If you already have a reference or know the child you want to adopt, you have laid the foundation for the adoption process. But if you are wondering where to adopt from, it is good to visit the government website on adoption services Child Welfare Information Gateway, which gives a state wise list of foster care centers and licensed adoption agencies. There are other independent resources as well that offer detailed information on the adoption laws of each state, and the federal laws common to all states.
Are you eligible to adopt a child?
The legal age at which you are eligible to adopt differs across the states. In at least six states, the legal age for adopting a child is 18. In Colorado, Delaware, and Oklahoma the age requirement for parents who want to adopt is 21 while it is 25 in Georgia and Idaho.
As for resident status, some states like Delaware, Minnesota, and Georgia require that the adoptive parents be a resident of the particular states. But for most other states, there are no resident requirements.
Most states also require the adoptive parents to be at least 10 years older than the child being adopted. The law does not make it mandatory for you to be married to be eligible to adopt. Whether married or divorced, widowed or single, you would be eligible to adopt, provided you meet the other criteria. But, some states do require the adopting parents to be married for at least two years before considering adoption.
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