As of 2015, prospective adoptive parents in Ohio must be at least 18 years old, pass a criminal background check and undergo a medical examination, according to AdoptUSKids, a division of the U.S. Children's Bureau. In addition, they must complete 36 hours of educational sessions, along with a home study to asses skills and strengths.
The county public children services agency does not charge a fee for the educational sessions or home study process. A fire inspection and safety audit is also necessary, and it often occurs during the home study session.
A handbook to support prospective adoptive parents in making a decision or preparing for the process is available in PDF or hard-copy format. Prospective parents in Ohio can obtain the handbook through AdoptUSKids or by contacting the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Selecting the "Adoption" topic from the ODLFS website's site index brings users to the relevant document.
In cases where a step-parent wishes to adopt the child of a spouse, the Ohio State Bar Association notes that the educational requirement is not relevant. However, the court still requires home inspections and a report from a qualified individual. The person wishing to adopt the child must also provide letters of reference to support the adoption, as well as undertaking the same criminal and medical checks as a prospective adoptive parent.