Shared custody may be an option for non-traditional couples living in Ohio.
In Ohio, only married heterosexual couples, single adults, and step-parents can adopt a child. Same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples cannot adopt a child together in Ohio. A few states do permit second-parent adoptions. In those states, non-traditional couples can pursue joint adoption of a child.
Although Ohio is not one of the states which permits second-parent adoptions, shared custody may be an option for non-traditional couples living in Ohio. With shared custody, the Juvenile Court issues an order, stating that both the biological/adoptive parent and the non-biological/non-adoptive parent are the legal custodians of the children.
A court order for shared custody gives the non-biological/non-adoptive parent many legal rights to the children that he/she would not otherwise have. The non-biological/non-adoptive parent has the ability to consent to medical treatment for the children, have access to the children’s school and medical records, work with the children’s daycare and pre-school providers, actively participate in their children’s education, sign school paperwork, etc.
Shared custody also protects the children. The children now have two adults who are legally obligated to provide for them. In addition, if something happens to their biological/adoptive parent, the children will not be subjected to a legal battle over guardianship because their non-biological/non-adoptive parent already has legal custody of them.
Knowing that their children will be protected in the event of an emergency gives both the biological/adoptive parent and the non-biological/non-adoptive parent an enormous sense of comfort and relief.