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Initial Deposit ( Cash / Check / Money Order Only) 

$416.00 filing fee per case
$20 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

Refinalizing Adoption Packet
Financial Statement
Personal & Medical Info Form
Certificate of Adoption

All Forms Can Be Mailed To
Lake County Probate Court
P.O. Box 490
Painesville, Oh 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”
    • Also, at the time of filing we require all originals AND their translation from the foreign country. These will remain with the Court until finalization hearing.
  • CERTIFIED birth certificate for each person being adopted
  • Forms
    • Refinalization Petition for Adoption of Minor (Form 18.0) with filing fee
    • Consent to Adoption (Form 18.3) (If Applicable)
    • Financial Statement
    • Personal and Medical Information Form
    • Affidavit of Custody for Minors
    • Certificate of Adoption


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 your Assessment:

  • a photo ID 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 copies of support orders for children from previous marriage(s)


  • Each petitioner is required to have a criminal background check completed in order to adopt
    • Lake County 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


  • 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