For decades, Medina County JFS has been helping connect children who need homes with families who are willing to expand their homes. November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and we want to highlight the process of adoption for our community. If you’ve been thinking about opening up your home to include another child to love, now is the time to consider taking the steps to make that happen.
The frequently asked questions below provide valuable information that will guide you in these next steps.
Last year, we completed four adoptions. This year, we are on track to complete nine adoptions by the end of the year. We typically do not complete many adoptions for a county our size, because our first goal is always reunification with the birth family. Other children may be adopted by their foster family, once the parental rights have been terminated, or legal custody may be given to kinship relatives.
Our community generally has school-age children and teenagers who are awaiting adoption. Our website lists the children who are waiting and available for adoption. We encourage you to check out the website if you are interested in the children who are available for adoption through our agency.
It depends. Some children are very open to it and eager to be welcomed into a new family. Other children are reticent. Our case workers know how to work with these children. We walk them through what the process will look like and the advantages of living in a stable environment with a loving family. Most of all, we help them understand that their new family won’t replace their birth family.
We partner with Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) through Northeast Ohio Adoption Services to find an adoptive family for children when they don’t have family placement options. These children are assigned a case worker who meets with the child every month. The case worker carries a much smaller caseload to ensure that each child gets the time, resources, and support they need to make this important transition into finding a new home and becoming part of a family.
Yes! Approximately 35% of adoptions are what is called “kinship” families. This can be a blood relative or someone who knows the child, such as a teacher, coach, or family friend. Kinship family adoptions are often an ideal way to help reinforce a child’s cultural identity and to maintain traditions. When a blood relative adopts a child, they are also able to maintain family connections. In both cases, connection to family or other familiar adults can help children feel safe and often lessens the trauma they have transitioning into a new family.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is encouraging kinship families who have taken placement to become licensed as foster parents. The kinship families take the same training as traditional foster families and follow the same home study process. In some cases, the kinship family may be approved to take legal custody of a child versus adoption. This may be a more appropriate route for completion of a case.
Learn more about how the foster care program works and consider if your family is ready to welcome a new member.
Visit our website and fill out the inquiry form to get connected with one of our case workers.