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I want to adopt. What are the requirements? How do I find a reputable adoption agency?

Child Welfare


Requirements for prospective adoptive parents vary depending on the type of adoption and agency involved. Child Welfare Information Gateway (Information Gateway), a service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, offers in-depth information and resources to assist prospective adoptive parents in its web section on What Are My Choices in Adoption.

To help prospective adoptive parents locate a reputable adoption agency, Information Gateway’s National Adoption and Foster Care Directory allows users to search state-by-state for a list of public and licensed private agencies, as well as support groups.

Information Gateway’s publication How to Assess the Reputation of Licensed, Private Adoption Agencies provides criteria for checking on an agency’s standing in regards to complaints, litigation, etc.

In addition, AdoptUsKids, a project of the Children’s Bureau, illustrates the basic characteristics of good foster or adoptive parents and includes a link to an interactive map of state foster care and adoption eligibility criteria.

Last Reviewed: May 16, 2019