How to Adopt a Baby in Ohio in 7 Easy Steps With Our Agency
Are you considering adopting a child in Ohio? We know it can be an overwhelming journey to consider. Fortunately, American Adoptions is here to guide you through every step of adopting a baby in Ohio — so that you can finally have the family of your dreams.
Our staff is always available to answer your questions and help you learn more about our agency when you contact us online or give us a call at 1-800-ADOPTION. We can also explain how you can adopt a child in Ohio today with the help of our trained adoption specialists.
Want a head start? Familiarize yourself with the process below:
How to Adopt a Baby in Ohio with American Adoptions
If you want to adopt a child in Ohio, you probably have a lot of questions. Most importantly, you want to know how the adoption process in Ohio works.
We know it can be confusing. But with the right guidance, you can understand the process and move forward confidently.
Here’s everything you’ll need to know about how to adopt in Ohio:
Step 1: Decide if Ohio Adoption the Right Option for Your Family.
Every hopeful parent must first decide whether adoption is the right way to grow their family. Adoption has its own set of difficulties and benefits that are different from any other family-building method. So, every hopeful adoptive parent must be prepared for the upcoming challenges and rewards.
Before beginning the process of adopting a child in Ohio, you and your spouse will both need to be fully committed to adoption. This means that you’ll need to address any remaining grief from infertility, if this has played a part in your family-building journey, as well as moving away from the dream of having a biological child to refocus on your new dream of adoption in Ohio.
Step 2: Decided Which Kind of Adoption is Right for You.
If you feel ready to fully commit to the adoption process in Ohio, you’ll need to determine how you want to adopt. There are three common types of adoption in Ohio, and the requirements for adoption in Ohio will depend on the type of adoption you choose.
These primary adoption methods include:
Domestic adoption focuses on the adoption of infants in Ohio and the across U.S. National domestic adoption agencies such as American Adoptions are usually able to provide all of the services that prospective birth and adoptive parents will need during the Ohio adoption process. If you don’t know how to adopt a child in Ohio, you’ll want to learn more about domestic adoption first.
Fortunately, American Adoptions can help you do just that. We also offer 24/7 counseling services for prospective birth parents, financial protection through a Risk-Sharing Program, post-adoption birth parent scholarships and more.
Foster Care Adoption
While most kids that enter Ohio foster care are reunited with biological family members, 25 percent of Ohio children in foster care will be eligible for foster care adoption at some point. These children are often older, part of a sibling group that should not be separated, or have additional needs.
Learn more about foster care adoption requirements in Ohio and how to adopt from foster care here.
Adopting a child internationally will have varying requirements and costs, depending on the country from which you adopt, as well as which Ohio international adoption professional you work with. When pursuing an international adoption, you must first meet U.S. adoption requirements and your child’s home country’s individual adoption requirements.
Step 3: Decide What Kind of OH Adoption Professional You Will Work With.
The professional you work with has a major impact on your experience adopting a newborn in Ohio. It’s important to carefully consider all of your options and find the professional who is going to put you in the best position.
There are four different types of Ohio adoption professionals, including:
Adoption facilitators are illegal in the state of Ohio. According to Ohio adoption laws, “a person seeking to adopt a minor shall utilize an agency or attorney to arrange the adoption.”
In other states, adoption facilitators can advertise on behalf of hopeful parents. But, this type of advertising is prohibited by anyone other than a licensed adoption agency in Ohio.
Adoption Law Firms
While an adoption attorney working within a law firm is a good option for handling all the legal processes of a baby adoption in Ohio, adoptive parents and prospective birth parents must be represented by separate attorneys. Adoption law firms are also unable to provide counseling services, which can be very helpful for both the adoptive family and the prospective birth parents.
Adoption law firms are not to be confused with “adoption law centers,” which are very different operations that can expose prospective birth and adoptive families to potential malpractice.
Local/Regional Adoption Agencies
Local Ohio adoption agencies are licensed by the state. Their outreach to both prospective birth and adoptive families are therefore limited to the surrounding area. This creates longer adoption wait times, but more opportunities for in-person interactions.
National Adoption Agencies
National adoption agencies such as American Adoptions are regulated, reviewed and licensed separately within each state. This allows them to work with prospective birth and adoptive parents within all 50 states, limiting financial risk and creating shorter adoption wait times. Many national adoption agencies are also licensed to conduct home studies for prospective adoptive parents adopting babies in Ohio.
Step 4: Be Approved to Adopt an Infant in Ohio.
Once you’ve begun working with your adoption professional, you’ve truly entered into the Ohio adoption process. This is where the paperwork begins!
Prospective birth and adoptive parents working with American Adoptions fill out their Adoption Planning Questionnaires (APQs) at this point to determine their goals for the adoption. Adoptive parents will create adoptive family profiles, complete the Ohio adoption home study and undergo any required training to adopt.
After you’ve completed these steps and you’ve been approved to adopt a child in Ohio, you’ll be eligible for matching with expectant mothers through our agency.
Step 5: Receive an Adoption Opportunity.
Once expectant mothers in Ohio start viewing their adoption profiles, 75 percent of American Adoptions families are placed with a child within one to 12 months. But, your individual adoption wait time will be affected by your openness to a wide range of potential birth mothers.
Expectant mothers will be shown your adoption profile if you have similar goals for a domestic infant adoption in Ohio, including:
- A desire for the same amount of post-adoption communication
- A shared comfort with potential genetic medical histories in a child’s biological background
- Openness to a child of any race and gender
- And more
Expectant mothers considering adoption in Ohio are of every age, race, relationship status and background. No two pregnant women are looking for the exact same thing in potential adoptive parents for her baby, so there will never be a “perfect” adoption profile. There’s only the “right” adoption profile for that woman.
Step 6: Get to Know the Prospective Birth Mother.
Once an expectant mother has chosen you, you’ll be able to talk and get to know each other to whatever degree she’s comfortable with. After the birth of the baby, consent to adoption in Ohio may be given by the biological parent(s) 72 hours later, but no sooner.
It’s only once a prospective birth mother gives her official consent to the adoption that she terminates her parental rights and places her child with the agreed-upon adoptive family. She’s under no prior obligation to consent to the adoption.
Many adoptions occur across state lines, in which case you’ll need to wait within the birth mother’s home state for the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) to give you clearance before you return home to Ohio with your child after placement. This often takes 2-3 weeks. If you’re adopting a child in Ohio as a resident, the extra step of ICPC won’t be needed.
After returning home with your child, your Ohio adoption home study provider will complete the required in-home post-placement visits. These occur between placement and the adoption finalization. The goal is to ensure that everyone is adjusting well to post-adoption life.
Your Ohio adoption attorney will contact you during this period to arrange an adoption finalization hearing in your local county probate court, where Ohio adoption hearings take place. At the adoption finalization hearing, your parental rights will be officially granted in court with a final adoption decree.
The adoption decree represents the completion of the Ohio adoption process and your child’s place as a legal member of your family.
Step 7: Continue Post-Placement Contact.
The Ohio adoption process legally ends with an adoption finalization, but adoption never really ends; it’s a constant part of life for all birth and adoptive families and adoptees.
Experts recommend open adoptions whenever situations allow, and American Adoptions wholeheartedly agrees. Open adoptions are shown to be beneficial for both birth and adoptive parents, but in particular, the adoptee. Increased openness in Ohio adoptions keeps communication accessible and ongoing between birth and adoptive families.
Open adoption communication can include the exchange of letters, emails, phone calls, texts and visits with any level of frequency, depending on the comfort level of everyone involved. There is no one definition of an open adoption — each one is unique and involves relationships that may naturally evolve over time.
American Adoptions is happy to facilitate contact between birth and adoptive families who prefer a semi-open adoption for up to 18 years after placement.
Want to learn more about how to adopt a child in Ohio? Call 1-800-ADOPTION now to speak to an adoption specialist about adopting a baby in Ohio, or request more free information about adoption online.
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