AdoptUSKids For Families

How to Adopt


There are several steps to adopting from U.S. foster care. The first step is deciding you want to pursue adoption and contacting an adoption agency. It usually takes about a year from the time you first contact an agency to the time when a child is placed with you. This estimate can vary depending on the agency you’re working with and the State where you live.

View the pages in this section of the website to learn more about the adoption process, including completing a home study, being matched with a child, and legalizing an adoption. If you aren’t sure you’re ready for adoption, you can also find out how to foster or contact us.

The Road to Adoption and Foster Care

Hear real children share their experiences of foster care and adoption, and learn more about the process of becoming a foster and adoptive parent in our film. (Flash – 1:45 hr.)

Deciding to Pursue Adoption

Deciding to pursue adoption from U.S. foster care is the first step and where you will contact a local adoption agency and attend an orientation meeting.

Applying to Adopt

Applying to adopt is the step where you will complete required training and your application to adopt.

Completing an Adoption Home Study

Completing a home study involves meeting with your caseworker in your home to determine if you’re ready to adopt.

Getting Approved to Adopt

Getting approved to adopt includes getting background checks done and ensuring that your home study is completed.

Envisioning Your Family

An important step in the journey to adoption is taking time to reflect on the characteristics of the child or children you hope to adopt.

Being Matched with a Child

During this step in the process, the needs of a child or sibling group are matched with your family.

Receiving an Adoptive Placement

Receiving and preparing for an adoptive placement happens after a potential adoptive match is indentified and agreed upon by you, your caseworker, and a child’s caseworker.

Legalizing an Adoption

Legalizing an adoption is the final step that is a judicial proceeding usually about six months to a year after a child is placed with you.

Being an Adoptive Parent

Being an adoptive parent is a new and wonderful lifelong journey. Just remember you’re never alone and there is a wealth of resources to help you along the way.

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