What are the requirements to adopt a child?

To adopt a child you generally must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Adoptive parents must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Adoptive parents must be mature and financially stable.
  • Adoptive parents must be willing to share information about their background and their lifestyle.
  • Adoptive parents must provided references.
  • Adoptive parents must be able to show proof of a marriage or divorce.
  • Adoptive parents must agree to a home study.
  • Adoptive parents must submit to a criminal background check.
  • Adoptive parents must be willing to attend all necessary training.

If you want to be a foster parent you must also prove you have adequate sleeping space for all children, you have no more than 6 children in the home, including your own children, you have vaccinated your pets, you have passed all safety inspections, you have completed CPR certification, and you continue to attend annual training classes each year.

Adoption is a very serious commitment. Taking a child into your home and rearing them is a life-long responsibility which should not be considered without fully understanding the requirements. So in addition to the requirements listed above, adoptive parents should also be emotionally, physically and financially ready for the adoption.

Other requirements for adoptive parents include providing daily care and nurturing of adopted children, acting as positive role models for the children, and helping the children learn life skills. Children will also have many emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs which can vary by a child’s developmental age and which must be provided by parents. If you are not able to provide a permanent and lifelong commitment to an adoptive child into adulthood than adoption is not right for you.

Talking to an adoption lawyer about adoption

If you have questions about the legal requirements to adopt a child or you want more information about adoption alternatives in your state, talk to an adoption lawyer. State laws and requirements for adoptive parents may vary by state.

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