Ohio Adoption Guide

Everything you need to know about adoption in Ohio

Kylee Hooper May 17, 2016

Welcome, prospective adoptive parents! This guide was written to provide you with a single place to find information about adoption in Ohio. It will walk you through everything from laws that will impact your adoption to reviews of adoption service providers in Ohio.

We’ve divided this guide into five parts: first, general information about adopting in  Ohio, then sections dedicated to domestic infant adoption (starting in Slide 6) foster adoption (Slide 20),  international adoption (Slide 28), and stepparent adoption (Slide 32). And don’t miss our slide filled with links to helpful adoption resources (Slide 35).

Are you interested in growing your family through domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with an adoption professional who can answer your questions.

Please note:
1. Please note:

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the information provided in this slideshow guide, you should not rely on it to make decisions. Instead, you should rely on licensed professionals in making decisions relative to adoption. The information in this guide is subject to change without notice. Adoption.com is not responsible for the consequences of relying on this information. In no event shall Adoption.com be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or incidental damage resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with the use of this information.

Did You Know?
2. Did You Know?

Ohio had the first fire department and ambulance service, which was established in Cincinnati.

Adoption in Ohio at a Glance 
3. Adoption in Ohio at a Glance 

Kids in foster care available for adoption in 2012: 3,896      
Foster adoptions completed in 2012: 1,241      
International adoptions completed in 2012: 292      

Can I Adopt in Ohio?
4. Can I Adopt in Ohio?

Adoption requirements in the state of Ohio are as follows:

Age: Must be 18 or older     
Marital Status:  Can be single or married    
Finances: Must have a stable income  
Housing: Can rent or be a homeowner      
Personality: Be ready to commit to a child          
DISQUALIFYING CRIMES:  In this state, you may not adopt if you have been convicted of any of the following:   Crimes of violence or crimes against children, including homicide, neglect, rape, sexual assault, and abuse.   
SOURCE      

Developing a Support System
5. Developing a Support System

It’s essential to have a good network of family, friends, and neighbors to support you through your adoption process.

It’s also important to connect with other adoptive parents. You can begin making these connections in our forums. You may also want to consider joining a support group for adoptive parents.

Domestic Infant Adoption in Ohio
6. Domestic Infant Adoption in Ohio

Before you get started, click here to learn more about the overall process of adopting an infant in the United States. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back to get the details about adoption in Ohio.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help
7. Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help

In Ohio, you can adopt through the state, a private agency, or by using an attorney.   

Some people pursuing a private adoption find it beneficial to work with a professional adoption facilitator, an individual or organization that matches birth parents with adoptive parents in exchange for a fee. Adoption Facilitators are allowed in Ohio depending upon the county in which hopeful adoptive parents adopt from. Always be sure to check with your local attorney before paying for an adoption facilitator.

Only an agency or attorney can actually place a child.   

You can browse and read reviews about adoption service providers in Ohio here.

For more information about picking an adoption agency, learn about the Top Fifteen Things to Look for In An Adoption Agency.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study
9. Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study

Regardless of whether you complete your adoption, you will need to complete an adoption home study.

Your home study social worker will help educate you about adoption and ensure that you (and your partner, if applicable) meet the requirements outlined on slide four.

Click here to learn more about the Home Study process.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word   
10. Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word  

You can advertise that you are hoping to adopt only if you are considered a qualified adoptive parent. This means that once you are approved to adopt, you can advertise. You are not permitted to pay people for placing a child up for adoption. Source    

One of the most important things you can do while waiting for an adoption match is to let everyone know about your hope to adopt. Many adoption connections are made through word-of-mouth referrals.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles
11. Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles

If advertising is allowed in your state, creating a profile on Adoption.com Parent Profiles allows you to easily share your story with those considering placing their child for adoption. Features like videos and photos, posts, Pinterest-like favorites, and recommendations and endorsements make it easy to create a profile as unique as you are, increasing the likelihood that you will stand out and connect with that right person.

Rich communication options like video chat and instant messaging make connecting easy. A mobile-responsive design means that you will never be out of reach.
What’s more, Adoption.com receives over 650,000 monthly visits, which means your profile will receive unparalleled exposure. You can even view and monitor your progress through a detailed statistics page.

Ready to get started? Click here

Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption Navigators
12. Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption Navigators

Adoption Navigators provides you with quality expertise in sharing your dream of adopting. We provide unparalleled adoption marketing and one-on-one coaching to beautifully show expectant parents who you are and tell your story. With Adoption Navigators you receive premier advertising exposure on Adoption.com, assistance building your profile and creating a video, and expanded reach through social media and search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Adoption.com has more than 16 years of experience helping families connect with potential birth parents.

Let us help you increase your exposure to potential birth parents and decrease your adoption wait time.

Click here to get started.

Creating a listing on Adoption.com Parent Profiles is an excellent way to connect with potential birth parents across the country. If you want to maximize your exposure to potential birth parents and receive personalized coaching and support, consider using Adoption Navigators. Coordinate these services with your adoption professional.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment
13. Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment

Birth parents must relinquish their rights to a child before adoption can be completed. Birth parents can consent to adoption starting 72 hours after the birth of the child. Birth parents must appear in court to relinquish rights, unless the child is under 6 months old and both biological parents and hopeful adoptive parents agree to the adoption.

Consent is irrevocable upon signing unless the biological parents prove withdrawal of consent is in the child's best interest before the final court order.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights   
14. Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights  

Ohio maintains a putative father registry. Putative fathers will be notified when their child is being placed for adoption so that they can consider their options. If a father registers within 14 days of the child's birth, his consent may also be required in order to proceed with adoption.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses
15. Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

Hopeful adoptive parents and/or an adoption agency may provide legal and living expenses for an expectant mother. There are, however, requirements governing such support.

Qualified living expenses are defined as: rent or mortgage; utilities or payments for products or services the birth mother requires for sustenance or safety, including food, household goods, personal care items; and the cost of transportation to work or school. The law permits payment of living expenses up to $3,000 and for as long as 60 days after the child’s birth. The court orders an assessment of all fee within 72 hours.

Source   

Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements   
16. Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements  

Post adoption contact agreements are considered voluntary and are not enforceable by law. You can decide how much contact your child has with his/her birth parents, but remember that the wellbeing of the child should always be your first priority.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization 	  
17. Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization  

After placement, you must wait a minimum of six months to finalize the adoption.
Adoptions can still be contested within six months of finalization.

Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Ohio from Out-of-State
18. Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Ohio from Out-of-State

With private (usually domestic infant) adoptions, it is always possible to adopt a child within Ohio, even if you live in a different state.

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC here.

 Foster Adoption in Ohio
19. Foster Adoption in Ohio

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of adopting children through foster care. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about foster adoption in Ohio.    

Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Ohio
20. Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Ohio

According to Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, there are currently about 4,000 children waiting for adoption in Ohio.

Ohio does not currently feature children in Adoption.com's photolisting. Contact your local officials and let them know you would love for them to use this free service.   

Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help   
21. Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help  

You can complete a foster adoption either through a private agency that is licensed to provide foster care services or follow the steps provided at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

To find adoption agencies in Ohio and to read reviews, check out Adoption.com’s Reviews page for Ohio.

You will still need to complete a home study as part of this process.

Becoming Part of the Foster Care System 	  
22. Becoming Part of the Foster Care System  

In order to become part of the foster care system, you need to complete the foster care training program in order to become licensed. You will also need to specify if you are planning on fostering to adopt because it requires an extra step in the licensing process.

Once you are part of the foster program, you may have children who are considered "legal risk" placements in your home. These children are considered "legal risk" because while reunification with their families is no longer probable, their birth parents have not relinquished rights.   

Finalization 	  
23. Finalization  

After a child is placed in your home, you will need to wait for six months before you can petition to adopt. Be aware that adoptions can be contested within six months of finalization.

Post Adoption Contact Agreements   
24. Post Adoption Contact Agreements  

Post-adoption contact agreements are considered voluntary and therefore are not enforceable by law.

A post-adoption contact agreement is a voluntary agreement that can be entered into by adoptive and birth families. The agreement outlines details about how much contact the birth and adoptive families will have after the adoption is finalized.

In instances in which the child’s biological parents’ rights have been involuntarily terminated, the well-being of the child needs to be first and foremost in everyone’s minds if a post-adoption contact agreement is created. Caseworkers and therapists should be consulted in making decisions about contact after adoption.

Adoption Assistance   
25. Adoption Assistance  

You can receive adoption assistance in Ohio if you adopt a child who is considered a child with special needs. You can receive up to $1,000 per child for non-recurring adoption expenses.

International Adoption in Ohio
26. International Adoption in Ohio

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of international adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about international adoption in Ohio.

International Adoption - Photolisting
27. International Adoption - Photolisting

There are millions of beautiful children across the world who are hoping to find a forever family.

Click here to meet some of them through our Photolisting.

International Adoption - Get Professional Help
28. International Adoption - Get Professional Help

With international adoptions, your only choice is to complete your adoption through an agency. Because of the Universal Accreditation Act, all adoption agencies completing international adoptions are required to be credentialed according to federal standards. Make sure to check with any agency before working with them to ensure they have this accreditation in place!

In selecting an international adoption agency, there are Four Essential Criteria you should probably consider. Click here. to browse through reviews of adoption agencies in Ohio.

In order to be approved to adopt internationally, you will need to complete an international adoption-specific home study.

International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements
29. International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements

International adoptions are recognized in the United States when they are finalized abroad.
You will also need to request a U.S. birth certificate for your child.

Read more about post-adoption requirements here.

Stepparent Adoption in Ohio
30. Stepparent Adoption in Ohio

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of stepparent adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about stepparent adoption in Ohio.

Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights
31. Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights

In order for you to adopt the child of your spouse, the corresponding biological parent’s rights will first need to be terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

You will need to consult with an adoption attorney about your desire to adopt. He/she can help you decide if it’s likely that the biological parent would be willing to relinquish rights OR if it would be feasible to pursue involuntary termination of his/her parental rights.

Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt
32. Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt

Once parental rights have been terminated, you can file a petition to adopt with the courts. You and your spouse will both testify in court regarding the stability of your marital relationship, the bond you’ve developed with your stepchild, and your desire to become the legal parent of your stepchild.

You will generally not be required to complete a background check or home study as part of the stepparent adoption process.

Adoption Resources   
33. Adoption Resources  

Forums       

Wiki Laws    

Parent Profiles   

Adoption Stories

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Kylee Hooper

Kylee Hooper is not quite a mother, but she adores babies, and hopes to be able to either foster or adopt someday. When she isn't writing, reading, or editing; she is normally playing her harp or creating an adventure.


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