Adoption is a legal process that creates a lifelong commitment and relationship between parents and children not born to them. The adopted child becomes a legal family member and takes on the last name of his/her adopted parents. The adopted parents become legally, morally and financially responsible for all aspects of the child’s care.
Children become available for adoption only after reunification with their biological family is not possible or not in their best interest. If a relative is not available or identified to adopt or permanently care for the children, then an adoptive placement is pursued.
Children in the permanent custody of Summit County Children Services are often adopted by their foster parents. All adoptive parents will also be licensed for foster care. The goal is that children will only have one placement if reunification does not occur.
NOTE: Summit County Children Services no longer approves ADOPTION-ONLY families, unless the family is approved for a child specific adoption. Families interested in adopting through Summit County Children Services MUST become a foster-to-adopt family.
The children who are waiting to be adopted are boys and girls of all ages. Children come from a variety of cultural, ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds, and are in need of stable foster-to-adopt parents who are sensitive to their circumstances. Summit County Children Services has a need for families to adopt:
• Newborns and toddlers
• Siblings groups (brothers and sisters who should remain together)
• Teenagers (age 12 )
Many of the qualifications are the same for foster and foster-to-adopt parents. To become a foster-to-adopt parent, you can/must be:
• Married, single, divorced or widowed;
• With or without children of your own;
• A renter or home owner;
• 21 years or older;
• Employed or a stay-at-home parent – as long as your income is adequate to meet your household needs.
Staff members at Summit County Children Services are committed to working closely with families throughout the foster-to-adopt process. You will have to:
• Complete the required training and paperwork. Sessions are offered on weekdays, evenings and weekends. If you are married or have a domestic partner, both of you must complete the training.
• Complete a home study with a licensing specialist. The home study allows you to provide a detailed picture of your family values, ideals, lifestyle, strengths and parenting styles. You will also discuss your adoption preferences.
• Provide a list of references and financial information.
NOTE: Police checks will be done on all adult household members.
Click here for more detailed information on the step-by-step process to become a foster-to-adopt parent.
Summit County Children Services charges no fees for adoption services. There are minimal costs involved with adopting a child. You will have to pay for court costs and a fee to have the child’s name changed on the birth certificate.
Summit County Children Services has staff readily available to offer supportive services to families after an adoption has been finalized. Information or referral services can sometimes be provided to an adopted child seeking information on his/her birth parents; to birth parents or birth siblings looking to reunite with a family member; and to an adoptive family who needs background information on their adopted child. Monthly support group meetings are offered for parents to share ideas and concerns. In addition, families who adopt can be considered for financial assistance through subsidies and state funds (determined on a case-by-base basis).
Monthly information meetings are available for you to learn more about becoming a foster-to-adopt (or foster) parent.
Summit County Children Services