If you decide to create your family or add to it through adoption, there are many adoption agencies that can help. If you are interested in domestic adoption, meaning adoption within the United States, there are several requirements to be aware of.
While the specific requirements for domestic adoption may vary by agency, the first item you will need to consider is whether you are eligible for their program. The agency may require applicants to meet age, health, income and marital status criteria. Most agencies charge fees, so it’s important to have funds set aside for those costs.
You and your spouse, if applicable, will also be required to complete a home study. A home study is a review of your living environment, as well as your lifestyle. It may include an interview, background check and references.
The adoption agency may want to meet with your family, friends or others who can attest to your character and how they believe you would adjust to parenthood.
Many agencies also require applicants to complete adoption education and training.
Once you have completed all of the requirements, there is often a waiting period before you are matched with a child. Then, once you are placed with the child, the agency may require a post-placement visit to ensure everyone is adjusting to the new addition.
Before the adoption can be finalized in court, the birth parents’ rights must be terminated. Once the adoption is final, you will have the same rights and responsibilities as a birth parent.