House Bill 405, or the “Family Forward Initiative”, is a new law passed by the Ohio General Assembly that will become effective on Wednesday March 31, 2021. Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law on December 29, 2020. This new law allows adoptive families to obtain low interest loans to help offset certain adoption-related costs including, among others, adoption agency fees, court and legal fees, birth mother expenses, health and psychological examination fees, home studies, and travel costs.
The “Family Forward Initiative” is intended to minimize the adoption cost hurdle that often confronts families that hope to adopt. Patterned after a similar loan program that Ohio implemented to benefit farmers, the program’s goal is to help place more children in permanent homes with families that desire to adopt.
The Director of “Spirit of Faith Adoptions” (SOFA), Phillip Wurster, provided support to state representatives involved in drafting the legislation for the Family Forward Initiative, including the submission of a letter lending support to the proposed law. Upon passage of the bill, SOFA received a personal note of thanks from the Ohio State Treasurer, Robert Sprague, for SOFA’s support in helping to make this new program a reality.
SOFA is grateful to have lent its support in passage of this bill. It is our hope and prayer that it will benefit many families and children in Ohio.
Written by Adam Wurster, Social Work Intern and Phillip Wurster, Director