Unfortunately, there are many children in Ohio who don’t have a home. If you would like to adopt a child in Ohio, it’s important to learn about the process so you know where to start and what it entails. Remember, adoption can be time-consuming, but meeting your adopted child at the end of the process is well worth the wait.
Choose an adoption agency.
There are both public and private adoption agencies in the state of Ohio, so the first step in the process is figuring out who you want to work with. If you choose to adopt a child in foster care, public agencies will not charge you to do so, but there will be a fee associated with adopting a child outside of foster care or through a private agency.
Fill out an application.
The agency that you decide on will ask you to submit an application to formally begin the process. The application will require you to answer questions related to your family life and parenting skills.
Go through training.
The applicant will need to go through training as part of the next step in the adoption process. Training includes information on the adoption process, how to deal with challenging behavioral issues, child development, and other adoption issues. This training can be waived in situations where the agency believes it is clear the applicant already has the appropriate parenting skills and does not need further training.
Schedule a home study.
The adoption agency will need to schedule a home study before approving you to adopt a child. This part of the adoption process usually takes place about a month after you submit your application to a public agency, but the timing for a private agency can vary greatly.
During a home study, the adoption agency will visit your home to determine if it is fit for a child. A representative from the adoption agency will also conduct personal interviews with you and ask for references they can contact to discuss your character. Agencies will likely ask that you submit to background checks and safety inspections of your home during the home study. You should also be prepared to submit medical and financial documents to show you are in good health and financially stable.
Find a child.
If you make it this far in the process, the agency will begin to match you with a child based on what they learned in the home study. This part of the process usually involves a lot of waiting, so try to be patient as the agency locates a child who will fit into your lifestyle well. Once a match has been made, the agency will provide you with information on the child’s mental and physical health, biological family, and any developmental issues. You will be given a certain amount of time to review the child’s file before making a decision. If you say yes, the agency will arrange a time for you to meet with the child for the first time. You may have several visits with the child before actually taking him or her home.
Once you have brought your new child home, the agency will continue to check in with you and visit your home to ensure things are going smoothly.
Finalize the adoption.
Adopted parents cannot finalize the adoption until the child has been at their home for at least six months. To finalize the adoption, work with a family law attorney to file a petition with the court. The court will schedule an adoption hearing, where the judge will then review the entire process you went through to adopt the child. If the judge agrees that the adoption is in the best interests of the child, he will enter the final decree of adoption, which makes the relationship between parent and child official.
There’s nothing more magical than meeting your adopted child for the first time, but first you will have to get through a lengthy and complicated legal process. If you would like to adopt a child, contact Adams Family Law to make your dream a reality. Call 513-929-9333 or email Steven@adamsfamilylaw.com today to schedule a consultation.