Birth, marriage & life events

Adopt a child

When children in foster care have a goal of adoption, often their resource (foster) parents will adopt them. When this does not happen, DHS and a broad-based network of partners work hard to find the most appropriate permanent family for that child. Many of the children are older, part of a sibling group, or have special needs.

Who

To adopt from foster care you can be single, married, divorced, any gender, and any sexual orientation.

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Requirements

To begin the process, you need to:

  • Pass child abuse, criminal history, and FBI clearances.
  • Be physically able to care for a child.
  • Have space in your home for an additional child.
  • Be at least 21 years of age.
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Where and when

The adoption certification process varies for each family. The length of time depends on the family’s availability and each specific agency’s requirements.

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How

Generally, the first step to adoption is finding an agency that can certify you and be a support to you. It is important to choose an agency thoughtfully. They will be a great resource as you go through the adoption process. Each agency has slightly different training expectations and processes, but generally you will need to:

  • Fill out an application.
  • Attend an orientation.
  • Complete a series of tranings.
  • Get a medical examination that proves you are physically able to care for children and are free from contagious diseases.
  • Pass child abuse, criminal history, and FBI clearances.
  • Have a social worker come to your home to help determine if it is safe for a child.
  • Complete an extensive home study.

Once licensed, you work with the agency to identify children who might be a good match. You will be supported through this matching process to make sure that both you and the child feel comfortable with moving forward towards being a permanent family.

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