A step parent can become very close to the partner’s children, building a relationship that feels like the family has always been together. When someone becomes interested in adopting the stepchildren, a Family Law Lawyer in Cincinnati OH can assist. The primary factor is whether the biological parent is still in the picture and will allow the adoption to take place. Previously, whether the couple was heterosexual or not was also an issue. Before recent federal rulings, same-sex couples were not allowed to marry in Ohio or have their partnership recognized legally. Since this has changed, they also are legally allowed to adopt the partner’s children. This is one significant hurdle that has been overcome. Ohio laws now address both heterosexual and gay couples equally in regard to the adoption of stepchildren.
The biological father or mother must agree to legally terminate parental rights for the adoption to take place. This can be difficult to achieve even if that individual never or rarely has contact with the youngsters. This person has the legal right to re-establish contact even if visitation has been ignored for years. A Family Law Lawyer in Cincinnati OH can explain all the relevant potential problems that can occur after a petition for adoption is filed as well as possible solutions. For instance, a judge may decide to terminate the rights of a parent who has been absent for a long time due to abandonment. If that person was supposed to be paying child support and has not done so, this is very much in favor of the petitioners.
Another approach might be to prove the biological parent is unfit. This could be the case if the person is addicted to alcohol or other drugs or has been convicted of a crime and is now in prison. If this person has been abusive toward the children or neglectful of them while in his her care, that also is a crucial factor. A law firm such as Engel & Martin can help clients pursue this route if it is reasonable. Please see the website for more information on these attorneys.
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