Skip to Resources Section
Information and Procedure    

Initial Deposit ( Cash / Check / Money Order Only) 
$291.00 filing fee per case
$20 Extra (If more then one child being adopted and they have the same biological parents)
$12.40 Certified Mail (If needed)
$35.00 Each Petitioner for BCI 
$600.00 (Approximately) for Publication, if needed

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

Petition for Adoption for Minor (Form 18.0) with filing fee

Consent to Adoption (Form 18.3)

Financial Statement

Personal and Medical Information Form

Affidavit of Custody for Minors

Affidavit of Unknown Residence (If needed)

Certificate of Adoption

PLEASE NOTE: THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS MUST BE MET OR WE CANNOT ACCEPT YOUR PETITION

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

BCI&I Each petitioner is required to have a criminal background check completed in order to adopt.
ESC of the Western Reserve, https://www.lakeesc.org/Fingerprinting.aspx 
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 petitionPutative Father Registry Form:   www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms
Online Putative Father Registry Search http://pfr-pub.jfs.ohio.gov/WedForms/Search.aspx

Publication
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



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

Basic Adoption Packet
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