DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — November is National Adoption Month.

According to AdoptUSKids, more than 3,300 children in Ohio are waiting to be adopted.

The Family Forward program helps drive down the costs of expenses, a common hurdle for those looking to adopt.

Launched in 2021, Family Forward is a program administered by the Ohio treasurer’s office that helps families manage the costs of adoption. In many cases, Family Forward can help prospective parents finance the upfront costs until they are able to take advantage of adoption tax credits.

“Prospective parents face numerous financial hurdles when navigating the adoption process, and far too often, those costs deter families from opening their hearts and homes,” said Ohio treasurer Robert Sprague. “Through Family Forward, the treasurer’s office can make those costs more manageable in order to help more Ohio families take shape.”

Qualified adoption expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Adoption agency expenses
  • Court expenses and legal fees
  • Expenses incurred on behalf of the birth mother
  • Health and psychological examination fees
  • Home studies
  • Travel expenses

Applicants must be an Ohio resident, provide an approved home study letter or show proof that requirements set forth by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services have been met, and receive approval for a qualifying loan from a participating financial institution.

“Adoption is a blessing for both the family and youth, but there is no question that expanding a family can have an impact on household finances,” said Ohio Department of Children and Youth director Kara Wente. “It takes heart to adopt a child or sibling group and we don’t want the cost to stop them.”

Through the program, individuals and families may be eligible for reduced-interest loans that can be used for qualified adoption expenses, up to $50,000 for five years.

To learn more about the program and find participating financial institutions, visit the official Family Forward website.