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How to Adopt
There are seven basic steps to adopting from U.S. foster care. The first step is deciding you want to pursue adoption and contacting an adoption agency. It usually takes about a year from the time you first contact an agency to the time when a child is placed with you. This estimate can vary depending on the agency you’re working with and the State where you live.
Learn more about the seven steps to adoption below, including a video overview of what each step involves. If you aren’t sure you’re ready for adoption, you can also find out how to foster or contact us.
Seven Steps to Adoption
and Foster Care
The video is an excerpt from our film The Road to Adoption and Foster Care. You can also watch the entire film (Flash – 1:45 hr.).
Deciding to Pursue Adoption
Deciding to pursue adoption from U.S. foster care is the first step and where you will contact a local adoption agency and attend an orientation meeting.
Applying to Adopt
Applying to adopt is the second step and where you will complete required training and your application to adopt.
Completing an Adoption Home Study
Completing a home study is the third step and where your caseworker meets with you in your home to determine if you’re ready to adopt.
Getting Approved to Adopt
Getting approved to adopt is the fourth step where background checks are done and your home study is completed.
Being Matched with a Child
Being matched with a child is the fifth step and where the needs of a child or sibling group are matched with your family.
Receiving an Adoptive Placement
Receiving and preparing for an adoptive placement is the sixth step and happens after a potential adoptive match is indentified and agreed upon by you, your caseworker, and a child’s caseworker.
Legalizing an Adoption
Legalizing an adoption is the seventh and final step that is a judicial proceeding usually about six months to a year after a child is placed with you.