For Public Agency (Delaware County Job and Family Services) and Private Agency (Job and Family Services other than Delaware County and other private agencies)
Items necessary to file an Agency Adoption:
- An attorney is required for this filing;
- Petitioner(s) must be a Delaware County resident(s);
- Copy of Driver’s License or Government issued picture ID of the Petitioner(s);
- A certified copy of the “book copy” birth certificate for the children, not simply abstracts of the birth record (the “book copy” birth certificate contains more information regarding the city and county of birth, the attendant’s name, the registrar’s name, and the date originally filed with the registrar);
- Petitioner(s) and the children will be required to attend a court hearing;
- A Delaware County Probate Court Adoption Assessor will be assigned to perform a home study as determined by the Court;
- The base court cost deposit is: for a Public Agency (DCJFS only) is $195.00; for a Private Agency (JFS outside of Delaware County and other private agencies) the deposit is $400.00; these amounts include the cost of a birth certificate;
- The base cost deposit for each additional child is twenty-one dollars and 50/100 ($21.50) for the new birth certificate; and
- Complete the Probate Forms listed below.
The Petitioner or Petitioner’s attorney will complete the Certificate of Adoption (which must be typed). For Ohio born children, the completed form will be sent by the Court to the Bureau of Vital statistics to obtain a new birth certificate. A new birth certificate will arrive in approximately 4 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who May Adopt through an Agency?
- A husband and wife jointly if at least one of them is an adult, and
- A Single Adult.
Who May be Adopted?
- A minor child
- A person determined to be totally or permanently disabled, or mentally retarded
- A consenting adult who at age 18 was in the permanent custody of a public children’s services agency or a private child placing agency
What is a Public Agency Adoption (DCJFS only)?
When the Delaware County Job and Family Services (DCJFS), an agency licensed by the State of Ohio, originates and handles the adoption process the Probate Court involvement is limited to the final stages of adoption. It is the agency that approves the placement, conducts the home study, and recommends the adoption to the Court. Adoption agencies have trained, professional staff and use legal counsel to insure that adoptions are legally, effectively, and efficiently handled.
When a child is born in one state and the adopting parents are residents of another state, the human services departments of both states must be involved through the Interstate Compact. The Probate Court will supervise these proceedings.
What is a Private Agency Adoption?
An adoption through a private agency or a department of job and family services for a county other than Delaware is considered by this Court to be a private agency adoption. This Court will appoint its Adoption Assessor to review the home study and all other information obtained by the agency. The Adoption Assessor will provide a written report to assist the Judge of the Court to make an informed decision on the adoption petition.
Who Must Consent?
The parents of the child to be adopted, a minor being adopted who is over the age of 12 years, and an adult adoptee must consent to adoption. However, under certain facts, parental consent may be waived or determined to not be necessary. Therefore, questions concerning consent should be directed to the agency or an attorney.
Where Should I File for any Agency Adoption?
The Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over adoptions and an adoption is required to be filed in the Probate Court of the county where any one of the following applies:
- The agency having custody of the child is located;
- The child was born;
- The person or persons seeking to adopt reside; or
- The person seeking to adopt is stationed in military service.
Is a Home Study Necessary?
Yes. Regardless of the type of adoption, a home study is required. With a public agency adoption (DCJFS only) the agency will conduct the home study. In all other agency adoptions, an adoption assessor will be assigned to the case by this Court.
Must I Have an Attorney?
Yes. The adoption process requires guidance of an attorney
Must I Appear in Court with the Child being Adopted?
Yes. It is mandatory, whether adopting through an agency, or independently, that the person adopting and the child or children sought to be adopted appear before the Probate Court for the final hearing. In certain circumstances, there may be other appearances required. Exceptions can only be granted by the Court for good cause shown.
Is the Birth Certificate Changed?
Yes. The original birth certificate will be sealed and a new birth certificate issued. The adopting parent or parents will be reflected on the birth certificate, just as though they had been the biological parents.
An adopted child born in Ohio will receive a new birth certificate from the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics.
The address of the Bureau of Vital Statistics is:
Bureau of Vital Statistics
Ohio Department of Health
225 Neilston St.
P.O. Box 15098
Columbus, OH 43215
Children adopted in Ohio, but born in other states, obtain their new birth certificates from the bureau of vital statistics of the state where they were born.
How do I access my adoption records?
Consult the Ohio Department of Health website, “Adoption Information” webpage for information on access to adoption records. The availability of adoption records varies with the date that the adoption occurred.