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Adult adoption bill become law in Ohio

In a world that is often rife with bad news, it can be very refreshing to learn of a legal proceeding that has resulted in a very heartwarming change to state legislation. A family in Xenia, Ohio, was on hand to see House Bill 92 signed into law after advocating the right of the adult adoption. As a result, their 24-year-old son will now officially become a part of the family.

In the United States, 47 states allow adult adoption. Until recently, however, Ohio only allowed an adult to be adopted if the courts determined he or she was totally and permanently disabled.

The family in this matter was a blended family led by two parents whose previous spouses had died. Each spouse had children from his or her previous marriage. Adopting the three youngest children was easy, since they were still minors, but the two oldest sons had turned 18 and so could not legally be adopted. One adult son lived in Illinois and could be adopted under that state's law, but the eldest still lived in Ohio and thus could not legally join his family as a full-fledged member. The family's desire to be a complete family unit led them to fight for expanded adult adoption rights in Ohio. "Their" bill allows Ohio residents to adopt an adult child if the child consents to the adoption.

Adult adoption may be more than a simple heartfelt sentiment. Speculatively, there are a number of life situations that require family members to provide valid proof of relationship. As a result of House Bill 92, the adult children of adoptive parents will be able to establish kinship in an official capacity.

For this family, the proceedings that led to the adoption of their oldest son required legal representation to navigate through the red tape. Not all adoptions run smoothly, and as a result, many families turn to the assistance of knowledgeable family law attorneys. There is help available for families seeking to expand through the process of legal adoption.

Source: Middletown Journal, "Xenia family inspires new Ohio law," Meredith Moss, 02 July 2011.

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