Ask an Expert: What You Need to Know About Adopting in Montana

Catholic Social Services of Montana answers all your questions.

Catholic Social Services March 01, 2018
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What is the best part about adopting a child in Montana?

Montana is a very special place to grow up. The people of Montana are genuine and friendly, the land is beautiful, and the air is clear, so you can see the beautiful blues in our “Big Sky.” Adoption is special in Montana because it provides ethical adoptions that protect all parties to adoption but especially the child. Montana has the upmost respect for birth mothers and offers quality counseling before, during, and after an adoption.

What are the requirements for parents to qualify to adopt in Montana?

Prospective adopters must be at least 18 years old and married if a couple. Single people who wish to adopt must be at least 18 years old. A couple or individual must have an approved adoptive home study or pre-placement evaluation that meets the laws of Montana.

Does Montana require that I use an adoption agency to complete an adoption?

According to the law, Montana requires that you obtain an adoptive home evaluation from a Licensed Adoption Agency, the Department of Public Health and Human Services, or the local office that provides adoption services.

How can I adopt a child through foster care in Montana?

Anyone wanting to adopt a child in the permanent custody of the State of Montana must obtain a home study or a pre-placement evaluation from their local Child Welfare Agency or an approved provider by the State of Montana Child and Family Services offices. All families with an appropriate adoptive home study are considered, and the family that best meets the child’s needs is chosen for the child.

Where can I find children who are available for adoption through foster care in Montana?

Many children available for adoption through the Montana Department of Health and Human Services are listed on the Adoption.com Photolisting. You can also contact local Child and Family Services offices.

Can I advertise my desire to adopt in Montana?

No, Montana does not allow anyone to advertise that they know a child who needs an adoptive family or who advertises that they are willing to accept a child for adoption except for the State Agency or a Montana Licensed Adoption Agency.

Can I hire an adoption facilitator in Montana?

No, facilitators are not provided the ability to practice adoption in the State of Montana. There is nothing in Montana laws that address facilitators.

What are the regulations in Montana regarding birth mother expenses?

The Montana Law does specify that reasonable adoption fees may be paid by the adoptive parents for the actual cost of services. The law specifies what services are acceptable.

What should I know about birth father rights in Montana?

Birth Father’s rights are taken seriously in Montana. The law indicates the ways that the father’s rights could be handled in an adoption. The birth father has equal rights to the child. He can sign a consent allowing the child to be adopted. He can indicate his interest by registering as a putative father prior to the birth or after the birth but before the legal proceedings. If the birth mother is married at the time of conception, her husband must relinquish his rights.

What does finalization look like in Montana?

Finalization is normally completed by the District Court in Montana six months or more after the placement of the child. The adoptive parents petition the Court for the finalization to initiate this procedure.

What is the process for completing an international adoption in Montana after my child is home?

In most international adoptions, the child is adopted in their home country before immigrating with their parents to the United States. Once in the United States, the child needs to be re-adopted in order for the child to have a birth certificate in English.

If the child’s rights have not been terminated and an adoption conducted in their country of origin, the child will need to be legally adopted in the United States.

Are open adoption agreements legally enforceable in Montana?

No law specifically addresses open adoption agreements. The filing and executing of an open adoption agreement depends on the individual District Court. Generally open adoption is considered an agreement between the adoptive parents and the birth parents without court intervention.

Can adult adoptees access their original birth certificates in Montana?

An adult adoptee can request a copy of their original birth certificate in Montana.

Are there any other adoption laws or regulations in Montana I should know about before I get started?

If there remain questions about adoption in Montana, you can check the website of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for answers.

Answers to these questions provided by Catholic Social Services of Montana. To learn more, call them at 406-442-4130, email them at adopt@cssmt.org, or visit their website

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Catholic Social Services

 Catholic Social Services of Montana is a statewide organization serving persons experiencing unplanned pregnancy and those hoping to build their family through adoption.


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