Finalizing your adoption is the last step of the Ohio adoption process. This is when your child receives their final decree of adoption and officially becomes a legal member of your family for life.
Leading up to an Ohio adoption finalization, several things need to happen first, including:
The termination of your child’s birth parents’ parental rights through issuing their consent to the adoption with their lawyer present. (Note: a birth mother must wait a minimum of 72 hours after the birth of their baby to give their consent to an adoption in Ohio)
The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) and/or Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) processes, if applicable.
The completion of your post-placement home study visits.
After you’ve been placed with a child, your Ohio adoption attorney and American Adoptions adoption specialist will contact you about when your adoption finalization hearing will be scheduled, which is typically set for several months after placement in your local county probate court.
The adoption finalization hearing occurs in court, where a judge will issue the final decree of adoption as the final step of the Ohio adoption process. This final stage of adoption is often viewed as a celebration. Families sometimes invite family and friends to the adoption finalization hearing, or throw a party to mark the occasion.
The Ohio adoption finalization hearing is relatively short, usually lasting about twenty minutes to an hour. During your hearing, you’ll:
Be sworn in along with your OH adoption attorney and occasionally your social worker
Answer questions about the adoption and your intent to provide your child with a permanent, safe and loving home
Witness the judge signing the final decree of adoption
Then your child’s adoption is finalized and they’re a legal and permanent member of your family!
Once your child’s Ohio adoption is finalized, you can file for their amended birth certificate and social security card. You can always contact American Adoptions with any questions about maintaining communication with birth family, finding adoption resources and more.
To learn more about how to finalize an adoption in Ohio, call 1-800-ADOPTION for free information now.
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