3107.055 Preliminary estimate and final accounting - summary of proceedings.

(A) Notwithstanding section 3107.01 of the Revised Code, as used in this section, "agency" does not include a public children services agency.

(B) An agency or attorney, whichever arranges a minor's adoption, shall file with the court a preliminary estimate accounting not later than the time the adoption petition for the minor is filed with the court. The agency or attorney, whichever arranges the adoption, also shall file a final accounting with the court before a final decree of adoption is issued or an interlocutory order of adoption is finalized for the minor. The agency or attorney shall complete and file accountings in a manner acceptable to the court.

An accounting shall specify all disbursements of anything of value the petitioner, a person on the petitioner's behalf, and the agency or attorney made and has agreed to make in connection with the minor's permanent surrender under division (B) of section 5103.15 of the Revised Code, placement under section 5103.16 of the Revised Code, and adoption under this chapter. The agency or attorney shall include in an accounting an itemization of each expense listed in division (C) of this section. The itemization of the expenses specified in divisions (C)(3) and (4) of this section shall show the amount the agency or attorney charged or is going to charge for the services and the actual cost to the agency or attorney of providing the services. An accounting shall indicate whether any expenses listed in division (C) of this section do not apply to the adoption proceeding for which the accounting is filed.

The agency or attorney shall include with a preliminary estimate accounting and a final accounting a written statement signed by the petitioner that the petitioner has reviewed the accounting and attests to its accuracy.

(C) No petitioner, person acting on a petitioner's behalf, or agency or attorney shall make or agree to make any disbursements in connection with the minor's permanent surrender, placement, or adoption other than for the following:

(1) Physician expenses incurred on behalf of the birth mother or minor in connection with prenatal care, delivery, and confinement prior to or following the minor's birth;

(2) Hospital or other medical facility expenses incurred on behalf of the birth mother or minor in connection with the minor's birth;

(3) Expenses charged by the attorney arranging the adoption for providing legal services in connection with the placement and adoption, including expenses incurred by the attorney pursuant to sections 3107.031 , 3107.032 , 3107.081 , 3107.082 , 3107.09 , 3107.101 , and 3107.12 of the Revised Code;

(4) Expenses charged by the agency arranging the adoption for providing services in connection with the permanent surrender and adoption, including the agency's application fee and the expenses incurred by the agency pursuant to sections 3107.031 , 3107.032 , 3107.09 , 3107.101 , 3107.12 , 5103.151 , and 5103.152 of the Revised Code;

(5) Temporary costs of routine maintenance and medical care for a minor required under section 5103.16 of the Revised Code if the person seeking to adopt the minor refuses to accept placement of the minor;

(6) Guardian ad litem fees incurred on behalf of the minor in any court proceedings;

(7) Foster care expenses incurred in connection with any temporary care and maintenance of the minor;

(8) Court expenses incurred in connection with the minor's permanent surrender, placement, and adoption;

(9) Living expenses not exceeding three thousand dollars for the birth mother that are incurred during pregnancy through the sixtieth day after the date the minor is born and paid by the petitioner to the birth mother through the attorney or agency arranging the minor's adoption.

(D) If a court determines from an accounting that an amount that is going to be disbursed for an expense listed in division (C) of this section is unreasonable, the court may order a reduction in the amount to be disbursed. If a court determines from an accounting that an unreasonable amount was disbursed for an expense listed in division (C) of this section, the court may order the person who received the disbursement to refund to the person who made the disbursement an amount the court orders.

If a court determines from an accounting that a disbursement for an expense not permitted by division (C) of this section is going to be made, the court may issue an injunction prohibiting the disbursement. If a court determines from an accounting that a disbursement for an expense not permitted by division (C) of this section was made, the court may order the person who received the disbursement to return it to the person who made the disbursement.

If a court determines that a final accounting does not completely report all the disbursements that are going to be made or have been made in connection with the minor's permanent surrender, placement, and adoption, the court shall order the agency or attorney to file with the court an accounting that completely reports all such disbursements.

The agency or attorney shall file the final accounting with the court not later than ten days prior to the date scheduled for the final hearing on the adoption. The court may not issue a final decree of adoption or finalize an interlocutory order of adoption of a minor until at least ten days after the agency or attorney files the final accounting.

(E) This section does not apply to an adoption by a stepparent whose spouse is a biological or adoptive parent of the minor.

Cite as R.C. § 3107.055

History. Effective Date: 09-21-2006; 2008 HB7 04-07-2009