Frequently Asked Questions About Adopting a Child

Child painting

If you are about to start adopting a child or are curious about the process behind it, there are several questions you might encounter. Below are some of the most common questions asked.

Possibly the hardest obstacle to overcome is getting past the court’s approval of adoption. The court may take up months to years until they are certain that an adoption will be in the best interest of the child.

How to Start the Adoption Process?

The process for domestic adoptions varies depending on the circumstances of the child. The first step in adoption is to determine whether you have a legal right to adopt. The integrity of that process depends upon whether you plan on adopting as a single parent, a married couple, with or without stepparents, or guardianship.

In order to bring a child into your home legally, you must be the biological parent of that child and you must be currently married. If the children are placed with an individual who is not related to them or who does not make medical decisions for them by court order, then that person is not considered a biological parent and cannot petition for custody rights or access rights.

What Is the Process for Adoption?

The process for adoption can be long and vary depending on the circumstances of the child, but there is a process that all adoptions follow.

In most cases, an individual must complete a home study that is made available to potential parents prior to the adoption. The home study will contain information such as the medical, social, and family background of the birth parents. It will also include any history or background of abuse or neglect that may be in the child’s file if he/she has previously been placed with others. In some cases, courts require pre-placement visits.

How Long Does the Process Take?

You may find yourself spending months on the waiting list before a home study is complete and you’ve received an “adoption license.” Once the court approves your profile, you will be able to receive a court order, which grants you sole legal custody of your child.

Eventually, the adoption must be finalized. The adoptive family is awarded full custody of the child and must adopt the child within three months of receiving their “Adoption License.” This usually allows them one year in which to finish any necessary paperwork and complete all adoption hearings.

What are the Requirements for Prospective Parents?

To adopt a child, you must be at least 18 years old and have no current obligations that can prevent you from caring for the child. In some cases, if the adoptive family has previously adopted children, they would have to stop until such time as the court grants them a license to continue with the adoption process.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Child?

The process of adopting a child does not always come with a set price tag. Prospective parents may need to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars, or they may be able to adopt a child for a small fee. It all depends on what’s available in your area. There are several ways to pay for an adoption, including the following:

• Adoption grants – Provided by the state and federal government, these grants help cover adoption expenses

• Private funding – If you have family members who want to help you out, they can contribute money toward your adoption expenses.


Building Strong, Healthy Families since 1953

Central California Adoption Services – Infant of Prague is a full service, nonprofit, secular, licensed adoption agency committed to helping support birth parents in making brave and loving decisions for their children. It was built by a reputation of trust and integrity facilitating best practices in child-centered open adoptions.

All children deserve a loving family and the best opportunities available to them. We are here to help you every step of the way through the adoption process, and will be there well after the placement to help support birth parents, adoptees and their families.

What these kind of services do:

  • Pregnancy Counseling
  • Adoption Services
  • Post-adoption Counseling