What qualifications do you need to adopt a child?

What qualifications do you need to adopt a child?

Best Answers

  • Answer ✓
    In order to adopt a child, the most important qualification to have is a desire to love and grow your family, followed by a strong commitment to keep going! Beyond that, you will need to check certain boxes, depending on the route you choose for your adoption. 

    International adoption requirements vary by country--some have age limits and ceilings, weight limits, health limits, sexuality limits, and require a lot of money or time in-country. (The best resource for basic requirements for every country that adopts into the USA is through the United States State Department. They can guide you through specific requirements and give you any travel warnings.) 

    Private adoption within the US has fewer limitations, but you may find that qualifications vary depending on the agency you choose. (Here's a great resource for deciding which agency works best for you and your family.) Christian agencies, for example, may require you to be a member of a specific church or faith. 

    All adoptions require a home study which consists of forms, background checks, mental and physical health evaluations, and meetings with an agency worker or social worker. The home study generally checks out where you live, if you have a safe and healthy home, and if your space is able to accommodate a child. (Don't worry, it probably is!) They also check for things like fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. Some states require specific safety items, such as bars on windows, fire-escape ladders, and locked gates around swimming pools. Whatever your state requires, the agency will be able to help you figure it out. The final qualification you need to adopt a child is patience--mountains of patience. The process can take anywhere from six months to a couple of years, and there are days when it will feel like you are never going to progress to parenthood--but be patient and know that the wheels may turn slowly, but they will get you to your destination! Good luck!
  • Answer ✓
    In addition to what Jen has mentioned, I wanted to address some of the qualifications that people often worry about, but may not be "official" or recorded qualifications. My husband and I waited quite a while to adopt as we thought you needed to be rich to adopt. There is no getting around the fact that adoption is expensive. However, there are many programs available to make adoption affordable. In the end, we ended up getting a loan with a fantastic rate and a monthly payment that we were able to meet comfortably. 

    Some may feel not qualified to adopt due to their lack of previous parenthood. It is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed, especially if you do not know if it will take you years to be matched or possibly just days. I know wonderful parents who have only child and parents who seem inept who have six. Being a parent helps to know how to parent but it is not the rule. If you are ready to love and learn, you are likely more than qualified! 

    There are other myths about adoption that sometimes prevent people from feeling qualified to adopt. Some may fear that a past criminal record would prevent them from adopting. While there are some crimes such as assault, crimes involving children, and domestic violence that are automatic disqualifiers, there are many crimes that may have been a mistake from years passed that can be addressed and possibly not be an issue. Bring the issue up to an adoption agency before signing with them and they should be able to tell you if it would be an issue. 


Sign In or Register to comment.