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Elements of adoption: matching family and child

In honor of November as National Adoption Awareness month, we have been talking about the elements of adoption. In our last blog post, we discussed the homestudy. Once that element has been satisfied, an adoptive family can then move on to the next phase, which is matching.

One of the determinations made during a homestudy is the type of child a family could best parent and provide for. A family may be suitable parents to a child with anger or rejection issues, but not as suitable for a disabled child with many medical needs. These issues will have been discussed during the homestudy. The length of time it takes to match a child to a family will depend on what characteristics were demonstrated to be a good fit. For example, a family who demonstrated the ability to care for a complex special medical needs child may be matched quicker, as there are fewer adoptive families able to take on those responsibilities.

Once a child has been matched to a family, the assessor will provide the family with non-identifying details of that child. These can include history of the birth parents, as well as the child's history, interests and any developmental or other delays. If the child does have medical needs, it is recommended that a family discuss those with a pediatrician prior to making a final decision.

After initial assessments are made, and all parties are in agreement to move forward, the assessor will schedule several pre-placement meetings for the child to get to know the family. Once those meetings are completed satisfactorily, a child may be placed with an adoptive family in their home.

After placement, an assessor will visit and assist the child and family for a six month period. Upon completion of those assessments, an adoptive family may petition the court to finalize the adoption.

Source: odjfs.state.oh.us, "Ohio Adoption Guide," Accessed November 27, 2017

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