Is the Step-Parent Adoption in Ohio Permanent?

The stepparent adoption process in Ohio is typically a straightforward and simple legal process as long as the parties involved understand the permanence of the relationship that is being formed and the relationship that is being ended. Adopting a child in Ohio will create a legal relationship between the child and the adoptive stepparent. This legal process will irrevocably end the relationship and legal rights between the child and their natural parent. 

It is important to understand that a decree of adoption is permanent. Even if the stepparent divorces the adoptive child’s parent, the adoptive stepparent will be responsible for child support and will have custody and/or visitation rights granted by the courts. The adopted child will also receive inheritance rights to inherit assets from the passing of the adoptive stepparent. The child’s last name may change their last name to their adoptive step-father’s last name. After the adoption process has been completed, a new birth certificate will be administered for the adopted child, and any last name change will be recorded. Moreover, the adoptive stepparent will be considered the child’s natural parent.

Do biological parents have legal rights to the child after a stepparent adoption has been finalized?

No. Once the stepparent adoption has been completed, the biological parent no longer has legal rights to visit their child or make decisions on behalf of the child. The child also loses their inheritance through their former biological parent. Also, the former parent does not have to pay child support. Essentially, all legal rights or obligations the former parent has concerning the child are terminated.