Smith, Meier & Webb, LPA

Child adoption in Ohio

Nearly 16,000 Ohioan children are looking for a loving family to adopt them. If you are considering adoption, you may be ready to share your home and love with a child.

Whether you are planning to adopt on your own, with a spouse, or as a family, the adoption process can be long and discouraging. There are resources you can contact for guidance. The adoption agency that you choose will be able to walk you through the process.

Before you begin your journey, here is an overview of the adoption process in Ohio.

The process in 5 steps

The first thing to note is that you will be able to adopt a child regardless of your age, gender, race, marital status or sexual orientation. Your adoption agency will work with you and the child to make sure you are a good match.

Step 1: Discuss adoption with your family and choose an agency.

Deciding to adopt a child is a life-changing decision, it is vital that all family members are on board and are excited to expand your family. Research Ohio adoption agencies and choose the one that has values that align with yours. Schedule an informational meeting with the agency to answer questions they have and get answers to your questions too.

Step 2: Fill out an application and prepare for a home visit.

When you feel that you and your family are truly ready to start the process, fill out an application. Once your application has been approved, the agency will schedule a visit. During the meeting, an agency representative will assess your home, stability and characteristics to make sure you are ready for adoption. If your family is deemed ready to adopt, you may be able to move forward in the process.

Step 3: Learn about the child and meet with them.

The agency representative may share information about the child with you. This includes medical history, behavioral concerns, educational background and other important information about the child. Once you and the agency both feel that you are ready, you will be able to meet with the child. At this time, you may be ready to move the child into your home.

Step 4: Bring the child home and finalize the adoption.

You become responsible for the child as soon as the agency allows the child to start living in your home. The adoption agency will periodically check on you and the child to make sure there are no major issues. After the child has lived with you for six months or more, you can finalize the adoption in court. After the court finalizes the adoption, you will have legal rights and responsibility for your child.

Step 5: Utilize post-adoption services.

Numerous resources will be available to you and your family. Counseling, support groups, medical services, educational resources and more will be available for you and your child.

Understand that the adoption process may be more complex than described. Each situation is unique and will have its complexities. Remember to seek the resources mentioned above if you have any questions. You may choose to hire a family law attorney to assist you through the process.

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