Columbus Ohio Adoption Attorneys
The decision to adopt a child or seek adoptive parents for your child is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. The attorneys at Wood & Long, LLC can assist you in a private or public agency adoption proceeding. Our goal is to ensure that the child is placed in a loving and nurturing home, while meeting your needs as our client. Whether you are the birth mother or potential adoptive parents, we would be honored to speak with you about your situation.
What is the difference between a public and private adoption?
Ohio law allows an adoption to be handled either through an agency or by an attorney. The agency may be a public services agency or a private one. The key difference between public and private adoption is who is involved in the process. With a public adoption, the state or local children services agency has been involved with terminating the birth parents’ rights and has taken custody of the child(ren). With a private adoption, birth parents voluntarily relinquish their rights to the agency which can then help facilitate placement of the child with an adoptive family. Another difference is that typically, private adoptions are quicker.
Is it more expensive to use an attorney or an agency to adopt?
Every case is different, so it is difficult to say whether one process will be more or less expensive than another. However, assuming the child is a healthy infant with no special needs, the average cost of a private agency adoption ranges from $12,000 to $16,000. Attorney fees for similar adoptions ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. Attorney fees are based on the time spent on the case and must be documented and presented to the court for approval.
Are there costs besides attorney fees?
Yes. Other costs include filing fees and home study costs. Filing fees vary by county, but are required by the Court when finalizing the adoption. A home study is something that must be conducted to finalize the adoption. When conducted by a private agency, the typical range is $1,300 to $2,500. When done through the Court in a case handled by an attorney, the Court sets the cost of the home study, but it is typically between $200 and $600.
When the adoption is handled through a public agency, the cost is subsidized by the state. The cost to an adoptive family is very low and sometimes free.
Who has to consent to the adoption?
In most cases, the legal parent(s) of the child(ren) being adoption, the child who is being adopted if over 12 years, and any adult adoptee must consent. There are exceptions to the rules on consent, however, so it is important that you are familiar with these laws or have counsel who is.
The legal parent(s) of the child(ren) being adopted can withdraw consent within one year after the adoption decree has been filed. If consent was given under duress or obtained fraudulently, then the consent is invalid and the adoption can be overturned.
What happens if I go through an attorney for an adoption?
Every case is different, but there are some steps and procedures common among all adoptions. Typically, the birth parents select an adoptive family. The birth parents are given information and pictures about the family so the birth parents can make an informed decision. Usually, the birth parents will meet with the adopting family, though this is certainly not required. Then the birth parents make an application to the Court to approve the adoption. The adoptive family must pass the home study conducted by the Court. Assuming the adoptive family passes the home study, the Court can then finalize the adoption. The Court can only place the child with the family selected by the birth parents. This is not true when an agency places the child; the agency is not required to honor the birth parents wishes, though the agency will usually try to do that.
If you think an adoption is in your future, you should contact the attorneys at Wood & Long, LLC in Columbus, Ohio at (614) 567-3031. If you hire us, we will credit your account with the cost of your initial consultation.