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An adoption is a special legal proceeding that creates the relationship of parent and child or between a petitioner and the adopted person.The petitioner in an adoption proceeding is the person who wants to become the parent. The adopted person is usually a minor child, although in very limited circumstances an adult can be adopted.

Adoptions proceedings are filed in the Probate Court, which is the only type of court that has the authority to approve an adoption. On average, 160 to 180 adoptions are filed in Butler County each year.

There are several types of adoption proceedings handled in the probate court. They include:

  1. Adoptions by step-parents.
  2. Adoptions in which the Butler County Children Services Board has the permanent custody of a minor child and the petitioner(s) have been selected through Butler County's Foster-To-Adopt Program.
  3. Adoptions by grandparents or other persons having legal custody of a minor child.
  4. Adoptions arranged through private adoption agencies or attorneys.
  5. Re-adoptions of children born in foreign countries whose adoptions have previously been finalized in the country of the child's birth.
  6. Requests for copies of documents by those involved in adoptions when their copies are lost or misplaced.
  7. Requests by adopted individuals or others for information about birth parents or siblings. Special procedures are in place to handle these requests.