AdoptUSKids For Families

Getting Approved to Adopt


After you have finished applying to adopt and are in the process of completing your home study, you will have a period of waiting. During this time, your caseworker will be finishing background checks and verifying the various pieces of information you have provided.

Typically, the above steps conclude with a written home study report reflecting your caseworker's findings. These findings will determine whether you’re eligible to adopt. These findings will often include the age range and number of children recommended for your family along with the conditions and characteristics of the children that you want, and the caseworker concurs, that you can successfully integrate into your family. This decision may take some time as it’s done on a case-by-case basis unless there is a criminal record or overriding safety concern that would preclude an agency from approving your home study.


What You Need to Do


Ready to Take the Next Step?

Once your home study is finalized and you have been approved to adopt, the search begins for being matched with a child.

If you’re not approved or able to adopt at this point in your journey, consider other
ways to help children in foster care.


Stay in Contact With Your Caseworker


While your caseworker finishes background checks and verifying other information in your application to adopt, it’s good to keep in contact with them so you can readily provide answers to follow-up questions.

If you have concerns about something specific that might disqualify you from adopting, now is the time to talk with your caseworker about it. Some agencies may be able to work with your family, depending on the specifics of the incident and its resolution. It’s best to be honest and upfront about anything that could be a cause for concern. Aside from a criminal record or overriding safety concerns that would preclude agencies from approving your home study, the decision to qualify your family is made on a case-by-case basis. If your caseworker finds you to be deceptive or dishonest, or if documents collected during the home study process expose inconsistencies, the agency may not approve your home study.

For more information about disqualifying crimes, see Child Welfare Information Gateway’s summary of state laws on criminal background checks for prospective foster and adoptive parents.


Ask to Review a Copy of Your Home Study


Home studies are used to introduce your family to other agencies, adoption exchanges, and to the caseworkers for the children you express interest in adopting. The home study report lets child caseworkers at these agencies and exchanges know you have been approved to adopt. It also provides information on what your family can offer a child. For example, your home study might say that your home is wheelchair accessible or that you’re very interested in adopting a sibling group.

If you aren’t given a copy of your home study, you should ask to see it so you can look it over and correct any inaccuracies. Depending on the agency you work with and the child you want to adopt, this information could be shared with birth parents or others. If you have questions or concerns about the confidentiality of your information, verify with your agency how extensively it will be shared.

If you’re not ready or able to become licensed to adopt after the completion of your home study, find other ways to help children in foster care.


Network While You Wait


While waiting to become approved to adopt, you may have a hard time understanding why it takes so long to complete the paperwork, or are concerned about what will be put on the record about you and your household.

Now is a good time to find your local foster care and adoption support group or network through AdoptUSKids’ online community with other foster and adoptive parents. These are great sources of support and encouragement, and can help you pass the time while you wait.


Find Other Way to Help Children in Foster Care


If you’re not ready or able to be approved for adoption at this time, please consider other ways to help children in foster care. You have valuable abilities that can be put to work for children, such as being a community volunteer, respite worker, office assistant, tutor or mentor to teens, babysitter, or assistant recruiter. Discuss these options and others with your caseworker.


Regularly Review Profiles of
Waiting Children on AdoptUSKids


We host the country’s most comprehensive photolisting of children in foster care available for adoption. You can search for children based on age, number of children in a sibling group, geographic location, and more.

We also provide free and secure registration for families who are home studied and approved to adopt from foster care so they can create a family profile and make inquires on children directly through our website.


Ready to take the next step?

Once your home study is finalized and you have been approved to adopt, the search begins for being matched with a child.

If you’re not approved or able to adopt at this point in your journey, consider other
ways to help children in foster care.



Chat Unavailable

Get Social

Request to be contacted - get more information!
Find out about our array of free services for families and child welfare professionals.
Meet the children in foster care by exploring our database with thousands of children who need permanent, loving homes.
Join the conversation in AdoptUSKids online communities to connect and share with families and child welfare professionals.
Read our news and announcements to learn what is new in the field of adoption and foster care.
Find inspiration through these real stories of success from families and youth whose lives have been changed for the better because of foster care and adoption.
Sign up for our Newsletter