The Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction to finalize adoptions. All Adoption hearings and records are confidential under the law. Those wishing to adopt are required to submit to background checks and a home study investigation to insure their suitability as adoptive parents, with exception of adoptions for an adult.
The different type of adoption proceedings are listed below. If you are not sure how to proceed with the adoption process, please contact an attorney. The Deputy Clerks in Probate Court are prohibited by law from giving legal advice.
Adopted Children Requesting Information on an Adoption
A change in adoption law in 2015 making certain records available to adopted persons did not change the items that Probate Court is allowed to release to the adopted person. Those laws refer to the files and information that belong to the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Please refer to this website to determine their procedure on releasing information: Ohio Department of Health
The one exception to adoption record confidentiality is that we can release medical history (if there is medical history in the file). Please be aware that older cases usually do not contain any medical history. Older adoption records are kept off site and we will not know if that information is available immediately. Please see frequently asked questions below for information on obtaining medical information from an adoption file.