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The Importance of Filing an Adoption Petition Quickly

Posted on December 21, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Historically, adoptive families have been slow to file for adoption. A child is placed in their home and they are overwhelmed by the excitment and responsibility of having a new child. However, there are important legal reasons that a family should file for adoption as soon as possible.

Developments in case law over the past decade have made it imperative that adoptive families file their Petitions for Adoption as soon after palcement as possible. Several cases have been decided in which adoptions have been disrupted, litigated and overturned due to the failure of the Petitioners to expeditiously file a Petition for Adoption. This delay may open the adoptive parents up to jurisdictional contests and other related legal issues.

 

Ohio Revised Code section 3107.051 states, “a person seeking to adopt a minor, or the agency or attorney arranging the adoption, shall submit a petition for the minor’s adoption no later than ninety days after the date the minor is placed in the person’s home”. Despite Ohio Revised Code section 3107.051, courts rarely make an issue of adoptive families filing their Petitions for Adoption more than ninety days after placement. However, failing to file as quickly as possible can open the door to litigation in numerous venues at one time and create judicial chaos and confusion. Additionally, it can increase the risk associated with the adoption.

 

Please be aware that many local Ohio counties require a certified copy of a Birth Certificate to be filed with the Adoption Petition. Therefore, it is imperative that your agency make all efforts to obtain a birth certificate as quickly as possible following the child’s birth. The birth certificate is often not available until at least six weeks after the birth of the child. 

 

If you are a prospective adoptive family, seek legal counsel before the child's birth if possible. If you are matched after birth, seek legal counsel immediately. Also, be sure to notify your adoption agency and attorney that you wish to have the adoption filed as soon as possible after the birth of the baby so they understand your desire to expedite the process.

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