How do I start the adoption process?

Just wondering what I need to do to get started. Thanks!

Best Answers

  • Answer ✓

    Well first of all, congratulations for wanting to take the next step in growing your family through adoption!  First, you need an open mind and an open heart to welcome a child into your home. After you have processed all of that emotion, you will need to find an adoption agency to work with. If you are unsure where to start, you can check out And search for your state/community to find an adoption agency near you. Or ask around. You will be surprised at how many people may know someone who has adopted or has adopted themselves and can point you in the right direction.

    Be ready to fill out endless amounts of paperwork, usually consisting of statistical data and background story which lead you to adoption. This can be overwhelming and time consuming but is worth it in the end!  Once you have all the paperwork completed, the back ground checks done, your agency will proceed to a home study. Basically a “walk through” of your home to make sure your home is a safe and happy home to welcome a new child into.

    Depending on what type of adoption you are pursuing (domestic, international, etc.) next becomes the waiting period. This could be anywhere from weeks to years. Again, depending on what type of adoption you are pursuing. We adopted our son through an infant domestic adoption where the birth mother chose us, and we waited almost six years. He was worth the wait though!! Good luck in your journey.

    If you need some more information about choosing agencies check out If you would like some general information about adoption check out,

  • Answer ✓

    I second what the above poster wrote! When you are ready—really ready—to start the process the first thing you are going to want to do is decide where your child is; is she in the US? Is she an infant? Is she an older child or in another country? This is one of the trickiest parts of adopting—figuring out where you are going to go within the process. There are so many places that you can find your forever family, so it is really an important decision to make! The agency that you then choose (and you should really check out multiple agencies to find the right fit for you) is going to be your lifeline in this process.

    One thing that was really hard for me while I was waiting to adopt was all the waiting involved in adoption. It was helpful to me to get all of my paperwork together, to be actively working on our profile, and then to be active in forums and groups, just to feel like I was doing something productive while I was waiting. You will get a long list when you sign with an agency so, at least in the home study process, you will have a lot to do.

    Once the home study is finished and you are just waiting for a match I can’t recommend enough that you really read and study best adoption practices, including open adoption and attachment resources, and familiarize yourself with ethical adoption dilemmas and—especially if you are considering a transracial adoption—raising a kid who may look different than you. There are tons of forums and groups that exist to offer you the information and support in the adoption community, and you will be pretty easily able to find one that supports you through the journey.

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