Although the laws that regulate who can adopt will differ in every state and agency, there are general requirements that most adoption agencies will consider with regard to adoption. Some of the factors to be considered as part of the evaluation process when adoptive parents seek adoption focus on determining if a child placed with these parents will be in an environment that is safe and stable with loving and supportive parents who will guide and nurture the child.
In general, it will be easier for a married person to adopt than a single individual. This is because one of the main reasons why many parents want to place their children for adoption is that they believe as single parents, they will not be able to provide their children the attention, care and opportunities that it could have if it were raised in a two-parent family.
Length of Marriage
A minimum of a three year marriage is a usual requirement if an adopting parent is married.
Divorced persons are allowed to adopt legally. Practically, this will not be a conflict as long as the current marriage is stable and the present spouse is supportive and also want to adopt.
Adoptive Parents’ Age
Generally, the minimum legal age for adoptive parents is 18 years old. Although some agencies will now consider adoptive parents who are older, most agencies use 40 years old as the upper age limit. In most circumstances, adopting parents are required to be at least 20 years older than the child they are adopting. However, there will always be exceptions to these rules under particular situations. Also, there should be generally an age differential of no more than 40 years between the child and the adoptive parents. However, exceptions may be made if the adoptive parents are really healthy and active.
There are some agencies prevent adoption by those who are obese or underweight, though there are also exceptions to this rule. Agencies consider that an adopted child need an opportunity to grow to maturity with both of his or her parents around since it will be traumatic for any child to experience the premature loss of a parent.
Disabilities of Adoptive Parents
Having a disability does not necessarily disqualify an adoptive parent from adopting a child. Ultimately, an agency will focus on the ability of the adoptive parent to appropriately care for a child and to meet its needs during its entire childhood.
Financial Status and Stability
It is essential that an adopting family will be able to manage its family income and other resources to sufficiently support all of its children including the child the family wants to adopt. The stability of employment by the breadwinner in a family can create a great impact not only on the financial well-being of a family, but its social and emotional well-being as well. Thus, a history of employment stability and the future employment stability are always considered by birthparents.
A complete medical history will be required for all adopting parents. In other instances, a psychological evaluation may also be required.
Criminal Background Check
In an attempt to uncover evidence of any prior legal or criminal problems, or any problems with child abuse, financial instability, or substance abuse, adoptive parents will have their backgrounds checked carefully.
It is important to be honest about problems in your past before the background check is done. Also, you must consult a family law attorney in order to discuss other specific eligibility requirements and placement options with you.