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Who Can Foster and Adopt
In most instances, your marital status, age, income, and sexual orientation will not automatically disqualify you from adopting a child from U.S. foster care. You don’t need to own your own home, have children already, be young, wealthy, or a stay-at-home parent to adopt or foster.
Characteristics needed to be a good foster or adoptive parent include:
- Being stable, mature, dependable, and flexible
- Having the ability to advocate for children
- Being a team player with your family or child welfare worker
While most adults qualify to foster and adopt, eligibility requirements vary between States. Use our interactive map of state foster care and adoption information to determine if you’re eligible to adopt where you live.
Child Welfare Information Gateway also has a great summary of state laws about who may adopt, be adopted, or placed for adoption.
Adoption Laws and Resources for LGBT Families
Laws regarding adoption and foster care by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals vary from State to State. To help you in your adoption journey, we have compiled a list of resources and information for LGBT families.
Adoption Resources for Military Families
Military families stationed overseas and within the U.S. are eligible to adopt children from the U.S. foster care system.
Resources for Minority Families
A list of resources for prospective adoptive and foster minority families.
Global Adoption Resources
Both U.S. citizens and non-citizens living outside the United States are eligible to adopt from U.S. foster care.
Families for Native Children
Families fostering or adopting Native American children must be aware of laws governing their placement and understand the importance of their culture.
Resources for People with Disabilities
Individuals with disabilities can and do adopt from foster care. Find a list of online resources to help prospective parents with disabilities and read one mother's story.