Choosing to adopt is a significant decision that requires careful planning and consideration. Whether you’re considering domestic or international adoption, the process can feel overwhelming at first. However, with the right information and resources, navigating the path to adoption can be a rewarding experience. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of adoption, provide definitions for unfamiliar terms, and offer references to resources to support you every step of the way.

Step 1: Research and Preparation Before diving into the adoption process, take the time to research and educate yourself about the different types of adoption available. Explore resources such as domestic adoption, international adoption, foster care adoption, and more. Consider factors such as your preferences, eligibility requirements, and budget to determine the best fit for your family.

Step 2: Choose an Adoption Agency or Attorney Once you’ve decided on the type of adoption that suits your family, it’s time to select an adoption agency or attorney to guide you through the process. offers a directory of adoption professionals where you can search for reputable agencies or attorneys in your area. Schedule consultations with potential agencies to discuss their services, fees, and support offerings. Remember to ask questions and ensure you feel comfortable with your chosen professional before proceeding.

Step 3: Complete Pre-Adoption Requirements Before starting the formal adoption process, you’ll need to fulfill certain pre-adoption requirements including a home study. A home study involves an assessment of your suitability to adopt by a licensed social worker or agency. Additionally, you may need to undergo background checks, medical exams, and provide references as part of the pre-adoption process.’s Home Study Page offers valuable insights and tips to help you prepare for this step.

Step 4: Create an Adoption Profile Creating an adoption profile is an essential step for hopeful adoptive parents to connect with expectant parents considering adoption. Your adoption profile should highlight your family, values, and lifestyle through photos, letters, and personal stories.’s Parent Profiles platform provides a platform to create and share your adoption profile with expectant parents seeking adoptive families.

Step 5: Match with an Expectant Parent or Child Once your adoption profile is complete, you’ll wait to be matched with an expectant parent considering adoption or a child in need of adoption. Be patient during this process, as matching can take time and requires careful consideration from all parties involved.’s Adopting Page offers tips and resources to navigate the matching process and establish a connection with expectant parents or adoption professionals.

Step 6: Finalize the Adoption After being matched with an expectant parent or child, the finalization process begins. Work closely with legal professionals to complete the necessary paperwork and attend court hearings to finalize the adoption. Check with your chosen adoption agency or professional about your state’s current adoption laws and practices.

Step 7: Transition and Adjustment Once the adoption is finalized, it’s time to welcome your child into your family and help them adjust to their new environment. Provide love, support, and stability as your family transitions through this exciting time.’s Parent Page offers tips and resources for parenting adopted children and building strong family bonds.

Adopting a child is a life-changing journey filled with hope, love, and new beginnings. By following these outlined steps and utilizing’s resources, you can navigate the adoption process with confidence and compassion. Remember, adoption is a beautiful way to grow your family and make a positive impact in a child’s life.

The Gladney Center for Adoption, established in 1887, is a renowned leader in the adoption industry, offering a comprehensive array of adoption services. With a focus on ethical practices and client satisfaction, Gladney provides expert guidance and support to both adoptive families and birth parents throughout the adoption process. From personalized counseling to efficient matching services, Gladney ensures a smooth and positive adoption experience for all involved. With a commitment to excellence and a legacy of success, Gladney remains a trusted choice for those seeking to grow their families through adoption.

10 Tips for Starting the Adoption Process

  1. Research and Educate Yourself: Take the time to research the different types of adoption available, including domestic, international, and foster care adoption. Educate yourself about the process, requirements, and potential challenges.
  2. Attend Information Sessions: Many adoption agencies and organizations offer information sessions or webinars to help prospective adoptive parents learn more about adoption. Attend these sessions to gain valuable insights and ask questions.
  3. Assess Your Readiness: Consider your readiness to adopt and assess factors such as your financial stability, emotional preparedness, and support network. Adoption is a lifelong commitment, so it’s essential to ensure you’re ready for the responsibilities involved.
  4. Connect with Adoptive Families: Reach out to other adoptive families to learn from their experiences and gain practical advice. Join online forums, attend support groups, or connect with families through adoption agencies.
  5. Choose the Right Adoption Professional: Selecting the right adoption agency or attorney is crucial to a successful adoption journey. Research different professionals, read reviews, and schedule consultations to find the best fit for your family.
  6. Understand the Costs: Adoption can be expensive, so it’s essential to understand the costs involved upfront. Familiarize yourself with adoption fees, home study expenses, legal fees, and other potential costs associated with the adoption process.
  7. Prepare Your Home: Ensure your home meets the safety and suitability requirements for adoption. Complete any necessary home improvements, childproofing, or renovations to create a welcoming environment for your future child.
  8. Complete Pre-Adoption Requirements: Fulfill all pre-adoption requirements, including background checks, medical exams, and a home study. These requirements are essential for ensuring your suitability to adopt and providing a stable environment for your child.
  9. Create an Adoption Profile: Develop an adoption profile that showcases your family, values, and lifestyle to prospective birth parents. Include photos, letters, and personal stories to help expectant parents get to know you better.
  10. Stay Flexible and Patient: Understand that the adoption process can be unpredictable and may take time. Stay flexible, patient, and open-minded throughout the journey, and trust that the right match will come at the right time.