What are the Ohio Adoption Laws?
Knowing the Ohio adoption laws is important when embarking on an adoption journey. Below is some information about the Ohio adoption laws that pertain to adoptive couples, adoptive singles and birthparents considering an adoption.
Who Can Adopt in Ohio?
- A married couple jointly with at least one adult spouse
- a single adult or a married person without his/her spouse if legally separated
- an unmarried minor if birth parent to the adopted child
- a married adult without his/her spouse if the spouse is the adopted child’s birth parent or if the spouse’s reason for not jointly petitioning is excused by the court.
Does the Ohio Adoption Laws allow LGBT families to adopt? Yes. Married and UnMarried same sex couples can adopt.
Ohio Adoption Laws- Domestic Adoption
Can Ohio Adoptive Families Advertise? YES! Advertising is Allowed per the Ohio Adoption Laws
Citation: Rev. Code § 5103.17
The biological parent of a child may advertise the availability for placement of the parent’s child for adoption to a qualified adoptive parent. A qualified adoptive parent may advertise that the qualified adoptive parent is available for placement of a child into the qualified adoptive parent’s care for the purpose of adopting the child. A government entity may advertise about its role in the placement of children for adoption or any other information that would be relevant to qualified adoptive parents.
Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? In some courts.
Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, but only an agency or attorney may aid in placing a child, and an adoption attorney is only permitted to represent one party in adoption (either the adopting parent or the parent placing their child for adoption). Informal intermediaries are permitted in sharing the fact that a minor is or will be available for adoption with a pre-adoptive parent.
What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period?
Medical, Legal, Living expenses as well as counseling services are permissible expenses. Living expenses are usually considered, but not, limited to:
- clothing and utilities bills.
- In interstate cases where Ohio is the sending state, rules of receiving state regarding birth parent expenses apply. Birthparent living expenses cannot exceed $3,000. Medical expenses are not included with the limited living expenses.
In most cases the Birthparent living expenses are paid from time of conception until 60 days after birth.
Is there a putative father registry? Yes.
When can consent to adoption be granted? 72 hours after birth as long as the Birth Parent Assessment (counseling) has been completed prior to birth. If not, then 72 hours after the completion of the assessment.
When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? After surrender to agency. In private adoptions, after interlocutory order (usually at 30 days) or final decree issued. If fraud, duress, or misrepresentation, consent can be withdrawn at any time. Return not automatic; withdrawal of consent must be in child’s best interest.
Are post-adoption (openness) contact agreements legally enforceable? An open adoption is not enforceable. It is highly recommended that the adoptive family follows through with whatever openness they promise to a birthmother. Therefore it is advised not to request to be matched with an adoption situation that you are not comfortable with as far as openness.
Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Ohio? http://jfs.ohio.gov/oapl/index.stm
Ohio Adoption Unit
Office of Families and Children
4200 E. Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor P.O. Box 183204
Columbus, Ohio 43219 Columbus, Ohio 43218-3204
Phone : (614) 466-1213
Fax : (614) 466-4359
Help Desk: (866) 886-3537, option 4
Adoption from Foster Care in Ohio
Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last?
Yes, adoption subsidies are available for a special needs child as defined by at least one of the following:
- 6 years or older
- member of a minority or ethnic group
- member of a sibling group of 3 or more children being placed together or is joining already adopted siblings in the same adopting family if 3 or more children in sibling group, has a professionally diagnosed or is at high-risk of developing a developmental disability or mental illness, is in the custody of a public children services agency or private child-placing agency for more than 1 year, has experienced an incomplete adoption or disrupted foster care placement, is being adopted by foster care parents who have cared for the child for a consecutive year and whom the child has strong emotional ties as determined by a professional.
In addition, the child must be in the custody of a public children services agency or a private child-placing agency, 18 years or younger (or between 18 and 21 if mentally or physically disabled), and placed in an adoptive home that is approved by a public children services agency, private child-placing agency, or a private non-custodial agency. The adopting family must also participate in a means test in order to prove that subsidies are necessary. Adoption subsidies begin at adoption placement.