Private Adoption – Legal Placement

(Legal Placement has been made)

Private adoption with legal placement is used when seeking to adopt a child who has been legally placed in your home by guardianship, custody, or is your grandchild.

Because of Ohio Law and the complexity of the process you must have an attorney or agency representation.  It is important to note that the Court cannot give any legal advice so you should consult with an attorney and licensed Ohio public adoption agency with any legal questions. 

Representation by an Attorney is mandatory for all parties, and birth parent(s) must be represented by a separate attorney.   


When Filing for a Private Adoption with Legal Placement:

  • All forms must be typed.
  • All necessary paperwork must be provided at the time of filing
  • Use full birth-names and no initials.
  • If there is no middle name or initial, use (NMI) in the spaces provided.
  • Make sure all signatures are included on all forms.
  • If your agency requires any documents file-stamped and returned, please provide all copies. The Court only needs originals. All two-sided documents must use the binding position of top bind.
  • Hearing dates and case numbers will be completed by the clerk.

The following guidelines may not be a completely comprehensive list but should help you in the process with your attorney.


What I need to do for the Private Adoption:

  • Form 18.0 – A Petition for Adoption may be filed if proper legal placement has been made by either legal custody, guardianship, or if the petitioner is a grandparent of the adoptee.


For the Birth Father:

  • In cases where paternity has not been established, you must mail in Form JFS 1695 Application for Search of Ohio Putative Father Registry to Columbus and file the final search result.
  • If the father is not on the birth certificate, but paternity has been established, you must provide the Court with a copy of the DNA results or paternity affidavit.


For the Birth Parents:

  • If either parent is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate must be filed.
  • If they live out of state and are willing to consent, Form 18.3 – Consent to Adoption and Form AD.7 – Addendum to Consent must be filed.
  • If they are not willing to consent and consent can be proven not necessary, indicate on the Petition and provide the last known address for each parent. Complete an Affidavit (Civ R 4.4) and Form AD.2.3 – Order for Publication if the residence is unknown.
  • If they wish to consent, a notice of appearance must be filed, they must complete a birth parent assessment, and they must appear before the Court for a relinquishment hearing.


For the Birth Parent(s) Attorney:

Prepare these forms and deliver them, unsigned, to the Court the day before the relinquishment hearing. They are to be signed at the hearing. Note: The relinquishment hearing is held no earlier than 72 hours after the birth parent assessment.

  • Form 18.3 – Consent to Adoption.
  • Form AD.6.1 – Application for Approval of Placement.
  • Form AD.6.3 – Withdrawal of Consent.
  • Form AD.7 – Addendum to Consent.


Fill out and file these forms/materials:

  • Certified copy of the custody/guardianship order.
  • Certified copy of the long form birth certificate of the child (contains doctor and hospital’s name).
  • Certified copy of the original Birth Certificate for the petitioner(s).
  • Certified copy of the Petitioner’s Marriage License Abstract (from the Court that issued the license).
  • A copy of the Petitioner’s Social Security Card.
  • Form 18.0 – Petition for Adoption of Minor.
  • Form 18.1 – Judgment Entry Setting Hearing and Ordering Notice.
  • Form 18.3 – Consent to Adoption.
  • Form 18.7 – Final Decree of Adoption.
  • Form 18.9 – Final Accounting (must be filed before the final hearing will is set).
  • Form 18.9 – Petitioner’s Account (must be filed with the Petition).
  • Form AD.2.1 – Order for Home Study Assessment (signed by attorney). All persons living in the home must be present for the home study, including children.
  • Form AD.2.2 – Instructions for Criminal Background Checks and Results.
  • Form AD.2.2.a – Physician’s Report on Child to be Adopted (within 6 months of filing).
  • Form AD.2.3 – Affidavit and Order for Publication (if applicable).
  • Form AD.6.1 – Application for Approval of Placement.
  • Form AD.6.3 – Withdrawal of Consent.
  • Form AD.7 – Addendum to Consent.
  • Form HEA 2757 – Certificate of Adoption.
  • Form JFS 1616 – Social Medical History (must be submitted prior to the birth parent assessment).
  • Form JFS 1653 – Medical Statement for Adoption Applicant and All Household members over 18 (within 1 year of filing).
  • Form JFS 1681 – Application Financial Statement.
  • Form JFS 1691 – Application for Child Placement (include all household members).
  • Form JFS 1695 – Application for Search of Ohio Putative Father Registry
  • Four Letters of Reference (all letters to include how long they have known the petitioner, a specific reference to the petitioner’s family unit, and an original signature).
    • If self-employed, a letter from a co-worker
    • One letter from a clergy member or employer
    • Three letters from non-relatives (in-laws are considered relatives)
  • If applicable, a certified copy of the divorce decree and child support orders of both parents and a current CSEA printout if support is being paid out from a previous relationship/marriage (from the Court that issued the divorce decree).


Filing Fees:

  • The filing fee is $714.00 for the first child and $314.00 for each additional child.
  • If you use a credit card, a 3% charge will be added.
  • The attorney fee for the birth parent(s) is the responsibility of the petitioners.
  • Make checks payable to the “Summit County Probate Court.”
  • If after the paperwork is filed and the decision is made to the change the adoptee’s name, an amended Form 18.0 must be filed with Court. The filing fee for this amended form is $30.00.