How To Adopt


The adoption process can be an exciting yet sometimes overwhelming journey for families who want to adopt. Understanding how to adopt is the first step in the process. There are several ways to adopt a child and many things to consider about the type of adoption that is right for your family. Children can be adopted from other countries (called international adoption) or from within the United States (called domestic adoption.)

The Adoption Process

An important part of the adoption process involves learning about the options available to you. There is a lot to think about in order to prepare emotionally to bring a child into your family.

Connecting with other adoptive families is a great way to help determine what type of adoption is right for your family. Agencies and attorneys often have programs to connect with others who are hoping to adopt. There are also various social media groups such as on that can provide information and support.

It is also helpful to answer some initial questions about the kind of adoption you’d like to have.

  • Do you want to adopt a newborn or an older child?
  • Can you travel to another state or country to adopt a child?
  • Would you consider adopting a child of a different race?
  • Are you OK with open adoption – contact with the child’s birth family?
  • How do you plan to fund the adoption (covering adoption expenses)?

How to adopt

The adoption process can vary depending on the type of adoption you choose – domestic adoption, foster adoption, or international adoption. In general, all adoptions share common steps, and being familiar with these steps will help you be prepared to welcome a child into your home:

  1. Decide on which type of adoption is right for your family.
  2. Find an adoption professional (agency, attorney, etc.) to work with.
  3. Complete an adoption home study.
  4. Wait to either match with a prospective birthmom (for domestic adoption), or wait to be matched with a foster child (for foster adoption), or wait to be matched with a child from another country (international adoption).
  5. The child is then placed with you legally.
  6. Finalization – where the child is legally and permanently part of your family.

What adoption information is available for families hoping to adopt?

Gathering as much adoption information as you can will help you understand the process better. Most agencies and attorneys will help you learn about the steps and requirements based on the type of adoption you choose as well as state and country laws. By educating yourself about the process, you will be better equipped as you get started on reaching your dream of adopting a child.

Resources for additional adoption information: