Ohio Contested Adoption Attorney

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OHIO CONTESTED ADOPTION ATTORNEY

Is someone trying to steal your child through the courts? Were you pressured into consenting to an adoption that you really did not want to happen? The law does not call it child stealing, but if you are a contesting parent, that’s what it feels like. As a paralegal or as an attorney, I have been involved in more than a dozen contested adoptions.

In Ohio, an adoption is an order issued by a probate court that terminates a biological parent’s rights to a child and gives full parental rights to another person or persons. An adopted person (adoptee) becomes a stranger to his biological parent for all legal purposes. A person can be adopted as an adult under certain circumstances. A child can be adopted by a stepparent. The biological parent who is married to the stepparent retains parental rights and the biological parent not married to the stepparent  loses all parental rights.

If you are an unwed male whose girlfriend is pregnant, you are far more likely to prevail in a contested adoption if you act before the child is born. I have also helped biological mothers contest adoptions. Under certain circumstances, a mother can successfully contest an adoption that she previously consented to.

Because fairness in adoption is about balancing the rights of all parties, I am open to representing anyone involved in a contested adoption or even in an uncontested adoption. Thus, I have represented, and am open to representing, potential adoptive parents or mothers who wish an adoption to proceed.

The Ohio Putative Father Registry–the WHAT?

I am a single man. Yet I had been in Ohio for over a year before hearing of the Ohio Putative Father Registry, and then only in a Probate Law class. The professor was covering how a child could be adopted without the birth father's consent. "ORC 3701.061: A man who has sexual intercourse with a woman is on notice that if a child is born as a result and the man is the putative father, the child may be adopted without his consent pursuant to division (B) of section 3107 of the Revised Code." That section required the man sign the Putative Father Registry within thirty days after the birth to get notice of the adoption.

 

Ohio Putative Father Registry: The Basics

Unwed fathers are entitled to notice of petitions to adopt their biological children. Yet many fathers lose this right by not registering timely with the Ohio putative father registry (PFR).1R.C. 3107.062. Because adoptions are probate proceedings, lawyers practicing juvenile, domestic relations, or traditional probate law may not understand how the Ohio PFR applies.  At initial consultations then, attorneys may omit counseling fathers about the registry and refer them to attorneys with more specialized experience. But the strict registration deadline, and often unknown deadline date, demand that the father register immediately. Thus the attorney should consider counseling the client about the PFR and help him register that day before referring him. This article gives the information needed to do that.

Preventing Your Infant Child From Being Adopted Without Your Consent

Summary

Consult an adoption law or family law attorney. Otherwise: An unwed father has no absolute right to veto an adoption. You must take action to preserve your rights. Whether the mother is considering adoption or not, an unwed father should, as soon as possible and preferably before the birth:

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