Adoption in Clinton County, Ohio: The process

Step 1 – Make an Inquiry

Families or individuals residing in Clinton County, Ohio who are interested in adoption can contact the adoption coordinator, Trisha Curran, at 1-800-284-8942 or 937-382-2449, extension 1350.  Your questions about the adoption program will be answered and an information packet will be sent to you.  You will also be put on a mailing list notifying you of the upcoming dates and times of the required pre-service training.

Step 2 – Attend the Required Pre-Service Training

Attendance at pre-service training is mandatory by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services for all foster and adoptive applicants who wish to become caregivers for Clinton County Job and Family Services.  Sessions are offered weekday evenings with a few sessions occurring on a Saturday.  Pre-service training is designed to enhance your understanding of foster/adopt parenting issues and to increase knowledge about the needs of children whose lives have been impacted by abuse and neglect.  Should the Clinton County Job and Family Services training schedule not fit your needs, you are able to register for training in the surrounding counties.

**Note: If you are married or partnered and living together, you both must complete all courses before your adoption application will be approved.

** Note: The policy of SWORTC (Southwest Ohio Regional Training Center) states that no children are permitted at pre-service training classes due to the material covered.

The training requirements and yearly schedule can be viewed by visiting this website: www.ocwtp.com/swortc.htm

Step 3 – Complete an Application

All prospective adoptive applicants are required to fill out and submit an application to the agency.  This will be sent to you upon completion of pre-service training.  However, you have the right to request and receive an application at any time by contacting Trisha Curran at 937-382-2449, extension 1350.

Step 4 – Have a Home Study Completed

Once an application has been submitted to Clinton County Job and Family Services, an assessor will be assigned to guide you through the homestudy process.

The homestudy is a series of group and individual interviews wtih the assigned assessor and all members of your family.  The purpose of the homestudy is to explore your family or individual’s history, characteristics, family dynamics, ideals, values, strengths and parenting styles that would lead to a successful adoptive placement.  It also determines what type of child would be the best fit for your family.  During the homestudy process, certain documents are required to be obtained and viewed by your assessor.  Such documents include:

  • Physical examination of applicants and medical statements for household members
  • Financial statement
  • Verification of marriage or divorce
  • Verification of employment, if you are employed
  • Criminal background checks for household members over the age of 18
  • Safety audit of the home
  • Autobiography guide
  • Proof of residency for the past five years

Step 5 – Identify and Select a Child for Placement

Once you have an approved adoptive homestudy, you are welcome to begin searching for available children on various websites, such as www.AdoptUsKids.org and other Ohio county agency’s adoption websites.  A child is identified for placement based on the family’s ability to meet the child’s needs.  Information about foster care board rates and/or adoption subsidies is explained during this step.  Prior to a child being placed with an approved adoptive family, the family is provided with detailed information about the child and information regarding any specific available financial and medical resources.  The length of time it takes to be matched with a child largely depends on the special characteristics of children that you are able to parent.  A family who demonstrates the ability to parent a child with many special needs may not wait very long until a child is placed with them.  However, there is no definite answer as to the exact timeframe that a child will be matched with your family and placed in your home.

*Additional information about the matching process will be provided to you upon the approval of an approved adoptive homestudy.  Your assessor will also help guide you through this process, providing you with support each step of the way.

Step 6 – Pre-Placement of a Child in the Home

Prior to a child being placed with your family, you will be provided with the opportunity to review the Child Study Inventory which  lists the child’s interests, talents, special needs, traits and social, school, medical and psychological history.  Your assessor will give you time to think about the information and will be able to assist you in making your decision about placement of the child into your home.  Once your family agrees to placement of a child in your home, pre-placement visits are arranged to assist with the child and your family getting to know one another.  After the pre-placement visits, the child will join your family.

Step 7 – Post-Placement of a Child in the Home

Once the child is placed with your family, you become responsible for the child’s care.  Your assessor will continue to visit with your family for a period of time after the adoptive placement.  This is to provide support and guidance to your family and child during the adjustment period.  Post placement services include home visits, maintaining phone contact, providing information and referrals, crisis intervention, coordination of services, advocacy and emotional support.  Your child must reside with you for a minimum of at least six months prior to the court finalization of the adoption.  Post adoption finalization services are available through Clinton County Job and Family Services.

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