“Family Forward” Initiative to Provide Families Financial Relief During Adoption Process Announced

COLUMBUS – In conjunction with National Adoption Month, State Representative Jon Cross (R – Kenton), along with Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, today unveiled the Family Forward initiative, which aims to ease the financial burden placed on families navigating the adoption process. A press conference was hosted with Rep. Cross, Treasurer Sprague, and adoption parties today at the Ohio Statehouse.

“It’s a tremendous honor to sponsor and champion legislation that can remove financial barriers to the adoption process through the Treasurer’s Family Forward initiative,” said Representative Cross. “The adoption process should be a celebration of life, love, and family, and this bill can help Ohioans secure funding needed to start the adoption process.”

Today in Ohio, the rate of children entering foster care sits at an historic high. According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, as many as 19,000 children could be in the state’s foster care system by next year. This comes at a time when families navigating the adoption process face costs ranging from $10,000 to over $50,000.

The Family Forward proposal will provide financial relief to prospective parents through a linked deposit loan program administered by the Ohio Treasurer’s office. Under the plan, individuals or families seeking to adopt may be eligible for reduced interest loans that can be used for qualified adoption expenses up to $50,000.

Qualified expenses include (but are not limited to) 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 when necessary for prospective parents.

Loan applicants would work with an eligible lending institution to apply for a loan through Family Forward. Once the loan is approved, the Treasurer’s office deposits funds with the lending institution at a below market rate. The lending institution then passes the interest savings on to the borrowers via a reduced interest rate.

Family Forward’s reduced interest rate will mirror similar rates made possible through the Ohio Treasurer’s existing linked deposit loan programs (Ag-LINK, ECO-Link, GrowNOW, ReEnergize Ohio).

For more information, please contact Representative Cross’ office at 614-466-3819 or via email at Rep83@ohiohouse.gov.