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Ohio Adoption Requirements

Before venturing into the adoption process, you might have some simple questions regarding what is required to adopt a child in Ohio.

Though the adoption criteria in Ohio vary depending on the type of adoption you pursue and the adoption professional you choose, there are some standard Ohio adoption qualifications that apply to every adoptive parent.

In the interest of providing you with the most up-to-date information regarding Ohio adoption laws and requirements, we have created this guide that will answer some commonly asked questions. If you’d like to speak with an adoption professional regarding questions about your specific situation, you can contact us today.

What are the Legal Requirements to Adopt in Ohio?

The first criteria you must meet to adopt in Ohio are those that are written into law. It’s important to understand, however, that most agencies will have additional requirements, too. Make sure to ask any professional you consider working with about their requirements to adopt in Ohio.

The following is a summary of what Ohio adoption law requires:

Adoption Age in Ohio

According to Ohio adoption law, the criteria related to age states that you must be an adult to adopt a child. While this technically allows anyone who is at least 18 years old to adopt, agencies will often have their own age requirements before they will work with you. Commonly, adoption agencies in Ohio set their age requirement at 21 or 22.

Do You Have to Be Married to Adopt in Ohio?

In a few states, there are adoption criteria that require couples to be married to adopt, but Ohio is not one of them. There are no restrictions against non-married couples or single people adopting in Ohio adoption law. Agencies may have additional requirements about marriage.

Can Same-sex Couples Adopt in Ohio?

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage, adoption qualifications in Ohio changed to allow for same-sex couples to adopt. Whether they are married or not, gay and lesbian individuals are eligible to adopt. Still, agencies may have their biases and you deserve to work with professionals who celebrate your family. There are agencies that would be thrilled to help you build your family through adoption.

Can a Felon Adopt a Child in Ohio?

If you or your partner have served jail time or been convicted of a crime in your past, you may be wondering if you qualify to adopt a child in Ohio. The answer depends on the nature of the crime, how recently it was committed, and other factors. If this situation is one that you are facing, you should contact an adoption professional for advice on whether they believe you are a good candidate for adoption.

What are the Emotional Requirements to Adopt in Ohio?

Perhaps the most relevant qualification for adopting a child in Ohio is your emotional readiness. Emotional requirements for adoption can include:

Being on the Same Page as Your Spouse

When a couple is considering adoption, it is common for one partner to have more reservations than the other about the decision. It is advisable that you and your partner learn about the intricacies of the adoption process together and engage in the necessary conversations that will allow for you both to enter the adoption process with the same level of commitment.

Moving Away from the Dream of a Biological Child

For many hopeful adoptive parents, infertility is a motivating factor behind their dream to adopt. It is important that the couple has given themselves the proper time to grieve the loss of having a biological child so they can truly open their hearts to the beautiful adoption process.

Being Prepared for Ups and Downs

While it is one of the most life-changing gifts to both parent and child, adoption can be an arduous process and often comes with surprises. To ensure that you are ready for this emotionally, it is important that you educate yourself on what to expect and find an adoption professional to guide you and advise you as needed.  

What are the Financial Requirements to Adopt in Ohio?

There are no two ways about it: adoption can be expensive, but the type of adoption that you choose could greatly influence how much it costs you. Domestic adoption can cost between $25,000-$50,000, and international adoption can cost even more. Foster care adoption costs are minimal.

Families who fall short of the financial requirements of adoption can consider looking into the adoption tax credit, grants and loans, or fundraisers to help alleviate some of the financial pressures of adoption.

Another consideration are income requirements for adoption in Ohio. Simply put, you must be able to support a child, and most adoption professionals require that you make an income above the federal poverty level. During the home study that will take place early on in the adoption process, an adoption professional will require financial statements that demonstrate your ability to provide for a child’s needs.

Next Steps to Start an Ohio Adoption

Once you have fulfilled the requirements for adopting a child in Ohio, you can begin the adoption process.

First, you will choose an adoption professional to work with. Options in Ohio are national agencies, local agencies, foster care agencies, international agencies, and attorneys. Some states allow adoption facilitators to guide you through the adoption process, but Ohio is not one of those states.

Secondly, you will complete a home study. A home study is an evaluative tool used to determine the suitability of a family to adopt a child in Ohio. This will require a collection of necessary documents, a home inspection, and interviews. Once this is complete, you will have officially taken the first steps in the adoption process.

From there, your agency will provide the guidance and support you need to complete your adoption.

If you are still wondering if you meet the criteria for adopting a child in Ohio, contact us today to be connected with a helpful adoption professional.