Hamilton, OH asked in Family Law and Adoption for Ohio

Q: Can my husband adopt my two children whose father is not in the picture?

I got a dissolution from my ex husband in 2017. We had two daughters together who are now aged 12 and 14. There was some abuse involved with the children and with me as well, and they haven't wanted anything to do with their father for some time. We have been to court a few times when he tried to get visitation but wouldn't submit to drug testing/counseling or therapy as requested by the guardian ad litem, and then he no showed so many times they closed the case. My current husband and I were married in 2018, and now have two more children together. My daughters wish to be adopted by my current husband, but we don't know the legal implications of this. Their biological father has never provided any financial support, and he has only spoke to the 14 year old a few times in the last year, and hasn't spoken with the 12 year old in almost 2 years. He has not physically seen the children since May of 2020.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bridget Sciscento
Bridget Sciscento
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Cleveland Heights, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Hello, since you and your husband married more than a year ago, then he can apply for stepparent adoption. There are 2 ways a stepparent adoption can be granted: with or without consent of the biological parent who will have their parental rights terminated. In Ohio, if a parent fails to provide financial support OR does not have more than de minimis (very minimal) contact with a child in the year leading up to the filing of the petition, then the Court should find that the biological parent's consent to the adoption is not required unless the biological parent has a justifiable excuse (very good reason).

Stepparent adoptions have the same effect as any other adoption. The person adopting the children now has all the same rights and responsibilities as any parent.

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