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Basic Adoption


Initial Deposit ( Cash / Check / Money Order Only) 
$394 filing fee per case
$40 Each additional child (If children have the same biological parents)
Additional cost if Restricted/ Certified Mail is required 
Cost for BCI, Paid to the ESC of the Western Reserve 
Cost for Publication, Paid to the News Herald

Basic Adoption Packet
Petition for Adoption of Minor
Affidavit of Custody of Minors
Financial Statement
Personal Medical Info Form
Form 18.0 Petition for Adoption of Minor
Form 18.3 Consent to Adoption
Certificate of Adoption
Affidavit of Unknown Residence

All forms can be mailed to:
Lake County Probate Court
P.O. Box 490
Painesville, Ohio 44077

Petitioner(s) are REQUIRED to have five (5) letters of recommendation
-Only two (2) of these letters are permitted to be from relatives on either side of the family
-These letters are to be addressed to JUDGE MARK J. BARTOLOTTA, and 
MUST contain the address of the writer
-The letter should be sealed in its own envelope, and marked “personal and confidential”

CERTIFIED birth certificate for each person being adopted
Consents to Adoption MUST be notarized and submitted at the same time as all other paperwork


Court Appointed Assessor
When you receive your hearing notice in the mail, you will also receive a form that has your assessor’s name and phone number, contact the assessor (THIS RESPONSIBILITY IS YOURS).

Information regarding your assessment:
Ohio law requires you to be placed under oath before the assessment begins
Each person in the household must be interviewed privately
The child/children will be asked if they want to be adopted (If you have questions about this, please discuss it with the assessor prior to your appointment)
Items required for assessment:
-a photo I.D. for the petitioner(s) and spouse, if any;
-a certified copy of petitioner’s marriage license, if applicable;
-certified copies of any and all divorce papers;
-certified copied of support orders for children from previous marriage

Each petitioner is required to have a criminal background check completed in order to adopt.
ESC of the Western Reserve, 
8221 Auburn Road
Concord Twp., Ohio 44077 
**You must schedule an appointment # 440-350-2563, ext. 788. 
DO NOT complete the prints prior to filing for the adoption

If a last known address of the natural parent(s) is known, even if it is an old address, Probate Court must serve them at that address. IF no address is known, then an Affidavit of Unknown Residence must be filed with the Court

Reasonable diligence includes providing the Court with that parent’s last known address, even if that address is several years old.  

The Court must be satisfied that the petitioner exercised reasonable diligence in ascertaining the nonresidential parent(s) whereabouts and will inquire at the hearing regarding these efforts

Putative Father
If the child was born after January 1, 1997, and there is no father’s name on the birth certificate or paternity was never established, a search of the Ohio Putative Father Registry is required and Probate Court needs the response from the Registry of the search prior to the filing of the adoption petition
Putative Father Registry Form:
Online Putative Father Registry Search

This notice is published in the classifieds once a week for three consecutive weeks
Probate Court will prepare the publication notice but the attorney or the petitioner(s) are responsible to have it published