What are the qualifications for adoption?

What are the qualifications for adoption?

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  • Answer ✓
    Great answers above! To build on what the ladies above have already told you, I wanted to share some specifics about qualifications to adopt. There are a few things you will want to know right away to make sure there isn't anything that would disqualify you from ever adopting a child. You may understand that you are in the clear, however those who live in your household, whether their names are on the adoption papers or not, will be subject to the scrutiny of a home study. 

    Here are a few of the qualifications that might be a larger issue for some:

    1. Criminal Record
    If you and/or your partner have a criminal record, this may disqualify you automatically, though it will depend on the offense. If the offense was one of domestic violence, felonious assault, an crime against a protect group (disabled, elderly, minors), a case of child abuse, or a sexual offense, you will likely not be eligible to adopt of foster. If anyone who lives if your home has this type of offense on their record, this would also prevent you from adopting. The best route to take if you or anyone in your home has any sort of offense is to present it immediately to your agency and/or caseworker. They would likely be able to tell you straight away if it would pose an issue. Don't try to hide anything. It WILL come up sooner or later.

    2. CPS involvement
    One thing that took my husband and I by surprise was that the case worker who did our homestudy knew every single case, founded or unfounded, where CPS has been involved with either of our families. Luckily, neither of us had ever had child protective services involved in our parenting, but rather had pasts with CPS as children. We had to relive these issues and note what we had taken away from the experience. It definitely took us off guard! If you have ever had child protective services investigate you for any reason, regardless if no evidence was found to suggest abuse, this may affect your adoption process. Again, be straight forward with your agency and pose the question if you have any doubt. 

    3. Financial Stability
    This part of the home study can always seem so daunting, though it really is not as scary as it sounds. However, some who think they are financially stable, find that they need to take a look at their funds before proceeding with adoption. Apart from adoption being expensive, your case worker will want to see that you can take on the cost of a child. If you are six credit cards in debt and barely making it each month, this likely will be an issue. However, don't think if you are not rich that you can't adopt. My husband and I are very middle class, probably lower middle class but are good with a budget and Dollar Tree :). We are able to pay our bills each month and budget for what we need within a few extras. The main question to ask yourself is, regardless of how much your means are, are you living within them?

    There are many other qualifications that may vary by state. It is best to get a full list of qualifications from your agency and also take a look at the laws in your state. Best of luck on your journey!  


  • Each agency will have different requirements, so best to check with each individually, but some general ones include being under a certain age (some 50 for instance) and being married for a certain amount of years prior to adoption. Some allow singles to adopt as well. Some will not allow adoption for those with certain criminal violations. Our agency had a rule that you couldn't have any convictions at all in the last ten years. Some require each parent have a life insurance policy. Income is also taken into account. Those are just some examples. 
  • It really depends on the type of adoption that you choose, as well as the agency you use. For international adoptions, for example, different countries have wildly different requirements. Some countries have age limits, gender and sexuality limits (like no single moms or no homosexual parents), and even weight limits (a few countries won’t let obese parents adopt!) In addition, most countries require hopeful adoptive parents to have a certain minimum income and, if they have children, to have a gap between the youngest and the prospective adoptive child.  (You can see the requirements for most of the countries on the US State Department’s website, as well as information about why you want to adopt from a country that has signed on to the Hague Adoption Convention.)

    If you adopt domestically, your agency is going to have specific qualifications that you must meet in order to become approved. Financial records, medical records, and insurance information are all important to agencies—they want to make sure that you can afford to raise a child. You will also have to prepare your home in specific ways, depending on what state you live in (for example, when I adopted in Texas we were not allowed to have a trampoline.) In addition, if you use an agency affiliated with a religion you may be required to have specific morals and beliefs in order to adopt through their agency.

    If you adopt through the foster system you will be required to complete that home study, but also to take specific classes and trainings in order to be matched with a child. You will have to meet regularly with the child’s social worker, as well. (When you start the process they will have all the information and checklists that you need, so don’t worry.)

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