Cleveland Family Law Attorneys

What Adoption Expenses Are Recoverable Under Ohio Law?


According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, there are more than 3,200 children in foster care homes waiting to be adopted.

In an effort to ease financial concerns, the Ohio legislature has passed legislation that allows families to recover certain adoption expenses. Any family that is thinking about adopting a child in Ohio should understand what financial benefits may be available.

Financial Subsidies Available to Adopting Families

Ohio provides various financial subsidy programs to help families meet the financial burdens of adopting children. These programs include:

  • Non-Recurring Adoption Expense Subsidy
  • State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy Program and Title IV-E Adoption Assistance
  • State Adoption Assistance Loan Fund Program
  • Post-Adoption Special Services Subsidy Program

Ohio wants to help families that adopt children with special needs. In this regard, through the non-recurring adoption expenses subsidy, families who adopt children with special needs can receive a one-time reimbursement for certain expenses, such as supervision of placements prior to adoption, attorneys’ fees, and court costs. Also, the State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy Program and Title IV-E Adoption Assistance provide monthly financial support to encourage the adoption of children with special needs.

The State Adoption Assistance Loan Fund Program helps prospective adoptive parents with the costs of adopting by providing parents with a $3,000 loan if the child lives in Ohio and a $2,000 loan if the child lives out of the state. The loan can be used to pay for adoption fees, court costs, legal fees, and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption of a child. Finally, the Post-Adoption Special Services Subsidy Program provides services to adoptive families whose children may be experiencing adoption-related difficulties or issues that were pre-existing. These services include medical, psychological, and psychiatric services, residential treatment, and respite care.

Adoption of Tax Benefits

In December 2014, Ohio Governor Kasich signed legislation into law that provides various adoption reform measures. These reforms include the elimination of unnecessary costs, protecting birth parents and adoptive families, preventing fraud, and minimizing the bureaucracy in the Ohio adoption process.

Importantly, the legislation increases the state tax credit available to adopting families. The legislation increased the tax credit from $1,500 tax credit to $10,000. The State Adoption Tax Credit is limited to $10,000 per child adopted during the taxable year, and any unused amounts can be carried forward for up to two years. Ohio Right to Life, a proponent of the legislation, said that the tax credit increase is necessary to help middle-class and low-income Ohio families who are “unable to adopt due to the accumulation of expenses during the adoption process.”

There is also a Federal Adoption Tax Credit available to families, which provides a nonrefundable credit of $13,190 per child. The tax credit applies to qualified adoption expenses, including reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs and attorneys’ fees, travel expenses, and other expenses related directly to the legal adoption of a child.

Contact a Cleveland Adoption Attorney

If you are thinking about adopting a child, a Cleveland adoption attorney can help you understand the process and the benefits that may be available to you. The attorneys at Laubacher & Co. have extensive experience advising families on their legal rights throughout the adoption process to avoid any unnecessary delays and to make the process as seamless as possible. Contact a Cleveland adoption attorney today for a free consultation.