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Your Complete Guide to Ohio Adoption Laws

What are adoption laws in Ohio, and how will they affect your adoption journey?

Before we dive into the specifics of Ohio adoption laws, there are a few things every pregnant woman and prospective adoptive parent should know: The U.S. does not have a federal set of adoption laws, so the states regulate their own laws. This means that, wherever an adoptive parent may live, the only laws in play are those of the expectant parent considering adoption — which can be confusing and frustrating.

Fortunately, experienced adoption professionals are always available to help. As a national adoption agency, American Adoptions has completed adoptions in every single state. We have the knowledge to help you succeed, whatever your goals may be. Don’t hesitate to call us 1-800-ADOPTION to receive free information and ask questions about our agency’s experience.

That said, whether you’re adopting in Ohio or adopting across state lines, which often occurs when working with a national adoption agency, it’s a good idea to learn more about state adoption laws and how those laws can affect your adoption process.

While this article is not intended to be taken as legal advice, the following information will give you a basic outline for domestic adoption laws in Ohio:

Who Can Adopt in Ohio?

According to Ohio adoption law, any adult can adopt in Ohio if they meet the requirements of the home study and their adoption professional. This often means undergoing a criminal background check, completing home visits, interviews and more before being approved to adopt in the Buckeye State. Prospective adoptive parents will also need to meet the specific requirements for the type of adoption they’re pursuing.

Most adoption professionals will have age requirements, marriage requirements, or other regulations on who may adopt in Ohio, so contact your adoption professional to learn more about their individual requirements to adopt.

Here at American Adoptions, we require all prospective parents to meet a few sets of requirements, regardless of which state they live in. However, we have granted exceptions to these requirements on a case-by-case basis. To learn more about our agency requirements, give us a call anytime at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Who Can Be Adopted in Ohio?

Any minor and certain adults may be adopted in Ohio. Children who are 12 or older must give their consent to the adoption.

A child is only eligible for adoption after his or her biological parents have signed their consent to the adoption in the presence of their lawyer or a licensed notary. Ohio adoption laws state that consent may only be offered 72 hours after the birth of the baby.

What Are the Ohio Adoption Laws Regulating Advertising?

When we talk about “advertising” in the adoption process, we’re talking about the work put into finding prospective birth mothers for hopeful adoptive parents. Essentially, it is the process of creating adoption opportunities.

But, not everyone can do this in every state. For example, in Ohio, it’s illegal for Ohio adoptive and prospective birth parents to advertise for adoption, including online postings and searches, paper flyers or more. Only licensed adoption agencies or adoption attorneys may advertise on behalf of prospective birth and adoptive families in the Buckeye State.

Why these restrictions? In the past, less-regulated organizations like adoption law centers and adoption facilitators have used manipulative and harmful tactics to advertise adoptions, leaving many prospective birth parents and hopeful adoptive parents left in the dust. Today, advertising adoption laws in Ohio exist to protect everyone involved.

Ohio Adoption Laws Regulating Prospective Birth Parent Expenses

When a pregnant woman considers adoption, she is eligible for the payment of certain expenses during her adoption process. This helps to alleviate the financial burden of unplanned pregnancy and help her decide whether adoption is truly right for her baby — without excessive costs or expenses swaying her decision.

Adoption laws in Ohio regulate allowable prospective birth parent expenses. State legislation permits the following OH prospective birth parent expenses:

  • Medical
  • Legal
  • Counseling services (through American Adoptions)
  • Living expenses, whenever eligible (through American Adoptions)

Expenses paid to the prospective birth parent(s) by the adoptive parent(s) are reviewed and approved by an Ohio judge on a case-by-case basis.

Any form of payment, including money, gifts or favors, in exchange for placing a child for adoption is illegal. However, reasonable living expenses can aid Ohio expectant mothers with the financial burden of pregnancy and birth, and offset the necessary time spent away from work.

How to Learn More About Ohio Adoption Laws

These are only a few of the many laws that regulate the Ohio adoption process. So, it’s important that you’re aware of these laws when going through your personal adoption journey. The best way? Working with an experienced adoption professional.

If you work with American Adoptions, you’ll have the guidance of a trusted adoption attorney and one of our trained specialists. Their knowledge of Ohio adoption laws means you don’t need to be a legal expert on this topic —you just need to have a basic understanding of it.

Want more information on this service and the other advantages our agency provides? Call 1-800-ADOPTION now, or request more information about adoption online.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.