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First Steps of Adoption

There are four simple steps you can take to start the adoption process. This guide breaks each one down into easy actions you can take today that will move you closer toward your dream of starting a family.

You deserve a family, and the adoption process is the life-changing journey that helps you finally have the family you want. We're here to break things down step by step so you know what to expect from the adoption process.

Here’s how to start the adoption process:

Step 1: Enjoy a Free Consultation with Your Adoptive Family Coordinator

You deserve to experience the joy of starting a family, and we want you to have the best experience possible along the way. That’s why we provide free consultations to all families when they are getting started. This sets you up for success in your adoption journey.

One simple thing you can do to take this step: Click here to get our free adoption information guide and schedule your free consultation.

Step 2: Fill Out a Pre-Application and Start the Home Study

The pre-application helps us meet you where you are in your decision-making. For families who are still gathering information, we can provide you with helpful resources and support. For families already home study approved, we can fast-track your process so that you don’t have to wait any longer to start your family.

If you need to start your home study, we can help with that, too. We are licensed to provide home studies in Texas, Florida, California, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Arizona.

One simple thing you can do to take this step: Click here to fill out the pre-application form and get more home study information.

Step 3: Complete Your Adoption Planning Questionnaire

The adoption planning questionnaire is your adoption roadmap. This simple document allows us to create a personalized adoption experience tailored to your specific needs.

At this time, some families have already completed a home study. If you haven’t done this, check out this complete guide on how to have a stress-free home study process with our help.

One simple thing you can do to complete this step: Once you have filled out the pre-application form, you can create your American Adoptions online account and access your APQ.

Step 4: Create Your Family Profile

Your adoption profile is the opportunity to showcase what’s uniquely amazing about your family. This profile is the reason a prospective birth parent will choose your family, which is why we partner with a professional media company to help you create the best video profile possible.

One simple thing you can do to create this step: Once you have created your American Adoptions online account, you can click the Video and Print Profile tab for step-by-step instructions.

Once you have taken these four easy steps, you’ll be ready to become an active waiting family.

With our short average wait times, that means you are closer than ever to the moment you’ve been waiting for — when you hold your child in your arms for the first time and your family feels complete.

Ready to start your adoption process? Click here. Our experienced adoption professionals will be with you to provide support, education and preparation every step of the way.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study Process

Learn what a home study is and why you need one to adopt a child.

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Home Study Questions and Answers

While adoption home studies vary slightly from agency to agency and state to state, there are several key elements that are almost always included in every home study.

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Home Studies: State by State

Find a qualified professional in your state to complete your home study.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

Additional Resources

Adoption Newsletter

Did you know that American Adoptions offers a free bi-weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today to keep up-to-date on the latest in adoption news and information.

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Famous Adoptions

Learn which famous Hollywood actors, sports stars, politicians and other icons have been touched by adoption.

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Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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