Frequently Asked Questions





About The Ohio Adoption Photo Listing Website

Can you help me adopt a child?
Where can I find information on adoption agencies?


How to Use This Site

How do I find a specific child I know is listed on the site?
How do I view children on this site?
I found a child that I am interested in learning more about, now what do I do?


Substantive Topics

1. Overview of Adoption
2. Who May Adopt & Who May be Adopted
3. Consent to Adoption
4. Homestudy Process
5. Stepparent Adoption
6. Open Adoption
7. Adoption Records Access
8. Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)


About The Ohio Adoption Photo Listing Website



Can you help me adopt a child?

The Ohio Adoption Photolisting does not provide direct adoption services.  The role of the website is to provide information regarding Ohio children currently seeking a permanent home and help link potential adoptive parents to these children.  Please contact your local children services agency or a private adoption agency in order to obtain direct adoption services.

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Where can I find information on adoption agencies?

Please visit our "Resources" page.  Here, you will find a listing of all the Ohio Public Children Services Agencies as well as a link to a listing of private adoption agencies. 

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How to Use This Site



How do I find a specific child I know is listed on the site?

To find a specific child that you are interested in, click on the "Meet the Children" tab on the far left of your computer screen.  Then click on the "Name Search" tab to search using the child's first name or "ID search" to search using the randomly assigned OAPL identification number. 

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How do I view children on this site?

To view the children, please click on the "Meet the Children" tab located on the far left of your computer screen.  From there you can chose to view all the children or enter specific search criteria.

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I found a child that I am interested in learning more about, now what do I do?

Once you have found a specific child that your family is interested in learning more about, please click on the child's name to view the child's full profile.  On the child's profile page, there are two ways to obtain more infomation about the child.  First, under the child's picture, you will see a button for an inquiry form.  Please click on this button and fill out the inquiry form.  The information will be sent to the child's case worker and he or she will contact you.  Second, under the child's picture, you will also see a phone number.  This is the child's case worker's phone number.  You may call this number to speak to the case worker regarding this child.

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Substantive Topics



1. Overview of Adoption

Introduction


There is not a one-size-fits-all model of adoption. Adoptions can vary widely in relation to cost, birthparent involvement, and the length of time it takes to complete the process. This information is designed to give a basic overview of the options available to prospective adoptive parents.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What types of adoptions are available?


A: There are four major types of adoption: Public, Private/Independent, Private/Agency, and Intercountry.


Q: What is a Public Adoption?


A: A public adoption involves a child who has been removed from the birth parent's home because of abuse, neglect, or dependency issues. The child is in the custody of the state child protective services department. These adoptions may be facilitated by either a public children services agency that is run by the county or by a private agency which specializes in placing foster children.  Age of child: ranges from infants to teenagers; often sibling groups; children with special needs
Time: several months - a few years
Cost: $0 - $2,500


Q: What is a Private/Independent Adoption?


A: An independent adoption is coordinated by an attorney and involves a child who is not in the custody of the state or of an agency. In an independent adoption, the birthparents give consent directly to the adoptive parents.
Age of child: typically infants
Time: 1-2 years
Cost: $4,000-$30,000



Q: What is a Private/Agency Adoption?


A: An agency adoption is coordinated by an adoption agency that is licensed by the state. There are both for profit, and not-for profit adoption agencies. Typically the birth parents transfer custody to the agency, and then the agency facilitates the adoption.
Age of child: typically infants
Time: 1-2 years
Cost: $8,000-$30,000



Q: What is Intercountry Adoption?


A: Intercountry adoption involves the adoption of a child from another country and can be facilitated by either an adoption agency or private attorney.
Age of child: typically toddlers and young children (infants are less common)
Time: 15 months - 24+ months (Timeframes are typically more well-defined for intercountry adoptions than for domestic.)
Cost: $7,000-$35,000


Q: What are the medical risks associated with adoption?


A: The occurrence of significant medical and/or emotional issues varies by the type of adoption. For example, the medical records of children adopted from another country may be difficult to obtain, may contain limited information, or may be difficult to translate. Any adoption may pose challenges in obtaining full and accurate medical histories and information. You should try to ensure that the child's medical history has been fully disclosed to you, and that you have as much medical/psycho-social information as is available on the birth parents.


Q: What birth parent expenses can the adoptive parents pay?


A: Most states regulate the type and amount of expenses adoptive parents may pay. Many courts require the adoptive parents to file an accounting of all expenses paid. Common expenses that are permitted are the birth mother's medical and legal/agency expenses, GAL fees, and temporary foster care (if needed). Some states also permit adoptive parents to pay for the birth mother's living expenses during the pregnancy and counseling fees.


Q: Are there any available sources of financial assistance for adoption?


A: There are many sources of financial assistance for parents planning to adopt. Adoption subsidies are available for a qualifying child though a public adoption. There are also federal and state tax exemptions/credits available to parents. In addition, some employers offer adoption benefits to employees.  The State of Ohio allows for $3000 in living expenses by statute.


PLEASE SEE OUR RESOURCE PAGE FOR LINKS TO ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ON TOPICS DISCUSSED ABOVE

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2. Who May Adopt & Who May be Adopted

Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  Who may adopt?


A:  A husband and wife must file an adoption petition together and at least one must be an adult.  The only exceptions are a stepparent adoption or when there has been a separation, prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or other similar circumstances.  An unmarried adult may also adopt.  Ohio does not have an age limit. 
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.03


Q:  Who may be adopted?


A:  Minors may be adopted.  Adults may only be adopted under the following circumstances: total and permanent disability, mental retardation, if a parent-child relationship had been established while the child was still a minor (ex: stepparent, foster parent), or if the adult was in the permanent custody of the state at the time of his/her eighteenth birthday.
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.02


Q:  In which court do I file the adoption petition?


A:  An adoption must be filed with the probate court in any of the following counties: where the child was born, where the adoptive parent(s) currently reside, where the child currently resides, where the child's parent resides or the county in which the agency having the permanent custody of the person to be adopted is located.
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.04


Q:  Can stepparents adopt?


A:  Yes.  Please refer to the separate FAQ document on Stepparent Adoption for detailed information.


 

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3. Consent to Adoption

Introduction


Consent is the formal process necessary to relinquish parental rights to a person to be adopted and allow an adoption to proceed.  This FAQ is a summary of Ohio statutes regarding consent with corresponding Ohio Revised Code sections cited.  
 
Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  Who must consent to the adoption?


A:  Consent must be executed in writing or by personal appearance by all of the following: the mother; the birth father or the putative father; any person or agency having permanent custody or authorized by court order or consent; and the minor, if more than twelve years of age. (§3107.06)


Q:  How does a father establish paternity in order to give or refuse consent to adoption?


A:  To establish parenthood so that consent is necessary, a father must prove one of the following: that he is married to the mother, has adopted the minor, has acknowledged paternity by affidavit or court proceeding, has a parent-child relationship that has been determined by a court or administrative proceeding, has registered on the putative father registry, has signed the birth certificate, or has filed an objection to the adoption prior to the placement of the child in the potential adoptive parent's home or within thirty (30) days of the filing of the petition or the placement of the child of the child in the home, whichever occurs first. (§3107.06)


Q:  Does a minor child have to consent to the adoption?


A:   A minor must consent if he/she is more than twelve years of age unless the court, finding that it is in the best interest of the minor, determines that the minor's consent is not required. (§3107.06(E))
 
Q:  When do parties give consent?


A:  Consent can be given any time so long as it is 72 hours after the birth of the child. (§3107.08)


Q:  How does a birth parent give consent?


A:  A birth parent must do the following in order to execute consent: appear in court, and sign, complete and file the component consent form.  If the child to be adopted is less than six months of age the parent(s) do not have to personally appear in court but rather can execute consent by doing one of the following: sign a notarized statement of consent before the attorney arranging the adoption, or sign, complete and file the component consent form.  If a birth parent lives outside of Ohio, the parent may consent without personally appearing in court by executing consent before a person authorized to take acknowledgements and filing the consent with the court where the adoption petition was filed. (§3107.081) 


Q:  Can consent be revoked?


A:  Consent is irrevocable except if it is withdrawn prior to the entry of the interlocutory order or entry of the final decree, when no other order has been entered.  The court must hold a hearing to determine if withdrawal of consent is in the best interest of the person to be adopted. (§3107.084)

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4. Homestudy Process

Introduction


The homestudy is usually one of the first steps prospective adoptive parents take after they have decided to adopt.   The homestudy is designed to not only educate the homestudy assessor about the family but also to educate the family about adoption.  The evaluation process helps create the best possible match between the family and a child.  The following FAQ is designed to inform the reader of Ohio's requirements for a homestudy and includes citations to the appropriate sections of the Ohio Revised Code.    


Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  What is the purpose of the homestudy?


A:  In order to adopt any child, whether through a domestic process or international, a homestudy is required as part of the process.  The purpose of the homestudy in Ohio is to determine if the person petitioning to adopt is in fact suitable to adopt.  (3107.031)


Q: How long does the homestudy process take?


A: The length of the process varies depending on whether you are going through a public or private agency.  A public agency should commence a homestudy assessment within thirty days of the date of the application for child placement and should be completed within one hundred eighty days if the child has special needs.  If the child does not have special needs the timeframe must be consistent with the agency's policy.  This timeframe may vary depending on your ability to timely reply to the assessor's requests.  (5101:2-48-12(C)&(D))


Q: What is the cost for a homestudy?


A: The expense of a homestudy varies by agency and by the homestudy assessor.  Public entities (such as county Children Services agencies) tend to be less expensive than private entities.  Also, international adoption homestudies may be more expensive than domestic ones.  Generally a homestudy can range in cost from $0 to $3,000.


Q: What are the basics of the homestudy?


A:  The information requested for the homestudy will vary from agency to agency.  However, the basic elements that make up a homestudy are personal interviews, home visits, adoption education and preparation, submission of health records and financial statements, a personal statement, character references, educational training, a search of the statewide automated child welfare information system and criminal background checks. 


Q: Does the homestudy process change depending on the number of children in the home?


A:  Yes.  There are additional requirements if you currently have five children in the home or if adopting will bring the number of children in your home to at least five.  The assessor is tasked with evaluating your ability to meet not only the needs of the child or children to be adopted but also the children currently in your home.  The assessor must also complete a multiple children assessment form. (3107.032)


Q: What documents will I need to provide during the homestudy process?


A:  The assessor may have you provide or complete any number of documents.  Those documents usually include: medical statements, a child characteristics checklist, a fire inspection, a safety audit, a financial statement, a local and federal criminal background check, and a water test. (5101:2-48-12)


Q: What is adoption education and preparation and why do I need it? 


A:  Adoption education must be completed before a homestudy can be approved.  The purpose of the education is to help prepare potential adoptive parents for adoption and to ensure the child's welfare is the paramount concern.  Topics covered in the training may include: the adoption process, child development, separation and loss, dealing with behavioral challenges, cultural issues, and adoption related issues.  This requirement may be waived if the assessor determines that the family has already received training or already has the skills necessary to care for the child. (5101:2-48-09(O) & (P))


Q: Who should I ask to be a personal reference?


A:  Each applicant will be asked to provide four personal reference statements, of which, three must be a non-relatives and not residing with the applicant.  A personal reference should be a person who knows you well enough and long enough to make an informed statement about your personal character and fitness for adoption. (5101:2-48-12(X)(4))


Q: Must a background check be performed?  Who is subject to a background check? 


A: Yes. A bureau of identification and investigation (BCII) and sometimes a federal bureau of investigation (FBI) criminal background check as well as a statewide automated child welfare information system check is required as part of the process.  It is usually preformed on the adoptive applicants and any adult living in the household. 


Q: What is the homestudy information used for?


A: The information from the homestudy is compiled into a Homestudy Report.  This report consists of all the information from the interviews, home visits, education/preparation, health records, financial statements, references, background checks, as well observations inserted by the adoption assessor.  This report is then used to aid in matching the family with a child.  You should receive a copy of this report although some information may be omitted to protect the privacy of some of the individuals interviewed.


Q: Will I need to update or amend my homestudy report?


A:  Yes.  The homestudy report needs to be updated every two years.  You must notify the assessor to have the homestudy report amended if there is a change to any of the following: marital status, health status, adoption finalization, number of children in the home, death of an applicant, a criminal charge or conviction of an applicant or other adult household member, a new adult enters the home, address, or financial status/income.  (5101:2-48-12.1)

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5. Stepparent Adoption

Introduction


A stepparent adoption is used to legalize the parent-child relationship between a stepparent and his/her spouse's child.  In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent assumes financial and legal responsibility for his/her spouse's child, and the non-custodial parent is released from all parenting responsibilities, including child support. 



Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who must give consent for a stepparent adoption?


A:  Consent of the biological parents is required unless the "parent has failed without justifiable cause to communicate with the minor or to provide for the maintenance and support of the minor as required by law or judicial decree for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the adoption petition."  This is a difficult standard to meet as Ohio courts have found merely sending birthday cards or letters is enough to require consent.  The statute is generally construed in favor of the biological parent.  Consent is not required if the parent's rights have already been terminated. 
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.07


Q:  Do I need to have a homestudy?


A:  Yes.  Ohio requires a homestudy for all adoptions, including stepparent adoptions.  Ohio Revised Code § 3107.031


Q:  Do I need an attorney?


A:  Some counties in Ohio permit stepparents to file adoption petitions pro se (without counsel); others require stepparents to be represented by an attorney.  You should check on such requirements with the court where the adoption will be finalized. 


Q:  Are there any other special rules?


A:  The final adoption decree cannot be issued until six months after the petition for adoption has been filed, or until the child has lived in the stepparent's home for at least six months.  Ohio Revised Code § 3107.13

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6. Open Adoption

Introduction


Open adoption is a form of adoption in which birth parents continue to have contact with the child/adoptive family after the adoption has been finalized.  The extent of contact depends on the agreement between the adoptive parents and biological parents. 



Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  Are open adoptions available in Ohio?


A:  Yes.  The placing agency or attorney is required to tell adoptive parents and birth parents about the availability of non-binding open adoption agreements.  If the agency or attorney placing the child refuses to arrange an open adoption, a referral must be provided for an agency or attorney that will arrange an open adoption. 
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.62 & 3107.63


Q:  What can be included in the agreement?


A:  The agreement cannot do any of the following: allow the birth parent to exercise parental control or authority over the child placed for adoption; limit the adoptive parent's full parental control and authority over the adopted child in any way; deny the adoptive parent or child access to social and medical history or the adoption file; or provide for enforceability.
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.65


Q:  Does the court have to approve the open adoption agreement?


A:  Yes.  The open adoption agreement must be approved by the probate court handling the adoption.  However, the court cannot refuse to approve an adoption agreement unless the terms of the agreement are determined to not be in the best interest of the child. 
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.65


Q:  Is the open adoption agreement enforceable?


A:  No. Open adoption agreements are not enforceable in Ohio.  All terms of an open adoption are voluntary and any person who has entered into such an agreement may discontinue communication at any time. 
Ohio Revised Code § 3107.65


Q:  What are the advantages of open adoption?


A:  An open adoption enables the child to maintain connections with biological relatives and other important people in his/her life.  It also eases the transition for older children by helping to minimize the loss of relationships with birth family and feelings of abandonment.  Open adoption allows a child to resolve those losses with facts, rather than fantasies created when no information about or contact with the birth family is available.  An open adoption also fosters greater understanding of the child's social/medical history for adoptive parents, decreases fear of disruption by birth parents, eliminates the need to "search" if reunion is desired by adopted child, and helps resolve the child's identity formation.


Q:  What are the disadvantages of open adoptions?
 
A:  One potential problem related to an open adoption is the pressure placed on adoptive parents to agree to openness or risk losing the child to another family willing to permit openness.  In addition, some fear that an open adoption could create the potential for birth parent interference with parenting choices, and could potentially result in court litigation to enforce or modify the agreement. 

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7. Adoption Records Access

Introduction


In Ohio, the process for and level of access to adoption records is contingent upon the date of the adoption.  This FAQ is designed to help you understand what type of information is available and how to obtain it and has corresponding Ohio Revised Code citations.  For more information on any of the following, access the Ohio Department of Health's website at the following web link: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/vitalstatistics/legalinfo/adoption.aspx



Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Can an original birth record/adoption file be unsealed?


A:  Yes. The issuance of a final adoption decree seals all records pertaining to an adoption and thus they are not open for public viewing.  However, there are several ways in which a person can access this sealed information depending on the year the adoption was finalized.


Q: Who can access adoption records?


A:  This will vary depending on the year the adoption was finalized.  Generally, an adoptee who has reached the age of majority, adoptive parents if the child is a minor, a guardian, biological siblings, and birth parents. 


Q: My adoption was finalized prior to January 1, 1964, how can I access my adoption records?


A:  These records are open and can be obtained by doing one or both of the following: submit a written request to the Department of Health to obtain a copy of the contents of the adopted person's file and/or file a petition in probate court, in the county where the adoption occurred or the county where the adopted person lives, for a release of information regarding the adopted person's name by birth and the identity of the adopted person's biological parent(s) and biological sibling(s). (§3107.38)


Note:   The request must contain the adopted person's address; a notarized affidavit (form available on the Department's website); any fee requirement (generally $20.00); and must be accompanied by two forms of identification which can include: motor vehicle driver's license, commercial driver's license, social security card, credit card, military identification card, employee identification card, or marriage application.


Q: My adoption was finalized between January 1, 1964 and September 18, 1996, how can I access my adoption records?


A:  These records are sealed and can only be opened by a court order.  An adopted person older than twenty-one (21), must petition the probate court that granted the adoption (or the probate court of the county where they reside) to request Vital Statistics search for releases received from the biological parent(s).  A biological parent or sibling can file an authorization form granting the court permission to release identifying information to the adoptee. The court can only release identifying information if an authorization form has been filed with the Ohio Department of Health, Vital Statistics.  A biological parent or sibling may withdraw their authorization at any time by completing a withdrawal form. (§3107.41)


Q: My adoption was finalized after September 18, 1996, how can I access my adoption records?


A:  Records are open to an adult adoptee over 21 or to the adoptive parent if the adoptee is at least 18, but still under 21.  An adoptee may request identifiable birth information from the Department of Health.  The request must be accompanied with two forms of identification. Birth information can only be disclosed if the biological parent(s) have filed an authorization of release form or disclosure statement. (§3107.47)


Q:  What type of information is released?


A:  Non-identifying information is general information about the adoptee and the birth parents that does not allow anyone viewing the information to specifically identify one another.  This information is usually provided to the adoptive parents prior to finalization. Non-identifying information may include: date and place of the adopted person's birth, age of the birth parents and general physical description (i.e. eye and hair color), race, ethnicity, religion and medical history of the birth parents, educational level of the birth parents at time of the adoption, any reasons for placing the child for adoption, and the existence of any biological siblings.


Identifying information is any information that might lead to a positive identification of any of the parties to an adoption or any birth relatives. Identifiable information means any of the following with regard to a person: first name, last name, maiden name, alias, social security number, address, telephone number, place of employment, and original birth certificate.


Q: How can I file an authorization of release form?


A:  An authorization of release form or disclosure statement can be filed at any time with the Ohio Department of Health.  This form gives the court and the Department permission to release identifying information to the adoptee, adoptive parent or birth parent.  The authorization form can be filed by a birth parent, sibling or adopted person.  This authorization can be withdrawn at any time by filing a withdrawal or denial form with the Department.  The forms are available on their website at: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/vitalstatistics/legalinfo/adoption.aspx


Q: Does Ohio have a mutual consent registry?


A:  Yes. Ohio's mutual consent registry allows adopted persons and their birth families to register on a state-based search engine that seeks to unite adopted persons with their birth parents and/or siblings.  The registry is designed for persons adopted after January 1, 1964.


Q: How can I contact the Ohio Department of Health?


A:  For more information on obtaining access to adoption records or Ohio's Registry contact:


Ohio Department of Health
Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 118
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0118
Telephone: (614) 466-4784
http://www.odh.ohio.gov/vitalstatistics/legalinfo/adoption.aspx

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8. Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC)

Introduction


Any adoption or foster care placement that involves the placement of a child outside of Ohio will involve a federal law called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).  All 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands are members of the Compact.  To proceed with an adoption, please note that it is illegal to move a child across state lines without first complying with the ICPC requirements. Ohio is one of the few states to enact a new version of the ICPC that was drafted in 2005.  This FAQ should help inform you about Ohio's ICPC requirements and the differences between the new ICPC and the current ICPC. 


The additional information on and proposed legislative language of the new ICPC can be found at: www.aphsa.org/Policy/icpc2006rewrite.htm



Frequently Asked Questions



Q: What is the purpose of the ICPC?


A: The purpose of the ICPC is to ensure that if a child is moved across state lines, that child's rights are protected as if they were in their home state and all legal requirements are observed.  The ICPC is designed to: provide a monitoring mechanism during the transition and placement of the child in another state; ensure the child receives services; ensure compliance with the laws of each state; and provide the child with an alternative should the placement prove not to be in their best interest or if the need for out-of-state services ends.


Q: Who does the current ICPC apply to?


A: The Compact currently covers foster children being placed with a relative or another caregiver, children moving across state lines with their foster parents, children placed for adoption by a public or private agency or by a private attorney, children placed in residential treatment facilities by parents, parents placing children with non-relatives, and pregnant mothers going across state lines to give birth and place their children for adoption.  The state where the child is currently residing is called the "sending" state and the state where the child will be placed is called the "receiving" state. 


Q: What is the process involved under the ICPC?


A:  The sending state must provide the receiving state with notice of its intention to place a child across state lines.  This requires the sending state to complete several forms and a case plan.  These forms along with the case plan are forwarded to the receiving state's Compact Administrator for review.  Upon careful review and evaluation, the receiving state approves or denies the placement by sending notice of its decision to the sending state.  If approved, procedures are initiated to place the child in the receiving state.  Services for the child are to continue as if the child were still in his/her home state. 


Q: How do I comply with the current ICPC?


A: Compliance differs depending on whether Ohio is the sending or receiving state.  The agency or adoption professional that you are working with should complete the necessary paperwork to comply with the ICPC.  Each state has a Compact Administrator that oversees the process of interstate placements.  Proof that the ICPC was complied with will be requested before an adoption can be finalized.  (§5101:2-52-04 & 5101:2-52-06)


Q: What are the responsibilities of the agencies under the current ICPC?


A: The sending agency, although it no longer has physical custody of the child, still retains all legal and financial responsibility.  This means the sending agency retains the right to make all decisions regarding the care and custody of the child while the child is in the receiving state.  The sending agency also must keep the receiving agency up-to-date on any changes regarding the status of the child during the placement.  The receiving agency is responsible for the maintenance and welfare of the child during the child's stay in the receiving state.


Q: Are there safeguards offered under the current ICPC?


A: There are safeguards in place for the child as well as the parties involved in the placement.  The sending agency may request a home study and an evaluation of the proposed placement to ensure the child's safety.  The sending agency also retains jurisdiction during the child's placement and is entitled to regular, on-going progress reports.  The child is guaranteed legal and financial protections by keeping this responsibility with the sending agency.  The receiving state is safeguarded by allowing it to apply its own laws and policies to the placement as well as to supervise the placement.


Q: Did Ohio ratify the ICPC?


A: Yes.  Ohio along with all of the other states has codified the ICPC in the Ohio Revised Code.  Actually, Ohio is one of the few states to adopt the New ICPC.  However, the old ICPC is still in full force and effect until 35 states ratify the New ICPC. (§5103.20) 


Q: A child placement Compact already exists. Why should we replace it?


A:  The current Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children was adopted in 1960 as an answer to states' concerns about protecting children placed across state lines.  Before the Compact was implemented, states had no authority over the children once the children were placed outside of its borders.  The Compact has now been in effect almost 50 years and needs to be updated to keep in line with the ever changing laws and technology.  This will allow the state's to continue to promote safety and permanency for children while promoting timely placements. Signing a new Compact will provide uniformity among the states laws in regulating the placement of children across state lines. 


Q: How will the revised ICPC improve the interstate placement of children?


A: The proposed new Compact will change the following: (1) narrows the applicability of the Compact to the interstate placement of children in the foster care system and those placed across state lines for adoption; (2) requires the development of time frames for completion of the approval process; (3) establishes clear rulemaking authority, (4) provides enforcement mechanisms; (5) clarifies state responsibility; and (6) ensures states' ability to purchase home studies from licensed agencies to expedite the process.


Q: Who does the new ICPC apply to?


A: The Compact currently covers the interstate placement of: an abused, neglected or deprived child; a child adjudicated delinquent or unmanageable and is subject to ongoing court jurisdiction; a child placed by a public or private agency for purposes of adoption. (§5103.20) 


Q: What safeguards are included in the new ICPC?


A: The new ICPC includes improved legal framework that will strengthen enforcement authority. Compliance and enforcement will be encouraged by a wide range of measures, including technical assistance, alternative dispute resolution, suspension, termination, and legal action in federal court. In addition, the new Compact will have a committee type structure in place that will hopefully allow for speedy identification of potential problems and a timely process for addressing concerns.


Q: Must all states adopt identical language?


A: Yes. Generally, the Compact language must be identical in the substantive provisions of the agreement. However, the format of the agreement can be different from state to state; otherwise material differences in language in any state statute purporting to adopt the Compact could render it "void" or "voidable."


Q: When will the new ICPC go into effect?


A:  In order for the new Compact to be in effect 35 states must adopt it.  Once that has happened, none of these states will be able to operate under the old Compact.  States that have adopted the new Compact will only be able to deal with states in a similar situation, meaning that if a state has not adopted the new Compact a contractual relationship cannot exist with a state that has.  However, under the terms of the new Compact, the old Compact's rules will remain in effect among both old and new Compact states for the first twelve months until the new rules can be statutorily adopted.  This will allow interstate placements to be made in both new and old Compact states during that twelve month period.  After the initial twelve months, new Compact states will only be allowed to conduct interstate placements with each other.


Q: What recent Legislative activity has taken place on the ICPC?


A:  As of June 2, 2009, 3 states have introduced the revised ICPC and 8 have enacted the Compact.  Find out the legislative activity by viewing the Legislative Activity Map at: http://www.csg.org/programs/policyprograms/NCIC/interstatecompact_placementofchildren.aspx


Q: Who is the ICPC Administrator for Ohio and how do I contact them?


A:  The Ohio Deputy Compact Administrator is Jennifer Justice, Director, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  The Deputy Compact Administrator is Tara Unger, Bureau Chief, Office for Children and Families. 


All correspondence, questions and telephone calls should go to:


ICPC Unit

ODJFS - Bureau of Child Welfare Policy

50 West Town Street, 6th Floor

Columbus, Ohio 43215

Telephone: (614) 752-0598

Ohio_ICPC_Office@jfs.ohio.gov
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