How old do you have to be to adopt?

How old do you have to be to adopt?

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    This is a question very often asked, though the answer is slightly confusing. The age you need to be in order to adopt will largely depend on where you are adopting and what type of adoption you are pursuing. Many states or countries may have their own guidelines on what age a person needs to be in order to adoption. 

    A good place to start is to browse Adoption.com and read through the wiki entry for each country or state in question. Not only will this have information about the age at which you can adopt, but also a wealth of other information specific to that state of country. It is also important to remember that while your home state or country may have one rule on age, there may be laws or restrictions that are different in the state or country from which you are adopting. This is why it is vital to check both your home state and/or country as well as the state and/or country from which you hope to adopt.

    If you are in the United States, you will want to do a state check on both your home state and the state from which you are adopting. In the United States, Federal law has left it up to each state to decide the minimum age for hopeful adoptive parents. These ages typically range from 18-21 as a minimum. However, some states have no minimum age set as law. This does not mean teenagers can adopt but instead leaves the minimum age at the discretion of the adoption agency and judge over the proceedings. Typically speaking, most agencies require that a person be at least 18 years of age to adopt. An agency can set forth any minimum requirements for age they so choose, which is why you may see a minimum even higher than 21. 

    After you have checked with the Adoption.com wiki entry for you state and/or country, it is best to call around to agencies in the area. They should be able to simply answer your question. For more information on who can adopt, here is a great article that outlines just that. Best of luck! 
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