Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption
What Is Adoption?
Who Are The Children?
Who Can Adopt?
What Are The Step By Step Procedures To Adopting A Child?
How Long Does It Take?
How Much Does It Cost?
Is Financial Assistance Available?
What Is The Availability Of Children?
How Can I Get More Information?
Adoption is the method by which adults become legal parents of children not born to them.
Children available for adoption come into permanent custody of Children Services when a court determines that their birth parents cannot care for their needs.
Children needing families are...
- African-American children of all ages.
- White children 7 years of age or older
- Children with severe emotional or learning problems
- Children who are a part of a sibling group (2 or more children)
Adoptive parents can be:
- Single or married
- homeowners or renters
- with or without children
- parents who work outside the home
- You need to be over 21 years of age, and if you are married, you need to have been married for at least one year.
The following steps generally occur once you have decided to consider adoption:
- A social worker will be assigned to work with you during the adoption process.
- The social worker will meet individually or with a group of other prospective adoptive parents to talk with you about adoption and provide information covering such things as child discipline, guidance, etc. Time will be spent talking about you and your family, and you will also have an opportunity to talk about the type of child you think would best fit into your family.
- While being prepared for adoption, you will be involved in a home study process.
- After the home study is complete, you and the worker will be ready to determine which child would best fit your family.
- After the adoption committee meets and recommends you for the child, pre-placement visits will begin.
- When the planned visits are completed and both you and the child are ready to proceed, arrangements are made for the actual move of the child into your home.
- Generally the adoption can be finalized about six months to one year after a child is placed with you. The Social Worker will be talking with you and visiting regularly during this period. Then you will go to court, where a judge will declare the child to be a permanent member of your family.
The time spent in learning about and preparing for adoption varies. On the average it can take three to six months. How soon a child is placed with you can also depend on the age, sex or health needs of the child you want.
Children Services imposes no fees for adoption services, however, there are attorney and court fees. Assistance may be available to help with attorney fees and court costs when necessary.
Yes, almost all of the "Special Needs" children will be eligible for a subsidy. Financial assistance is based on the child's background and needs. Most children are also eligible for medical coverage through the Ohio Medicaid Program.
The availability of healthy white infants and preschoolers is rare across the country, and Allen County is no different. We are currently conducting home studies for white special needs children under the age of 7. We encourage prospective families to consider some of the other wonderful children we have waiting for adoptive homes.
You will be asked to assess your abilities as a prospective adoptive family. You'll be asked to think seriously about:
- your parenting style
your own life experiences and how they affect you
- your sense of family
- your expectations for a child
- the reasons you want to adopt
- your family's & your community's reaction to adoption
- your ability to adjust your family's lifestyle to a new family member.
All the children available for adoption are currently in some form of foster care setting. This means the parental rights of the child's parents have been terminated, making the child legally free for adoption.
Foster parenting may, under some special circumstances, be an avenue to adoption. Foster parenting can sometimes make it possible for a child to enter your home sooner than if you wait until a particular child becomes available for adoption. In fact, adoptions by former foster parents make up a large percentage of all of Allen County's adoptions.
Call Allen County Children Services at (419) 227-8590 and ask to speak to the Adoption Worker. We will be glad to answer any questions you may have and send you more information. You will be invited to our next orientation meeting for prospective adoptive parents.