Finding substantive resources for Ohio birth parents and their supporters can be a challenge. This page includes local and online resources that our members have found helpful and other links of interest. We know the lay of the land when it comes to adoption support in Ohio and can point you in the right direction.

Searching for Lost Family?

Adoption Network Cleveland offers comprehensive search assistance and reunion support for Ohio adoptions.

Support Groups

Adoption Network Cleveland
A non-profit organization in Northeast Ohio that provides support, advocacy and education services for all those touched by adoption…founded by an Ohio adoptee! Each month, ANC hosts amazing support and discussion groups in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton, OH. They have groups for birthparents, adoptees, and general meetings for anyone impacted by adoption.

Central Ohio Adoptees
An informal collective of adult adoptees in Central Ohio. They have an active Facebook page for online support. Click Here to learn more.

Coalition of Adoptive Families
Offering support groups and educational programs in Central Ohio for adoptive parents, primary caregivers and adoptees.

American Adoption Congress
A national organization committed to progressive adoption reforms. If you or your family now live out of state, check their homepage for a listing of affiliated support groups across the country!

Adoption Competent Therapists in Ohio

Dawn Friedman, MSEd, LPC , Building Family Counseling
6649 N High St. Suite LL3, Columbus, OH 43085 / (614) 301-8030 /
Dawn specializes in post-adoption support and is an especially great resource for families navigating open adoption and families with younger children and teens. We highly recommend Dawn!

Penny D. Winkle LISW-S, LPCC S, BCD
3620 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43214 / (614) 262-5677 – We highly recommend Penny!

Jennifer R. Schantz, Ph.D
450 W. Wilson Bridge Road, Suite 350, Worthington, OH 43085  /  (614) 436-6080 ext. 4 – We highly recommend Jennifer!

Programs & Services

OSU Wexner Medical Center- Mental and Behavior Health Resources
OSU Wexner Medical Center offers confidential treatment in a caring environment at Ohio State Harding Hospital, Talbot Addiction Medicine and other Ohio State outpatient sites. OSU Harding Hospital provides the most comprehensive behavioral healthcare services for adults, older adults, children and adolescents in central Ohio- including: crisis management programs, partial hospitalization and outpatient therapy programs, and Women’s Health programs. They offer more treatment options and a more experienced and diversified staff than any other psychiatric or behavioral health care provider in the area.

  • If there is a risk of suicide or violence – Call 911 – Some mental and behavioral health conditions can contribute to the risk of suicide and to acts of violence. If you or another individual have suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself or someone else, call 911 immediately and ask for help to resolve the crisis situation.

Adoption Network Cleveland’s Life Coaching Services
The Life Coaching service offered through Adoption Network Cleveland will help clients recognize and overcome obstacles that may have prevented them from realizing their life’s goals or dreams and then focus on achieving that goal. Adoption Network Cleveland is contracting with Estes Turner, a certified Life Coach, adoptee, and long-time Adoption Network Cleveland volunteer leader to provide this service. Estes is well-respected as someone who has walked an adoption-related journey and is equipped to help anyone navigate a healthy path for the future.” Click here to learn more.

Ohio Family Care Association (OFCA)
OFCA’s programs and advocacy brings together the voices adoptive, foster, kinship, and respite families (resource families) and birth families (primary families) to jointly serve children and families who have contact with public child protective services in Ohio. OFCA sponsors a Primary Parent Advisory Council that helps families who have been in touch with Ohio’s child placement systems have a voice in the child welfare policies that impact their lives.

XIX Recovery Support Services- China Krys Darrington
Our amazing member China provides institutional trainings and peer recovery support services, with special emphasis on issues of adoption and addiction. She’s an incredible resource in Ohio for pregnant women and birthparents who are substance abusing or in recovery- and a resource for anyone who wants to understand the complex intersections between adoption and addiction.

Blogs and Websites of Interest

OBG Adoption Studies Book List
Whether you’re new to adoption or have been navigating the experience for decades, the books on this list will give you important perspectives on adoption issues. Learn how your experience fits into the larger landscape of adoption in the U.S.

Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture
An international academic association dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of adoption.

Lost Daughters
The amazing writers of Lost Daughters are women who are themselves adopted. They write about the institutions and experiences of adoption, paying close attention to the intersections of adoption issues and race, faith, politics, media, relationships and parenting.

Ohio Putative Father Registry
We get a lot of questions about Ohio’s Putative Father Registry and it’s important to understand how Ohio handles the rights of unmarried men in adoption. A putative father is a legal term used to describe an unmarried man who may be the biological father of a child, but who has not had paternity established according to state law. Many states, including Ohio, have a ‘putative father registry’ for men to voluntarily indicate their intention to establish paternity. A putative father must sign up with the registry within a very specific time frame in order to be notified about an adoption involving the child.  Read about Ohio’s putative father laws here and here.