Adoption is a big step. It’s important that agencies do their due diligence to ensure children have a loving, safe home. As such, there are several guidelines that parents must adhere to in order to adopt. So what are the requirements for adopting a child in Ohio?
Who can adopt?
First of all, a prospective adoptive parent must be at least 18 years of age (though some agencies may have an age requirement of 21). Your home must have at least one person who can understand and communicate in written and spoken English, or be able to communicate fluently with both the child and the agency.
The parent must not have any conditions, physical or mental, that could affect their ability to care for a child. Anyone 18 or over in the household must pass criminal background, child abuse, and neglect checks. The household’s income must also be sufficient to support everyone living there.
Finally, a parent must be able to provide references, and submit their home to a safety audit, including a fire inspection and check for hazardous conditions.
Who must give consent?
In order to adopt a child, the child’s birth parents must consent, as well as a minor who is over the age of 12.
Before adopting a child, prospective parents must undergo training. This training includes various information that will help to understand every aspect of child adoption. The training process varies by adoption agency, but in general an adoptive parent will learn about the adoption process, to better understand the point of view of an adopted child, and about resources available for assistance down the line.
Choosing an Adoption Agency
Once you have chosen an adoption agency, you must fill out a Foster and Adoptive Parent Inquiry Form and submit it to the agency of your choosing. This application contains general information about demographics, and gives the agency a better idea of who you are.
Following an application, the adoption agency will want more information about your living situation. This part of the process will involve visits to your home, inspection of financial statements, background checks, and references.
Finalizing an adoption
After the child has been with you six months, you may legalize the adoption. This involves a hearing in a probate court. If you’re looking for an adoption attorney in Columbus Ohio, turn to Abbie Obenour at The Obenour Legal Group. Abbie has years of experience with family planning law, including adoption law. For legal advice and more information about any aspect of adopting a child in Ohio, contact Abbie Obenour.