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Most children enter foster care with the goal of reunifying with their birth families. Unfortunately, for some families, the barriers are too great, and it falls to LCCS to find new, forever families for children.
You Can Make A Difference In A Child’s Life!
Lucas County Children Services believes every child needs a permanent home. Many of our foster parents adopt the children who are placed with them. Others help children prepare for placement with an adoptive family or relative.
Did you know??
There are about 3,000 children in the State of Ohio waiting for permanent homes. Many of them are school aged or teens; others are part of a sibling group that wants to stay together. Many of these children have physical, mental, and/or emotional challenges due to the maltreatment they experienced. Regardless, they all want to be part of a permanent family.
Lucas County Children Services seeks families or single adults from all backgrounds who are willing to love and share their homes with waiting children.
Adopt Through Foster Care
Many youth and sibling groups that are in LCCS’ temporary custody live in licensed foster homes. When a child is placed into the permanent custody of LCCS and the child becomes available for adoption, the agency’s goal is to find them a permanent home as quickly as possible, in the least restrictive setting as possible.
Foster and adopt situations can occur in several ways:
- Birth parents can decide they cannot parent their child, so they surrender their child in court, which divests them of all parental rights and responsibilities. Birth parents with good relationships with foster parents have confidence that the foster parents can provide their child with stability, security, and love. In some of these situations the positive relationship between the families continues after the adoption, which is beneficial for everyone.
- The biological parents’ rights are severed through court action. This occurs after efforts to reunify have failed. The legal process to sever parental rights can take several months.
- Foster parents decide they want to adopt a child in their care, who becomes available for adoption, and they apply for approval through the county. If the foster parents have a child in their home for 12 months or longer, they must be given consideration as that child’s adoptive family.
What Is The Process?
- Training — 36 hours provided by the Agency
- Application/Criminal Background Check
- Home Study
How Long Does The Process Take?
The home study process will begin once you have completed the state-mandated 36 hours of training and submitted your application paperwork. During the home study, you will have the opportunity to identify the type of child or children who might fit well with your family and parenting style. The speed of the process varies depending on our workload and how quickly you are able to provide us with the needed information.
Prospective Adoptive Families
Prospective parents should expect the adoption process to take six months or longer from the time they first submit their application.
Who Can Adopt?
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must complete 36 hours of pre-service training and a home study prior to adopting a child.
- May be married, single or living with a partner in an owned or rented home, apartment or manufactured home.
- Cultural factors such as race, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religious affiliation have no bearing.
- Should be in good physical and mental health.
- Should have reasonable income to meet daily expenses; however, there are no specific financial requirements.
- Should have at least one extra bedroom for the addition of a child.
- Need not pay an adoption fee. Financial assistance may be available for the adoption of children with special needs.
To learn more about becoming a foster/adoptive parent:
Attend a recruitment event; call 419-213-3336
and/or fill out the “Foster/Adoption Inquiry Form” form below.
The children awaiting adoption have been placed in LCCS’ permanent custody, meaning that the court has terminated the biological family’s parental rights, making the children available for adoption. Many of them are older, have special needs, or are part of a sibling group.
LCCS recruits adoptive parents from diverse backgrounds to meet the needs of the children awaiting new families. Adoptive parents can be married, single, or partnered; must have sufficient income to meet his/her/their own needs; must complete the pre-service training program; and must be approved through the home study process. All caretaking adults in the household must participate in the home study process.
If you are adopting a child with special needs through LCCS, most related costs (attorney, court, medical, and other fees) can be reimbursed to you through Non-Recurring Adoption Expenses. If you are adopting a child not characterized as having special needs, you will be responsible for these costs.
Once you are approved for adoption and a child has been placed into your home, the child must live with you for a minimum of six months before the adoption can be finalized.
Children being placed for adoption can be placed with prospective families that have an approved adoptive home study. Out of state applicants must comply with the rules of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC).
Applicants with five or more children living in the home, including foster children, children in kinship care, or biological children; or if the prospective adoptive child will bring the number of children in the home to five, must have their adoption assessor complete the “JFS 1530 Multiple Children/Large Family Assessment” form.
Prospective families for the child are identified based on their ability to meet the child’s best interest and special needs on a lifelong basis.
Criteria for matching adoptive parents to available children include, but are not limited to:
- Length of time between placements
- Considerations of placing siblings together
- Preferences to placing with relatives or foster caregivers.
Adult relatives of the child who have expressed an interest are given priority consideration, provided the caregiver meets all child protection and home study standards. Foster parents are also given priority consideration when relatives are not available to meet the child’s best interests or special needs. The period of time that the child has spent in the foster home counts toward the time period that the child must live in the household prior to adoption finalization. Finally, children may also be matched with prospective families submitting approved home studies from Ohio or any other state.
If a waiting child is of Native American heritage, priority for adoptive placement is given to the child’s tribe or another Native American family. LCCS complies with all aspects of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) when making decisions or placing Native American children.
The Multi-ethnic Placement Act/Inter-Ethnic Placement Amendments (MEPA) of 1994 prohibits discrimination in placing children for adoption and from denying or delaying or otherwise discriminating in making placements on the basis of race, color, or national origin of a child or a prospective adoptive family, if the child placing agency receives federal funding. Similarly, federally funded agencies and sub-recipients may not deny or delay the opportunity for any person to become an adoptive or foster parent on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Failure to comply with MEPA can result in a loss of substantial federal funding for Ohio. To ensure statewide compliance with MEPA, adoption services staff work closely with Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Office of Legal Services, Bureau of Civil Rights, and the federal Office for Civil Rights, in the development of policy, training and the provision of technical assistance to foster care and adoption agencies.