- Questions and answers for prospective and adoptive parents
- Questions and answers for adopted people
- Questions and answers for expectant and birth parents
- General resources
- Frequently requested information
- I want to adopt. What are the requirements? How do I find a reputable adoption agency?
- What are the adoption laws in my State? How do I find out about my State laws governing adoption (e.g., consent to adopt; who can adopt, etc.)?
- What is an adoption home study? What type of information is included in it?
- I can't afford to adopt a child. Where can I get help with adoption costs?
- What are the requirements to adopt a child from foster care?
- I want to adopt a child. Am I eligible for adoption assistance (also called adoption subsidy)?
- I need help with my adopted child. What resources are available to me in my State?
- How do I adopt a child living in another State? How do I adopt across State lines?
- How do I adopt a child from a foreign country?
- I'm pregnant and thinking about adoption. Where do I start?
- What do I do if my child's adoptive family does not live up to our postadoption contact agreement?
In most States postadoption contact agreements are not legally enforceable, so there may be no legal action for you to take. The Child Welfare Information Gateway publication Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families has more information.
- What is a putative father registry? How do I find out if my State has one?
A putative father is the "presumed" legal father of a child. Some States maintain putative father registries to provide information on presumed fathers. These registries vary but may include:
- Name, address, social security number, and date of birth of putative father and birth mother
- Name and address of any person adjudicated by a court to be the father
- Child's name and date of birth, or expected month and year of birth
- Registration date
- Other information deemed necessary
The Child Welfare Information Gateway publication The Rights of Unmarried Fathers has more information about these registries.
- I am a biological father and my partner is thinking about making an adoption plan for our child. What are my rights?
- I am a pregnant minor and my parents want me to place my child for adoption. What are my rights?
State law varies in regard to minor parents' rights; however, in no State could a child be placed for adoption without the minor parent's consent. In some States, minor parents are able to place their child for adoption without additional consent. In other States, the pregnant minor's parents or guardian would also need to consent to an adoption. The Child Welfare Information Gateway publication Consent to Adoption has more information. To determine how these laws would apply in a specific situation, it may be helpful to contact an attorney familiar with adoption law in your State.
Adoption Assistance for Children Adopted From Foster Care
Exploring the Pathways to Adoption
Planning for Adoption: Knowing the Costs and Resources
The Impact of Adoption
The Adoption Home Study Process
Links to the latest facts and figures on adoption trends, both intercountry and domestic.
Resources on the Federal laws that provide overarching standards and guidelines for State laws related to adoption.
National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Provides contact information for public adoption agencies by State.