COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced Wednesday a new initiative to ease the financial burden on families navigating the adoption process.
“Family Forward” came as part of a Statehouse press conference that included State Rep. Jon Cross (R-Kenton), who plans on introducing legislation to establish the program.
The program will provide financial relief to prospective parents through a linked deposit loan program from the Ohio Treasurer’s office.
Individuals or families seeking to adopt could be eligible for reduced interest loans that can be used for qualified adoption expenses up to $50,000.
Some expenses include adoption agency expenses, court expenses and fees, expenses incurred on behalf of the birth mother, health and psychological examination fees, home studies and travel expenses.
“Across Ohio, there are families wishing to open their hearts and homes through adoption,” said Treasurer Sprague. “But the financial barriers they face are daunting and enough to deter even the most compassionate of prospective parents. Through Family Forward, we hope to chip away at these financial stressors and provide families with much needed relief.”
The rate of children entering foster care in the state is at an all-time high.
According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, there could be as many as 19,000 children entering the foster care system in the next year.
“Choosing Hope Adoptions is dedicated to helping families successfully navigate the adoption journey,” said Angela Boblitt, Executive Director of Choosing Hope Adoptions. “That is why we are proud to support Family Forward, legislation that will help ease the financial burdens families face during the adoption process. Access to these funds will allow more Ohio adoptive families to lead with a ‘yes’ for the at-risk children in our state.”
The Family Forward’s reduced interest rate will mirror rates made possible through the Ohio Treasurer’s existing linked deposit programs.
The initiative was announced in conjunction with National Adoption Month.