For Foster & Adoptive Parents

Ohio Minimum Requirements to be a Foster/Adoptive Parent:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • May be married or single.
  • Safe, stable home with enough space for additional child(ren). Can own your home or rent.
  • Accepting of a child who is not your birth child.
  • Have at least one applicant who reads/writes English
  • Have U.S. citizenship
  • Have sufficient income to meet the needs of your family and make timely payment of shelter costs, utility bills, and other debts.
  • A criminal records check is completed on each applicant and adult household member through the Bureau of Criminal Identification Investigation (BCII) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Fees for the record check are paid by MCJFS. Persons must not have been convicted of any criminal offenses as referenced in current foster care/adoption rules.
  • The prospective parent(s) does not have a diagnosis by a licensed physician, psychiatrist, certified psychologist, or licensed independent social worker documenting a physical, medical,emotional, or mental condition which would endanger a foster/adoptive child or seriously impair the parent’s ability to care for a foster/adoptive child.
  • A record check of Ohio child abuse/neglect investigations will be conducted.
  • Completed 36 Hours of Pre-Placement Training.
  • Completed Independent Living Training for the care of children who are 14 years and older
  • A home study assessment has been completed, by a certified adoption assessor, which indicates the prospective parent(s) would be suitable and ready to provide foster/adoptive care.
  • All services provided to foster care/adoptive parents are without regard to race, color, national origin, disability, or religious affiliation.
  • There must have been no change in marital status twelve months prior to the time of application to foster/adopt.
  • Stability of current marriage will be thoroughly assessed for prospective foster/adoptive parents who have experienced a divorce.
  • There must be an adequate child care plan in place for parent(s) who work or attend school.
  • Complete First Aid/CPR training for certification

Prospective adoptive parents may apply to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) for a loan from the State Adoption Assistance Loan Fund to assist with expenses related to adoption. This fund was created under Section 5101.143 of the Ohio Revised Code. ODJFS shall consider the financial need of the prospective adoptive parent in determining whether to approve a loan application, and the loan amount will not exceed $3,000. Reference ORC 3107.018 for more details. Additional Mahoning County Children Services minimum requirements to be a foster/adoptive parent: