Adoption Agencies, Information and Resources in Ohio

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Start your research with this quick-reference, and confirm any updates with your local representation.
More in depth information is provided on our Adoption Laws By State page.

Our use of the terms “putting up” or “giving up” does not reflect how we feel about adoptive placement. These terms remain the most widely used search terms for those who are considering adoption for their baby, and we wish to reach all who seek this important information.

How to Adopt in Ohio

Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be your guide to all things adoption in Ohio.

Take a look at some of the families seeking adoption opportunities near you.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in Ohio

To get started on your adoption journey, it is important to understand some of the fundamental aspects and frequently asked question about the process. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption in Ohio.

What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in Ohio?

Any adult, married or unmarried, who is physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially able to care for a child may be eligible to become an Adoptive Parent in Ohio.

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in Ohio?

Expenses related to adoption in Ohio range widely depending on the type of adoption you decide to pursue. Are you looking to adopt internationally or domestically? Through a private agency or the foster care system? Depending on what you decide, Adoptive Parents may be asked to cover Birth Mother expenses such as:

  • Medical costs of the Birth Mother and child
  • Travel expenses
  • Counseling services
  • Rent and living expenses, not exceeding $3,000
  • Legal representation
  • Fees from an adoption agency

How do you become a Foster Parent in Ohio?

To become a Foster Parent in Ohio, you must:

  • Attend pre-service training to learn about the responsibilities and impacts of Foster Parents
  • Fill out an application with a foster care agency
  • Complete the home study process

Once you have completed these steps, you can move forward in selecting a foster child!

Can you finalize an international adoption in Ohio?

International adoption is recognized in Ohio as long as the child’s adoption certificate was issued in accordance with the laws of the foreign country and was verified by U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services

For more information about intercountry adoption finalization, click here.

What is a facilitator and is it legal to use their services for adoption in Ohio?

An adoption facilitator specializes in matching prospective Adoptive Families with expectant mothers; however, they are usually unlicensed and unregulated.

In Ohio, only licensed professionals like adoption agencies or attorneys are allowed to assist in the adoption process. It is illegal to use the services of an unlicensed facilitator to arrange the adoption; however, any one can informally promote or advertise to a Prospective Adoptive Family about a potential child.

Click here to read about the difference between adoption agencies, attorneys, and facilitators.

What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in Ohio

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how adoption consent works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in Ohio.

Who must consent to an adoption in Ohio?

Consent to adoption in Ohio must be given by the following:

  • The Birth Mother
  • The father if:
    • The child is his by adoption
    • The child was born while he was married to the Birth Mother
    • The court determined he has a parent-child relationship with the adoptee
    • He has acknowledged his paternity of the child
  • Any person or agency who has the custody of the child
  • The putative father
  • The adoptee if they are 12 years old or older

For more information about adoption consent in Ohio, click here

When is consent not necessary for adoption in Ohio?

Consent to adoption in Ohio is not required of:

  • A parent who is married to the adoption petitioner
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated
  • A parent who failed to communicate with the child for 1 year
  • The father, if the child is conceived as the result of rape
  • A guardian who only has temporary custody of the child
  • The putative father if:
    • The court finds he is not the father
    • He abandoned the child and the child’s Birth Mother
    • He failed to register with the putative father registry within 30 days of the child’s birth

You’re Not Giving Up

For women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy, they are often told that their options are: parenting, getting an abortion or “giving up a baby for adoption.” In the past, adoption carried a negative stigma and the language that was used reflected that. In reality, creating an adoption plan is not a decision that is taken lightly by any Birth Mother. Today, if you are a woman thinking about adoption in Ohio, it is important for you to realize that you are not “giving up” your baby for adoption but that you are carefully considering adoption because you wish to put your child’s needs first.

How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in Ohio?

Consent to an Ohio adoption cannot be given until 72 hours after the child’s birth and must be executed the following way:

  • If by the adoptee, in the presence of court
  • If by an agency, by an authorized representative in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by a parent, written and signed before the court
  • If by another person or guardian of a child, in the presence of court

Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in Ohio?

Consent to adoption in Ohio cannot be revoked after the entry of an interlocutory order or after the entry of a final decree of adoption when no interlocutory order has been entered. Prior to this, consent may be withdrawn if the court finds it in the best interest of the child.

What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in Ohio?

In Ohio, unmarried Birth Fathers do not have any legal rights in the adoption process unless they are proven to be the child’s father by applying in the Ohio putative father registry. In order to have the right to consent to the adoption, the Putative Father must register within 30 days of the child’s birth.

A man will be considered a Putative Father if:

  • He is not married to the Birth Mother when the child is born
  • He has not established his paternity in court prior to the child’s adoption

For more information about Birth Father rights in Ohio, click here.

Home study and Post Placement Requirements in Ohio

Prospective Adoptive Parents in Ohio are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.

What is a home study and what happens during the process?

The home study is a critical component to the adoption process. While it is to ensure your home will provide a child with stability, safety, and support, it is also a resource for Prospective Adoptive Parents to asks questions and prepare for the adoption. A home study also helps the social worker determine the types of adoptions that are appropriate for a family.

A home study in Ohio should include the following:

  • Proof of marriage, is applicable
  • Criminal background checks
  • Proof of income to ensure financial stability to support a child
  • Central registry abuse and neglect checks for each Adoptive Parent and adult living in the home
  • Interviews with all members of the household over 4 years old
  • Medical records that prove the Adoptive Parents are free from physical, mental, or emotional conditions that may hinder their ability to parent the child
  • 3 letters of recommendation from people who are unrelated to the Prospective Parents
  • An approved fire and safety inspection of the home
  • Approved water test from the Ohio water testing laboratory

To learn more about the home study process in California, click here.

Who oversees a home study in Ohio and who is included in it?

Adoption home studies in Ohio must be conducted by someone who is the employee of, appointed by, or under contract with a court, public children services agency, private child-placing agency, or private noncustodial agency. They may be:

  • A licensed psychologist
  • A licensed marriage and family counselor
  • A social worker
  • A civil service employee
  • A student working to earn a 4-year, post-secondary degree, or higher, in a social or behavior science, who conducts duties under the supervision of a licensed professional

The Prospective Adoptive Parents and any adult living in their home is subject to the home study investigation, including criminal background checks and interviews.

Why would my home study not be approved in Ohio?

A home study will not be approved in Ohio if anyone living in the Prospective Adoptive Home is convicted of a crime for cruelty to animals, homicide, assault, kidnapping, sex offenses, arson, robbery, a weapons offense, or drug-related offenses.

Is a home study different for stepparent or relative adoptions in Ohio?

If a stepparent wishes to adopt their stepchild, they do not have to go through the home study process unless the court finds necessary. The adoption finalization will not be granted until 6 months after the petition to adopt or until the child has lived with the stepparent for at least 6 months.

What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

What is a post placement requirement and what happens during the process?

Within 7 days of a child being placed into a home, a monthly post placement visit will take place to ensure the child is adjusting well before the adoption is finalized. The written report should include the following:

  • The mental, physical, and developmental condition of the adoptee
  • An assessment of the adjustment of both the Adoptive Parents and adoptee
  • The needs of any adoption-related services
  • The child’s Birth Family background
  • The child’s psychological background and any history of abuse
  • If the child is an Indian child, how the placement complies with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
  • The child’s attitude toward the adoption, if they are old enough
  • The Adoptive Family’s reason for adopting

What are the requirements for a Foster to Adopt placement in Ohio?

If a Foster Parent wishes to adopt their foster child, they do not have to go through the home study process because they have already completed this process to obtain their foster care license. However, they must pass another criminal background check and the child must have lived in their home for at least 6 months.

Ohio Adoption Agencies and Professionals

Ohio is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:

Adoption by Gentle Care1-800- 824-9633

Adoption Circle800-927-7222

Building Blocks Adoption Service866-321-2367

Things to do in Ohio

If your adoption journey leads you to Ohio and you have some time to spare, consider visiting some of the state’s most popular spots:

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton

Cleveland Museum of Art

Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky

Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland

A note from Adoption Network Law Center

No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in Ohio. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.

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