Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through adoption agencies/attorneys to help find a child to adopt domestically. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in Ohio.
International Adoptions must be completed through adoption agencies/attorneys to help find a child to adopt internationally. Find an international adoption service provider here.
Foster Care Adoptions in Ohio can be completed through the Department of Health (614 466-2531).
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Adoption in Ohio
By: Samantha Flores
The bond that is created between children and their adopted parents is a bond like no other. Additionally, the bond that is created between the birth mother and her child is one many don’t understand. Wanting what is best for your child is an act of love, not a failure.
When considering adoption, many variables come to mind. One of the top reasons someone seeks to place their child for adoption is the fact that they may not be ready to become a parent at the time. If this is you, you are not alone! Wanting a different life for your child means your heart is in the right place. Do not be ashamed of wanting to learn more, and especially do not be ashamed if you decide once and for all to place your child for adoption.
Once you are solidified in your decision to place your child for adoption, be prepared for the process it could take to make an adoption legal. It can be challenging sometimes. Here, you will find resources to guide you in the process of adoption in Ohio and help you know how to prepare for each step.
What Is Adoption?
To put it in technical terms, adoption is a legal proceeding that creates a parent/child relation between persons not related by blood. A judge must sign off on the adoption for it to be legal. The child being adopted is then entitled to all rights and privileges that a blood-related child would be entitled to, which includes any inheritance.
Since adoption is the act of creating a bond where there was not one before, the connections between adoptive parents and adoptees have to start somewhere. Sometimes, this bond begins in the form of foster placement. Foster parents can welcome children needing temporary shelter and then later decide to adopt the children—depending on the parental rights of the birth parents.
Other times, adoption occurs as a request from individuals or couples who are looking to grow their families. They do not necessarily have to foster the child beforehand.
Adoption allows for children to be placed in an environment that is loving and accepting of them. Children deserve a happy, memorable childhood. A loving home will meet children’s needs while preparing them for independence in the world. This is provided by the adoptive parents who seek to have that special bond with a child.
Why Do People Adopt?
There are many reasons why people choose to adopt. Each person’s reason to adopt is unique to another’s. Depending on the adoption type you wish to enter with your child’s adoptive parents, you may or may not ever get the opportunity to know why they chose adoption.
A common reason people choose to adopt is due to not being able to naturally reproduce. Whether that means the male in the relationship cannot reproduce or the female cannot, something is holding the couple back from growing their family.
There are many intervention methods currently available to those wishing to conceive. However, those methods can be costly and are not guaranteed to work.
Some couples who do choose to try intervention methods time and time again question whether they will ever be able to have a child of their own. Thankfully, there is more than one way a couple can have a family; adoption is one of those ways!
The biological capacity to create a baby is taken out of the equation in homosexual relationships. If a same-sex couple wants to grow their family, there are options to do so, one of which includes adoption.
When evaluating the option to adopt as a same-sex couple, the state’s regulations and requirements will vary. Additionally, the adoption agencies in your area will have more information about same-sex couple adoptions.
In Ohio, there are no rules against same-sex adoptions.
There is no doubt that pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s body. Whether it’s her first, second, third, etc., each pregnancy is different and can have lasting effects on her body. For this reason, some women may decide that while they have biological children of their own, they do not want to be pregnant again.
Additionally, based on previous experience with labor and delivery, there may be circumstances that prevent a woman from ever having another biological child.
Many single people decide that if they have not found a significant other after a certain time in their life, then they will start a family on their own. This is also one of those instances where the biological capacity to have a child is limited, and this person is left to decide on how they want to go about beginning his or her family.
For women, they may choose artificial insemination. While this is an option, it is also costly and can take many trial and error periods. Adoption may be the best option for her if she does not want to participate in artificial insemination.
For men, artificial insemination is obviously not an option. Unless there is a woman in a man’s life (friend or family member) who is willing to be a surrogate for him, men are often left with adoption as their best option.
Adoption in Ohio
If you are seeking to place a child for adoption in Ohio, there are many things to consider. The process of adopting varies from state to state. Therefore, you must receive all the adoption information from trusted sources who can lay out the process for you in ways that are specific to Ohio’s rules and regulations.
Starting the Adoption in Ohio Process
There are some basic rules adoption applicants need to meet to apply to be an adoption family. The following rules were found on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services website. The rules for adoption in Ohio include:
- Be at least 21 years old
- At least one person in the home must be able to communicate in English (both verbally and in writing)
- Be single or married
- The household income need to sufficiently provide the basic needs of all family members and maintain an appropriate living environment
- The applicant must be free of any physical, mental, or emotional conditions that could put a child at risk
- Everyone over 18 must pass criminal background checks and abuse/neglect checks
- House must be able to pass a fire and safety inspection
- Must complete all training required by the adoption agency
If applicants can meet these basic requirements, then they are off to a great start in completing the journey to adoption!
Home Studies Conducted for Adoption in Ohio
Part of the adoption process includes an in-depth home study conducted by a state department professional. While this is a necessary and crucial step in the adoption process, it can also be one of the most stressful parts.
The home study evaluates every part of an adoptive family’s living situation: the space in which they live, the lifestyle they have, and the people who live in the home with them. Yes, it can seem like an invasion of privacy to provide all this information. However, without a completed home study, there will be no proceeding forward in the adoption process. This home study process protects children from being placed in abusive or detrimental homes.
For birth parents, this information is beneficial because it’s how they know that the child they want to place in someone else’s home will be in a safe environment with people who have been thoroughly researched.
How Applicants Can Pass a Home Study
During the process of adoption in Ohio, two key elements are considered during the home study: the adoption documents and the in-home visit.
- Three to four references
- Financial statements
- Medical history
- Criminal Clearances
- Interviews with a social worker about your autobiographical background
- Parenting training completion certificates
This is the main list of requirements for the documentation portion of the home study. However, check with an agency for any updates that could be implemented for a complete list.
An in-home visit requires a home visit from an adoption specialist. With this visit, adoption applicants can expect a full home inspection to ensure the home is safe and meets the needs of children. The requirements on the home inspection are placed there by the state department as per their minimum state standards requirements. The following are examples of possible home study interview questions:
– “Why did you decide to adopt?
– If you have struggled with infertility, how have you coped and moved forward?
– What are your educational backgrounds?
– What parenting skills have you learned from your own parents? What would you do differently?
– What do you and your spouse like best about each other?
– What methods of discipline do you think are most effective for children?
– What do you like about your neighborhood? What do you dislike?”
Additionally, the adoption professional will thoroughly interview applicants about the following three topics:
– “Biographical Information
– Motivations and Attitudes Toward Adoption
– Knowledge About Adoption”
The interview can become lengthy. However, the best thing an adoption family can do is be honest and answer any questions as truthfully as possible. Keeping information from the inspector will only jeopardize their chances of passing the home study.
You are not alone in the process to adopt or place your child for adoption. Keep your eyes open and you will find more people you have things in common with than you might have expected.
Average Length of Time for the Adoption in Ohio Process to be Completed
There is no complete answer to this question. As per Ohio’s state website, their goal is to have a home study completed within six months of the date the family completes their application. While that can seem like a long time to many, consider all the aspects of the adoption process that are being evaluated.
The goal is to provide children with a loving, nurturing environment while also ensuring the family is ready for this life-changing event.
What Age Groups Are Available for Adoption?
While many families wish to adopt an infant, there are also many teenagers seeking permanent homes as well. Just like an infant, teenagers need a stable living environment to be the best person they can be.
If you are currently pregnant and seeking an opportunity to place your baby for adoption, many families desire to have an infant in their home. Additionally, if you find yourself looking to place an older child for adoption, an adoption agency can assist you with this decision.
With so many adoption options, there are many questions you can ask yourself before making a final decision.
Additional thoughts to consider: Everyone wants a perfect child, but each child is perfect in their own way. Placing a child for adoption is not an easy decision and can take a toll on any child or family. Doing your research beforehand to understand adoption in Ohio shows that you are willing to do what is best for your child.
Adoption is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many families seeking to grow their families. The opportunity to raise a child in a home surrounded by people who care is what every child deserves. Your decision to allow someone else to care for your child is a decision that will last a lifetime and can positively impact so many along the way.
If you have questions or want to know more about adoption in Ohio, contact adoption agencies in your area. You will be able to meet with a specialist who can guide you towards the best decision for you and your child.
Can I Adopt in Ohio?
Applicants must be 18 to adopt, 21 to foster. Parents must complete preservice training and a home study. The home study includes criminal background checks, medical statements for all members of the home, and safety/fire inspection of the home.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in Ohio?
Advertising: Only licensed child-placing agencies and individuals in Ohio can advertise that a child is available for adoption. A person seeking to adopt a minor must utilize an adoption agency or attorney. Any person may may informally aid the adoption process by making known children available for adoption. § 5103.17; 3107.011(A)
Relinquishment: Parents may give consent to an adoption at any time after 72 hours after birth. Consent cannot be revoked after the entry of a final adoption decree. § 3107.08(A); 3107.084
Birth parent expenses: Only the following payments are permitted: adoption related medical, hospital, legal, foster care, court expenses, and living expenses not to exceed $3,000. § 3107.055(C)
Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements are not legally enforceable in Ohio.
Birth father rights: Unmarried fathers may register with the Department of Job and Family Services’ putative father registry up to 30 days after the birth of the child. § 3107.061; 3107.062
Finalization: Out of 1,406 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 15 months (acf.hhs.gov)
Is Adoption Assistance Available in Ohio?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Ohio have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Ohio, the maximum monthly amount is the foster care maintenance amount (but counties will negotiate this rate). For more information visit NACAC.org.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Readoption in Ohio is an option but not a requirement. Parents wishing to receive a State birth certificate for their child must submit to the court a readoption or validation of a foreign adoption.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates
State subsidy contact person:
Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services
Office for Children and Families
4200 E Fifth Ave
Columbus, OH 43219
Adoptions in Ohio can be completed through the Department of Health. Hopeful adoptive parents can use adoption agencies/attorneys to help them find a child to adopt.
Generally, applicants can be single, married, or divorced; you can own or rent a home; you must complete a home study when applying to adopt a child. Parents must be 18 to adopt, 21 to foster.
Only licensed child-placing agencies and individuals can advertise for adoption purposes. Parents must wait until 72 hours after birth to give consent, and consent is irrevocable after the final adoption decree is given.
Adoptive parents may pay reasonable adoption related expenses for the following: hospital, medical, legal, and living expenses not to exceed $3,000 unless approved by the court.
There is a paternity registry in Ohio for unmarried fathers. The average time in 2014 between TPR and adoption finalization was 15 months.