Step 3 Homestudy Paperwork

Your Ohio Adoption Application JFS 1691 has been received by Spirit of Faith Adoptions and you have completed Step 2. 

To complete Step 3, Ellie will provide you with a checklist.  All requested information on that checklist must be submitted within 180 days of our receipt of your JFS1691 Adoption Application. She will email an updated checklist periodically to keep you updated on the status of the paperwork needed to complete your file.  Once all paperwork has been submitted and reviewed, an adoption assessor will contact you to schedule the first of two home study interview meetings.  Please note:  for the home study meetings, the state requires that we complete the Home Safety Audit by walking through your home.  And, if we can't pass a white glove test at home, we certainly don't expect you to!  As Ellie says, "Do not overdo the cleaning and organizing. We are all human beings living in our homes."  :)

To complete Step 3:

1. We highly recommend ordering and reading the following books. They will be referenced frequently while you are working through Step 3:

The Connected Child By Dr. Karyn Purvis

Growing Up Black In White by Kevin Hofmann

Fireweed by our very own Jennifer Mae

4. Print, Complete, and Upload These Documents: 

Fire Inspection Form (to be completed by a fire inspector in your city.  You will need to contact and schedule a home visit)

Applicant Financial Statement

Medical Statement (Required for each household member)

Fire Escape Plan Template (Please include emergency plans for tornado & fire)

Child Characteristics Checklist JFS 1673-A (download to your computer before filling out)

5. Upload Copies of These Documents:

Copies of birth certificates for each household member

Copy of marriage certificate

Copy of divorce decree if applicable

Copies of pay stubs for a two-month period (must be dated within 6 months of the home study completion date)

A copy of (1) month's utility bills, including each utility necessary to maintain the household

A copy of veterinary records for pets in the home (if applicable) 

6. Obtain Criminal Background Checks

Both BCI and FBI reports are required for all applicants and household members 18 years of age and older.  Please have your prints taken electronically. Locations can be found here:

Background checks should be run using code 2151 86. Reports must be mailed directly to Spirit of Faith Adoptions, 3315 Centennial Rd., Suite A-1, Sylvania, OH  43560. 

Note: Household members who turn 18 years of age will need to have BCI and FBI background checks initiated within ten working days of the individual's eighteenth birthday.

7Reference Forms

In addition to the spiritual reference obtained during the initial inquiry step, Spirit of Faith Adoptions is required to obtain four (4) personal references, as well as employment and childcare/volunteer references as applicable. The type of references required will be based on the information you list on your JFS 1691 Application for Child Placement form. You are welcome to email the reference link to your references.  In some cases, the same person may be providing more than one type of references. If you have seen a mental health therapist within the past 5 years, we require a letter, written by the therapist and printed on the therapist's letterhead. This letter may be submitted here.  Once we receive all required references, we will inform you and we will contact each reference to verify their information. You may want to alert them ahead of time. The contents of each reference is confidential and will be included in your home study document.

8.  Pre-Service Training:  12 hours is required for foster/adoptive parents and this will be provided by SOFA staff.  These courses are scheduled during the months of March, June, September and December.  Ellie will notify you of the date(s) in advance.  This must be completed in order to complete Step 3. 

7. Home Study Meetings:  Your home study interviews will take place, your home study will be written and then you will be notified that you have completed Step 3. This step is a big one!  Contact us if you need anything along the way!

Questions?:  419-843-5355 or email us:

1. Phillip Wurster, Adoptive Parent/Director (financial and legal)

[email protected]

2. Ellie Hartford, Adoptive Parent/Adoption Services Specialist (paperwork)

[email protected]

3. Stacy Knox, former Single Mom/Program Director (oversees expectant parent services and provides support for families from Matching through Placement: Steps 4-6)

[email protected]

or click to schedule a phone meeting or Zoom meeting

We look forward to guiding you through your adoption journey, one step at a time.