Except as otherwise provided in this section, an assessor shall conduct a home study for the purpose of ascertaining whether a person seeking to adopt a minor is suitable to adopt. A written report of the home study shall be filed with the court at least ten days before the petition for adoption is heard.
A person seeking to adopt a minor who knowingly makes a false statement that is included in the written report of a home study conducted pursuant to this section is guilty of the offense of falsification under section 2921.13 of the Revised Code , and such a home study shall not be filed with the court. If such a home study is filed with the court, the court may strike the home study from the court's records.
The report shall contain the opinion of the assessor as to whether the person who is the subject of the report is suitable to adopt a minor, any multiple children assessment required under section 3107.032 of the Revised Code , and other information and documents specified in rules adopted by the director of job and family services under section 3107.033 of the Revised Code . The assessor shall not consider the person's age when determining whether the person is suitable to adopt if the person is old enough to adopt as provided by section 3107.03 of the Revised Code .
An assessor may request departments or agencies within or outside this state to assist in the home study as may be appropriate and to make a written report to be included with and attached to the report to the court. The assessor shall make similar home studies and reports on behalf of other assessors designated by the courts of this state or another place.
Upon order of the court, the costs of the home study and other proceedings shall be paid by the person seeking to adopt, and, if the home study is conducted by a public agency or public employee, the part of the cost representing any services and expenses shall be taxed as costs and paid into the state treasury or county treasury, as the court may direct.
On request, the assessor shall provide the person seeking to adopt a copy of the report of the home study. The assessor shall delete from that copy any provisions concerning the opinion of other persons, excluding the assessor, of the person's suitability to adopt a minor.
This section does not apply to a foster caregiver seeking to adopt the foster caregiver's foster child if the foster child has resided in the foster caregiver's home for at least six months prior to the date the foster caregiver submits an application prescribed under division (B) of section 3107.012 of the Revised Code to the agency arranging the adoption.
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