AdoptUSKids For Families

Ohio Foster Care and Adoption Guidelines


Many children are awaiting forever families in Ohio. Most of these waiting children are African-American or older Caucasian children, school-age children, many of whom are teens. Many children are part of a sibling group who would like to be adopted together by the same family. Each county has its own public adoption and foster agency. There are also almost 100 private child-serving agencies providing various adoption services. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is the state organization that supervises these public and private agencies as well as issues rules and regulations governing foster care and adoption within Ohio.

View Ohio's Adoption Photolisting.


Things You Should Know


Licensing Requirements for Foster or Adoption


In order to adopt, you must be at least 18 years of age. To foster, you must be 21 years of age.

To foster or adopt, you are required to participate in 36 hours of educational sessions. This training is followed by a home study process by which a potential adopter, with the assistance and guidance of a trained agency professional, assesses the adopter’s child rearing skills, life experiences, and strengths to determine the type of adoptive child each could best parent. A criminal background check is mandated. A fire inspection and safety audit must be completed. Medical examination is required. There is no fee for the educational sessions or home study process by the county public children services agency.


Costs to Foster and Adopt


There is no fee for the educational sessions or home study process by the county public children services agency. Private agencies may charge fees for their services.

There are adoption subsidies to assist in adopting Ohio’s waiting children with special needs. Federal and state financing options are available to help for all families wanting to provide a forever home for children who are waiting in foster care in other states.


Parent Support Groups


The Ohio Adoption Guide includes a list of adoption support groups and associations starting on page 42 of the PDF guide.


Agency Contact and Orientation Information


A comprehensive and informative guidebook on adoption in Ohio is available online (PDF) or in hard copy from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (email, or call 866-886-3537, option #4).

Inside the guidebook:

  • a listing of the public children services agencies, starting on page 11
  • a listing of private adoption service agencies, starting on page 15

Please ask each individual agency when their next orientation meeting will be offered and when they next offer the classes which are a part of the process to be approved to foster and/or adopt.


Information on Ohio's Waiting Children


There are about 14,000 children in foster care in Ohio; 2,500 of these children are waiting for adoptive homes.


Upcoming Events


Please visit the Adopt Ohio website to view the events calendar.

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