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OHIO -- Who May Adopt & Who May be Adopted

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who may adopt?

A: A husband and wife must file an adoption petition together and at least one must be an adult. The only exceptions are a stepparent adoption or when there has been a separation, prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or other similar circumstances. An unmarried adult may also adopt. Ohio does not have an age limit.
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.03

Q: Who may be adopted?

A: Minors may be adopted. Adults may only be adopted under the following circumstances: total and permanent disability, mental retardation, if a parent-child relationship had been established while the child was still a minor (ex/ stepparent, foster parent), if the adult was in the permanent custody of the state at the time of his/her eighteenth birthday or if the adult is the child of the spouse of the petitioner, and the adult consents to the adoption.
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.02

Q: In which court do I file the adoption petition?

A: An adoption must be filed with the probate court in any of the following counties: where the child was born, where the adoptive parent(s) currently reside, where the child currently resides, where the child’s parent resides, where the petitioner is stationed in military service, or where the agency having the permanent custody of the person to be adopted is located.
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.04

Q: Can stepparents adopt?

A: Yes. Please refer to the separate FAQ document on Stepparent Adoption for detailed information.

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