- Seven years or older
- Part of a sibling group that needs to be placed in a family together
- A member of a minority group
- Has disabilities which may include mental, physical and/or behavioral challenges
- Is at risk for developing learning, emotional, behavioral or physical disabilities in the future
- Was prenatally exposed to drugs or alcohol
- Public agency adoption or "Foster to Adopt" A public agency is supervised by a state or local Department of Health and Human Services and often has children with special needs who are looking for adoptive families. A public agency usually has more flexible and inclusive eligibility requirements for adoptive parents. Single parents, older parents, and parents with low incomes, who may find it difficult to qualify in other types of agencies, will more often meet the requirements of public agencies. Placement of a child can occur in as little as a few months, following a home study and approval. Because many foster parents adopt children that have been placed in their care, you may be approved as a licensed foster parent as well as a prospective adoptive parent in the same process. Adopting a child through the foster care system is often inexpensive, or even free. Some states will provide subsidies to help you with the cost of adopting a child.
- Private agency adoption A private agency is privately funded. They usually work with infants from the local area or neighboring states, but sometimes they also work with children with special needs. A private agency may have more specific requirements (than a public agency) about who can adopt; for example, their eligibility requirements may be based on race, religion, or age. Placement through a private agency can take longer, often up to a few years following a home study and approval. According to the website Adoption.com, private agency adoptions can range from $5,000 to $40,000, depending on a variety of factors,including services provided, travel expenses, birthmother expenses, and requirements in the state.
- Independent adoption An independent adoption is usually arranged through an attorney, physician, friend, or adoption counselor and each state may have its own specific requirements.
- International adoption This is usually a more complicated process than domestic adoption, requiring additional paperwork, waiting lists, health concerns, travel, and the laws of the child’s birth country. International adoptions also vary significantly depending on the child’s birth country. The website adoption.com states that the cost of international adoption can range from $7,000 to $30,000.
- Educate yourself on the adoption process and laws
- Search for and select an agency
- Complete an adoption application
- Begin the home study process. (The home study is a comprehensive evaluation of you, your family, and your home environment, and is generally a required screening step in approving you as an adoptive parent.)
- Receive approval for a placement
- Search for a child
- Meet and have pre-placement visits with the child
- Prepare your home and your lives for your child's arrival
- Begin building your own medical, educational, and community support network
- Welcome your child into your family
- Finalize your adoption
National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search
The National Foster Care & Adoption Directory (formerly the National Adoption Directory) offers adoption and post-adoption resources by state.
North American Council on Adoptable Children
North American Council on Adoptable Children provides information and resources on adoption.
US Department of State has extensive information and resources on international adoptions.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau, supports programs, research, and monitoring to help eliminate barriers to adoption and find permanent families for children.
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has information and resources.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study (CDC)
One of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Utah Health Status: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
ACEs include verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, as well as family dysfunction. ACEs have been linked to adverse health outcomes such as violence, obesity, diabetes, cardiopulmonary disease, and other negative physical and mental health behaviors later in life. July 2011, Utah Department of Health
State Baby Facts: Utah
A 5-page report on conditions and resources to lessen adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as poverty, which can weaken babies' brain development. Resources include federal supports in Utah for health and nutrition, supporting strong families, and positive learning experiences, all of which combat chronic stress. Utah ranks 11th in child well-being. Zero to Three Policy Center, National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
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|Author:||Tina Persels - 2/2013|
|Content Last Updated:||2/2014|