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What to expect when adopting a child in Ohio

Children are waiting in Ohio for a family. You've considered becoming an adoptive parent but just aren't sure what the process entails.

Here's a brief look at what will occur should you decide to pursue parenthood:

  1. Before making any decisions, bring your immediate family together. Discuss how your family will change with a new person in the house and talk about the benefits and the potential challenges you could face by adopting.
  2. The state of Ohio offers a comprehensive look at adoption on its website. It includes a list of adoption agencies in the state. Review the agencies to determine which one you'd like to work with.
  3. Meet with the agency to learn about what's ahead. There likely will be an orientation to allow you and other prospective parents to ask questions.
  4. Take part in training, and fill out a formal application. The training is required, and you'll get a deeper look at adoption, including the child's point of view.
  5. Prepare for a home study. The process can be tedious and requires patience. You will have home visits that include safety audits, and you will have to provide significant documentation, such as medical and financial statements.
  6. As part of a home study, the assessor will work with you to determine the type of child, including age and gender, that will best fit into your family. Once you are approved, a search for a match can begin. When that potential match is identified, there will be meetings to determine if you and the child are a suitable match. There likely will be other prospective parents being considered, so you might not be chosen for this child.
  7. You could have a chance to meet with the child several times in get-to-know-you sessions. Such visits help with the transition as everyone gets to know each other.
  8. Homecoming! Integrate the child into your household. You will have another visit, and you can learn more about services available to you.

The child must live with you for six months before the adoption can be finalized, which will happen during a hearing in an Ohio probate court. Once this happens, you legally will be this child's parent.

This is a huge step you are taking, and you will want an experienced attorney by your side to make sure the process toward parenthood runs smoothly.

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