When beginning the adoption process, many potential adoptive parents are confused on how to start the process. While most citizens can adopt in the United States, some necessary domestic adoption requirements need to be considered before working with an adoption professional.

Here are the basic domestic adoption requirements you need to know before beginning your adoption journey to expand your forever family:

1. Age limit to adopt depends on the state requirements you reside.

Most states just require the potential adoptive parent to be over the age of 18. However, there are some exceptions to this requirement. For example, in Colorado, Delaware, and Oklahoma the adoptive parent(s) must be over the age of 21. In California, Georgia, New Jersey, South Dakota and Utah the adoptive parent(s) must be ten years older than the child.

2. You must have a completed home study.

You (and your spouse/partner) must have a completed home study before you can be considered for the adoption process. The laws of every State and the District of Columbia require all prospective adoptive parents (no matter how they intend to adopt) to participate in a home study conducted by a licensed social worker or caseworker. The home study allows the potential adoptive parents to prepare for and fully understand the adoption process.

3. You do not have to be married to adopt.

In the U.S., there are no marriage requirements when it comes to adopting a child. As an adoptive parent, you can be single, divorced, married, or in a partnership. However, some states require couples to have been married for a specific amount of time.

4. Same-sex Couples and LGBTQ Individuals may adopt.

In most states, same-sex or LGBTQ individuals can adopt. Check your state laws for the most recent updates to the law regarding this topic.

5. You must be a U.S. resident.

To adopt a child domestically, you must be a legal resident of the United States of America.

6. There is no religious requirement to adopt.

You do not have to practice a particular religion or be religious to adopt.

7. You must be in good health mentally and physically.

To adopt, you must be physically and mentally healthy. When you’re home study is completed, the social worker or caseworker will evaluate this.

8. You can adopt even if you have prior children.

If you have other children, either biologically or adopted, you can still adopt domestically.

9. Past criminal history may affect your adoption approval.

If you have a criminal background of child abuse, violence, domestic violence, or previous felony arrests then you may not adopt in the U.S. However, acceptance to adopt with a past criminal record will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

 

information taken from Childwelfare.gov

 

 

Domestic Adoption Requirements in the US

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