OFY Cares Blog

Change…Not many people like it. Usually when it occurs it’s necessary, needed or it’s someone else’s idea. There has been a bunch of changes at Options for Families and Youth (OFY) and guess what? It’s because of me!

I have been in the human services field for 44 years now and have worked in the private child welfare sector partnering with public agencies. Those agencies have been charged with protecting children, teens and young adults who are dependent or have been abused or neglected.

Twenty-eight of those years have been with OFY, the non-profit founded by myself and my wife, Debbie. It’s been quite an experience and it’s time for a change.



First-time foster parents, who are also approved to be adoptive parents, learn very quickly when they receive their first foster child that there are ‘no guarantees.’ “No guarantees’ meaning the foster child placed in your home will be able to be adopted. Our preplacement training classes help prepare our foster parents for the hard work that lies ahead in fostering a child who is new to their family; who regularly visits their biological family members; who has the internal conflicts that go along with visiting their bio family and leaving them (usually weekly) and returning to their foster home. All that, in addition to the trauma that child has experienced through their initial placement away from their bio family and perhaps, abuse and neglect resulting from that bio family’s own issues. Our classes are intended to help prepare foster parents but they are no substitute for the actual experience of being a foster parent.

Options for Families and Youth is a Hague Accredited Adoption Service Provider for International Adoption. What exactly does that mean? Simply stated, it means that Options for Families and Youth is qualified to help families in Ohio with international home study and post placement adoption services. 

That is why families contact our agency. They are searching for an accredited adoption service provider that is qualified to provide them with the help they need throughout the adoption journey and beyond.   We listen and answer their questions when they call. We help to simplify the process and point families in the direction that they want to go. 

We received our Hague accreditation three years ago. This is the story of our first family who went from two to four…..     

A home study is the primary focus of the initial steps to adopting a child. 

Options for Families and Youth (OFY) is a COA accredited/Hague-approved adoption service provider in Ohio that is licensed to complete international home studies for prospective adoptive families in Ohio.  As such, we can complete the home study process for anyone interested in adopting a child from another country. 

It starts with paperwork, and more paperwork, and even more paperwork. 

It’s a process. 

We need to collect information and documentation about your family that is required by the country from which you want to adopt. 

This includes:

-          An Ohio Adoption Application:   http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/results1.asp   (form number JFS 01691)

-          Authorization from applicants for OFY to check Child Abuse Registries

So, you’re thinking about adoption.   What a beautiful and wonderful experience it will be to welcome a child into your family who is in need of a forever family. 

Maybe you heard about adoption in church…..  

Maybe you know someone who has adopted….

Maybe you are facing infertility and really want to be parents….

Whatever the case may be, God has laid adoption on your heart.  You may be wondering, “Now where to start?”  

Good question. 

Most people start on the internet and talking with people they know who have adopted. 

Then the questions begin:

·         What are the types of adoption?

·         What is the cost of adopting a child?

·         How long does it take?

·         Which agency should we contact?

·         What questions should we ask?

The list can go on and on. 

Hopefully, this post will provide some user-friendly, brief answers to some of your initial questions.


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