State Laws and Legislation

Ohio Adoption Law

Permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt? Yes.
Ohio law permits an unmarried adult or a husband and wife together to petition to adopt. OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 3107.03. In 1990, the Ohio Supreme Court was asked to find that a lower court abused its discretion when it granted an adoption to a gay man. The state Supreme Court ruled that there was no evidence that the lower court’s “attitude was unreasonable, arbitrary or unconscionable.” In re Adoption of Charles B., 552 N.E.2d 884, 890 (Ohio 1990).

Permits a same-sex couple to jointly petition to adopt? No.
State law provides that a husband and wife may jointly petition to adopt, and does not explicitly provide for joint adoption by other couples.  State courts that have heard the issue, however, have not allowed same-sex couples to jointly petition to adopt.

Permits a same-sex partner to petition to adopt partner’s child or child of the relationship? No.
In 1998, an Ohio appeals court held that a parent’s parental rights are terminated upon adoption of the child by a non-spousal partner. (In re Adoption of Doe, 719 N.E.2d 1071, (Ohio App. 9 Dist., 1998))


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Updated: Mon, December 14, 2009 - 12:00:01