Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Ohio

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Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 3107.18; 3107.05; 3107.11; 3107.14

Except when giving effect to such a decree would violate the public policy of this State, a court decree terminating the relationship of parent and child or establishing the relationship by adoption issued pursuant to due process of law by a court of any jurisdiction outside this State, whether within or outside the United States, shall be recognized in this State, and the rights and obligations of the parties as to all matters within the jurisdiction of this State shall be determined as though the decree were issued by a court of this State.

A petition for adoption shall include the following information:

  • The date and place of birth of the person to be adopted, if known
  • The name of the person to be adopted, if known
  • The name to be used for the person to be adopted
  • The date of placement of a minor and the name of the person placing the minor
  • The full name, age, place, and duration of residence of the petitioner
  • The marital status of the petitioner, including the date and place of marriage, if married
  • The relationship to the petitioner of the person to be adopted
  • That the petitioner has facilities and resources suitable to provide for the nurture and care of the person to be adopted
  • That it is the desire of the petitioner to establish the relationship of parent and child with the person to be adopted
  • A description and estimate of value of all property of the person to be adopted
  • The name and address, if known, of any person whose consent to the adoption is required but who has not consented and facts that explain the lack of the consent normally required to the adoption

After the filing of a petition to adopt an adult or a minor, the court shall fix a time and place for hearing the petition. The hearing may take place at any time more than 30 days after the date on which the minor is placed in the home of the petitioner.

The petitioner and the person sought to be adopted shall appear at the hearing on the petition, unless the presence of either is excused by the court for good cause shown. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court finds that the required consents have been obtained or excused and that the adoption is in the best interests of the person sought to be adopted as supported by the evidence, it may issue either of the following:

  • A final decree of adoption
  • An interlocutory order of adoption that by its own terms automatically becomes a final decree of adoption on a date specified in the order, which, date shall not be less than 6 months or more than 1 year from the date the person to be adopted is placed in the petitioner's home

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 3107.05; 3107.09

A certified copy of the birth certificate of the person to be adopted, if available, and ordinary copies of the required consents, and relinquishments of consents, if any, shall be filed with the clerk.

The Department of Job and Family Services shall prescribe and supply forms for the taking of social and medical histories of the birth parents of a minor available for adoption. The social history shall include the following information about the parents:

  • Age, ethnic, racial, religious, marital, and physical characteristics
  • Educational, cultural, talent and hobby, and work experience background
  • A medical history that identifies major diseases, malformations, allergies, ear or eye defects, major conditions, and major health problems that are or may be congenital or familial
  • Social and medical information relative to the minor's other ancestors

An assessor shall file the social and medical histories of the birth parents with the court with which a petition to adopt the child is filed. The court promptly shall provide a copy of the social and medical histories to the petitioner. In a case involving the adoption of a minor by any person other than the minor's stepparent or grandparent, a court may refuse to issue an interlocutory order or final decree of adoption if the histories of the parents have not been filed, unless the assessor certifies to the court that information needed to prepare the histories is unavailable for reasons beyond the assessor's control.

Background Studies

Citation: Ann. Code § 3107.031; Admin. Code § 5101:2-48-12

An assessor shall conduct a home study for the purpose of ascertaining whether a person seeking to adopt a minor is suitable to adopt. A written report of the home study shall be filed with the court at least 10 days before the petition for adoption is heard.

The report shall contain the opinion of the assessor as to whether the person who is the subject of the report is suitable to adopt a minor and other information and documents specified in rules adopted by the department. The assessor shall not consider the person's age when determining whether the person is suitable to adopt if the person is old enough to adopt.

In regulation: The following is required for the home study:

  • Face-to-face interviews with all members of the household over age 4
  • Documentation of current marital status, including a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or other verification of marital status, if applicable
  • The Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation reports for all persons subject to a criminal records check
  • A search of the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System for any abuse and neglect report history for each adoptive applicant and each adult who resides with the applicant
  • A check of the child abuse and neglect registry of any other State an applicant or other adult household member has resided in the prior 5 years
  • Written documentation of a physical examination for the applicant and all members of the household
  • Verification that the applicant has an income sufficient to meet the basic needs of the household
  • A review of personal references

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 3107.14; 3107.101; 3107.12

In an interlocutory order of adoption, the court shall provide for observation, investigation, and a further report on the adoptive home during the interlocutory period.

No later than 7 days after a minor to be adopted is placed in a prospective adoptive home, the assessor providing placement or postplacement services in the prospective adoptive home shall begin monthly home visits in that home, until the court issues a final decree of adoption. During the home visits, the assessor shall evaluate the progression of the placement in the prospective adoptive home. During the home visit, the assessor shall make face-to-face contact with the prospective adoptive parent and the minor to be adopted.

An assessor shall conduct a prefinalization assessment of a minor and petitioner before a court issues a final decree of adoption or finalizes an interlocutory order of adoption for the minor. On completion of the assessment, the assessor shall prepare a written report of the assessment and provide a copy of the report to the court before which the adoption petition is pending.

The report of a prefinalization assessment shall include all of the following:

  • The adjustment of the minor and the petitioner to the adoptive placement
  • The present and anticipated needs of the minor and the petitioner, as determined by a review of the minor's medical and social history, for adoption-related services
  • The physical, mental, and developmental condition of the minor
  • If known, the minor's birth family background, including identifying information about the birth or other legal parents
  • The reasons for the minor's placement with the petitioner, the petitioner's attitude toward the proposed adoption, and the circumstances under which the minor was placed in the home of the petitioner
  • The attitude of the minor toward the proposed adoption, if the minor's age makes this feasible
  • If known, the minor's psychological background, including prior abuse of the child and behavioral problems of the child

The assessor shall file the prefinalization report with the court no later than 20 days prior to the date scheduled for the final hearing on the adoption, unless the court determines there is good cause for filing the report at a later date. The assessor shall provide a copy of the written report of the assessment to the petitioner with the identifying information about the birth or other legal parents redacted.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Code § 3107.15

A final decree of adoption and an interlocutory order of adoption that has become final as issued by a court of this State, or a decree issued by a jurisdiction outside this State as recognized pursuant to § 3107.18, shall have the following effects as to all matters within the jurisdiction or before a court of this State:

  • To relieve the birth or other legal parents of the adopted person of all parental rights and responsibilities and to terminate all legal relationships between the adopted person and the adopted person's relatives, including the adopted person's birth or other legal parents, so that the adopted person thereafter is a stranger to the adopted person's former relatives for all purposes, including inheritance
  • To create the relationship of parent and child between petitioner and the adopted person, as if the adopted person were a legitimate blood descendant of the petitioner, for all purposes, including inheritance

An interlocutory order of adoption, while it is in force, has the same legal effect as a final decree of adoption.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 3107.19; 3705.12; 3705.122

If the adopted person was born in this State or outside the United States, the court shall forward all of the following to the Department of Health within 30 days after an adoption decree becomes final:

  • A copy of the adopted person's certificate of adoption
  • The form prescribed under § 3017.083(A)(1) regarding release of records from the confidential adoption file
  • A statement of whether the adopted person was adopted before or after September 18, 1996

Upon receipt of the items sent by a probate court pursuant to § 3107.19 concerning the adoption of a child born in this State whose adoption was decreed on or after January 1, 1964, the department shall issue, unless otherwise requested by the adoptive parents, a new birth record using the child's adopted name and the names of and data concerning the adoptive parents. The new birth record shall have the same overall appearance as the record that would have been issued under § 3705.09 if the adopted child had been born to the adoptive parents.

The department shall issue a foreign birth record, as follows:

  • On receipt of the items sent by a probate court pursuant to § 3107.19 concerning the adoption of a person born in a foreign country, unless the adoptive parents or adopted person over age 18 requests that such record not be issued
  • On receipt of an order issued under § 3107.18

A foreign birth record shall be the same in all respects as a birth record issued under § 3705.12, except that it shall show the actual country of birth. After registration of the birth record in the new name of the adopted person, the department shall place the items sent by the probate court in an adoption file and seal the file. The contents of the adoption file are not a public record and shall be made available only in accordance with § 3705.126.