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Home > Local > Washington D.C. Adoption

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.

Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed using private agencies or attorneys. Some choose to pursue a private adoption using an adoption facilitators. However, paid adoption facilitators are not allowed in D.C.

International Adoption can only be complete by using an agency. The agency must also be accredited according to the Hague Act.

Foster Care Adoption can be completed with the Child and Family Services agency. You must become a foster parent first.

Gallery of children waiting to be adopted.

Join the District of Columbia adoption group in our community!

The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.


Can I Adopt in Washington D.C.?

You must be 21 years or older to adopt. You can be single or married. There is no experience required, but the District does like to see stable family relationships. Some types of adoption will require 30+ hours of training. You can reach out to your adoption professional to see if the adoption you’re pursuing requires you to have additional training.


What Adoption Regulations Exist in Washington D.C.?

Advertising D.C. statues do not presently address the use of advertising when it comes to adoption.


Relinquishment Birth parents must wait until after the birth of their child to before signing relinquishment paperwork. Once the parental rights have been relinquished, birth parents have 14 days to revoke consent. If a private adoption was chosen, the relinquishment is irrevocable upon signing.


Birth Parent Expenses If using an agency, birth parents can receive financial assistance for actual living expenses. No expenses paid for are allowed in private adoptions.


Birth Father Rights A birth father’s consent for adoption is required if he is married to the birth mother, or a couple acknowledges paternity, or a DNA test determines that the child belongs to a specific father. If the birth father is unmarried, they have 60 days to revoke their parental rights. If a father chooses not to show up to court proceedings, the parental rights will be terminated.


Post-Adoption Contact These agreements are legally enforceable in the District of Columbia. Adoptive and birth families agree on a contract before the child is born.


Finalization To finalize an adoption, adoptive parents must file an adoption petition with the courts. The child must live with the parents for six months before finalization can be completed.


Is Adoption Assistance Available in Washington D.C.?

Many programs exists in D.C. to help unite hopeful adoptive parents with children waiting to be adopted.


The Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non IV-E) programs were created to give hopeful adoptive parents the means to support special needs children. This does not necessarily mean a child with a mental disability. Every state defines special needs children a little differently.


Can I adopt a Child from another country?

It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.


Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.



In Washington D.C. adoptions must be competed through an adoption agency or attorney for domestic infant adoptions. All international adoptions must be completed through an agency. You must be a certified foster parent before you can adopt from the foster care system.

There are no laws regulating adoption advertising. You must be 21 or older to legally adopt. A birth parent has 14 days to revoke consent after an adoption.

You can adopt from another country as a resident of Washington D.C. Some aid be available for special needs adoption.

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