Stepparent Adoption

Items necessary to file a Stepparent Adoption:

  • Petitioner(s) must be a Shelby County resident(s), OR meet one of the other statutory jurisdiction criteria;
  • A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate;
  • Petitioner(s) and the child will be required to attend a court hearing;
  • An  Adoption Assessor will perform a home study;
  • See Local Rules Appendix for current cost deposit amount;
  • Complete all requirements outlined on the Court’s Checklist shown below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who May file a Step-parent Adoption?

  • A step-parent, or
  • A Married Adult without the spouse joining if (a) the other spouse is a parent of the person being adopted and supports the adoption, or (b) the applicant and the other spouse are legally separated

What is a Step-parent Adoption?

The person seeking to adopt is the spouse of the parent of minor being adopted. The parent whose right is being terminated must consent unless his or her consent is determined to not be required because of a failure, without justifiable cause, to provide more than de minimis contact or to provide for the maintenance and support of the minor as required by law or judicial decree, for at least 1 year immediately preceding the filing of the petition or placement.

Who Must Consent?

The parents of the child to be adopted, a minor being adopted who is over the age of 12 years, and an adult adoptee must consent to step-parent adoption. Under certain facts, parental consent may be waived or determined to not be necessary. Questions concerning consent should be directed to an attorney.

Where Should I file for Step-Parent Adoption?

The Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over Adoptions and you are required to file in the Probate Court of the county where any one of the following applies:

  • The child was born;
  • The person seeking to adopt resides; or
  • The person seeking to adopt is stationed in the military service.

Is a Home Study Necessary?

Yes, a home study is required.  A qualified and trained individual known as an adoption assessor will complete the home study.

Must I have an Attorney?

No. An individual may represent themselves in Court without the assistance of an attorney/legal counsel. This is called “pro se”.

Please be aware: THE JUDGE AND DEPUTY CLERKS ARE PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM GIVING LEGAL ADVICE OR ASSISTANCE IN PREPARING FORMS OR OTHER MATTERS THAT COME BEFORE THE PROBATE COURT (OHIO REVISED CODE SECTIONS 2101.41, 2101.99C, 4705.01)

If you need legal advice or legal counsel, please refer to the Court’s Resources for Legal Assistance brochure.

Attention PARENT: You may be entitled to a lawyer in adoption proceedings in Probate Court. If you cannot afford a lawyer and meet certain requirements the court will appoint a lawyer to provide legal representation. You must immediately contact the Probate Court at 937-498-7263 to request an attorney/lawyer. A “Financial Disclosure/Fee Waiver Affidavit” (pursuant to R.C. 2323.311) must also be completed before your scheduled hearing. The financial disclosure/fee waiver affidavit can be obtained from the forms on this website or by contacting the Court.

Must I Appear in Court with the Child being Adopted?

Yes.  It is mandatory that the person adopting and the child or children sought to be adopted appear before the Probate Court for the hearing.  Any exceptions can only be granted by the Court for good cause shown.

Is the Birth Certificate Changed?

Yes. The original birth certificate will be sealed and a new birth certificate issued. The adopting step-parent will be reflected on the birth certificate, just as though one of the biological parents.

The address of the Bureau of Vital Statistics is:

Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 15098
Columbus, OH 43215

How do I access my Adoption records?

Consult the Ohio Department of Health website, “Adoption Information” webpage for information on access to adoption records.  The availability of adoption records varies with the date that the adoption occurred.

STANDARD PROBATE FORMS

For all Standard Probate Forms click here.

For Checklists and Forms exclusive to Shelby County Probate Court, see the forms section below.

COURT CHECKLIST AND FORMS

Adoption Checklist

Civil Fee Waiver & Affidavit Order

Court Modified Form 18.2 Notice of Hearing on Petition for Adoption

Order to Assessor

Vital Statistics - Certificate of Adoption (HEA 2757)

Statement of Adopted Person

Financial Disclosure OPD Form 206R

Motion for Appointed Counsel Fees OPD 1026R

Translate »