As a stepparent who wants to adopt your spouse’s child in Ohio, you will not have to meet some of the requirements that people face when adopting through the foster system or an agency.

Even though the process may be simpler, you will still have some hoops to jump through before the judge finalizes your stepparent adoption, according to the Ohio Codes.

Consent

Both of your stepchild’s parents must consent to the adoption. The parent whose role you are stepping into will be giving up parental rights. He or she can give consent in court or before an authorized person. However, if the parent has intentionally abandoned your stepchild, or failed to provide care and support, you do not need to receive his or her consent.

Home study

Although you do not have to have a post-placement home visit, you will still have a home study. An assessor conducts this visit to your home to determine whether it is safe. He or she will also interview you, and complete an assessment of your social and medical history. You must provide documentation and forms for the assessor to submit with the written report, as well.

The assessor will also do a background check to make sure you are not on the sex offender registry.

Waiting period

Your stepchild must live in your home for six months before the judge will issue the final decree. The six months could have occurred before you filed the petition, or you may need to wait after you file for the six months to be complete.

Hearing

You and your stepchild must attend a court hearing on your petition unless you or the child has a good reason not to, in which case the court may excuse the absence. If you have completed all the requirements and the court finds it in the child’s best interest, the judge will grant the adoption.