Providing Adoptive Parents With Information About Adoptees and Their Birth Families - Ohio

Date: August 2020

Agency or Person Preparing the Report

Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.014

Social and medical histories must be completed by an assessor. Only an individual who meets all the following requirements may perform the duties of an assessor:

  • The individual must be in the employ of, appointed by, or under contract with a court, public children's services agency, private child-placing agency, or private noncustodial agency.
  • The individual must be one of the following:
    • A licensed professional clinical counselor, professional counselor, social worker, or marriage and family therapist
    • A licensed psychologist
    • A student working to earn a 4-year postsecondary or higher degree in a social or behavioral science who conducts assessor's duties under the supervision of a trained assessor
    • A civil service employee engaging in social work without a license
    • A former employee of a public children's services agency who, while so employed, conducted the duties of an assessor
  • The individual must complete training in accordance with rules adopted under § 3107.015.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person

Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.12

The report of a prefinalization assessment shall include all the following:

  • The adjustment of the child to the adoptive placement
  • The present and anticipated needs of the child, as determined by a review of the child's medical and social histories, for adoption-related services, including assistance under title IV-E or § 5153.163 and counseling, case management services, crisis services, diagnostic services, and therapeutic counseling
  • The physical, mental, and developmental conditions of the child
  • If known, the child's birth family background, including identifying information about the birth or other legal parents
  • The reasons for the child's placement with the petitioner and the circumstances under which the child was placed in the home of the petitioner
  • The attitude of the child toward the proposed adoption, if the child's age makes this feasible
  • If the child is an Indian child, how the placement complies with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
  • If known, the child's psychological background, including prior abuse of the child and behavioral problems of the child

The assessor shall provide a copy of the written report of the assessment to the petitioner with the identifying information about the birth or other legal parents redacted.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family

Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.09

An assessor shall record the social and medical histories of the birth parents of a child available for adoption. The assessor shall use the forms prescribed by the Department of Job and Family Services. The assessor shall not include on the forms identifying information about the birth parents or other ancestors of the child.

Social histories shall describe the following about the birth parents:

  • Age
  • Ethnic, racial, religious, marital, and physical characteristics
  • Educational and cultural backgrounds, talents and hobbies, and work experience

Medical histories shall identify the following:

  • Major diseases, malformations, allergies, and ear or eye defects
  • Major conditions and major health problems that are or may be congenital or familial

These histories may include other social and medical information relative to the birth parents and shall include social and medical information relative to the child's other ancestors.

When the Report Is Made

Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.12

The assessor shall file the prefinalization report with the court no later than 20 days prior to the date scheduled for the final hearing on the adoption, unless the court determines there is good cause for filing the report at a later date.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.09; 3107.12

An assessor shall record the social and medical histories of the birth parents unless the child is to be adopted by his or her stepparent or grandparent.

A prefinalization assessment is not required if the petitioner is the child's stepparent, unless, after determining a prefinalization assessment is in the best interests of the child, a court orders such an assessment.