and friends about your overall lifestyle and whether a child is a good fit.
While it may make you feel even more uncomfortable, these are questions all couples face, not just same-sex couples. The home study is the same no matter who the prospective adoptive parents might be.
LGBTQ-Friendly Adoption Agencies
If you are still concerned about your adoption being rejected, you can do some research and opt for an adoption agency that may be more open to LGBTQ community members. You can start by checking websites to see if there is any mention or imagery that welcomes prospective LGBTQ parents. Be sure to look at the images on the website to see if any point to same-sex couples.
If you retain our firm, we can also refer you to an agency that specializes in Ohio same-sex adoptions. The Human Rights Campaign has a list of LGBTQ-friendly agencies that include some options in Ohio, as well.
Same-Sex Stepparent Adoption
Same-sex adoption rights also extend to those people who want to apply for parental rights as a same-sex spouse of an adoptive or biological parent. Stepparent adoptions are available in the probate court of the county where you reside. A decision by the Supreme Court of Ohio paved the way for these rights in Obergefell v. Hodges.
Prior to this case, only one parent in a same-sex relationship had any rights to their child. In the past, the parent who did not adopt or give birth was technically a “legal stranger.” This parent had no right to adopt unless the legal parent was willing to give up all his or her legal rights. Now, if the adoption is granted, both parents’ names will appear on the birth certificate.
Contact An Attorney Today For Help With Same-Sex Adoption
If you are a member of the LGBTQ community and need assistance with adoption in Ohio, contact The Law Offices of Shelly L. Kennedy, Ltd., by email or by calling 419-626-6300 today to schedule an initial consultation.