A Renter’s Guide to Adopting a Child
When you’re hoping to expand your family through adoption, you may feel intimidated by the requirements to adopt a child. Yes, adoptive parents will need to show that they’re physically, financially, mentally and emotionally ready to welcome a child through adoption.
But does that mean you need to own your own home?
Here’s what you need to know.
No, You Don’t Need to Be a Homeowner to Adopt
You can rent an apartment, a house, duplex, condo — it really doesn’t matter whether you rent or own, nor do you need to live in a palatial estate. When you contact us about beginning the adoption process, your American Adoptions specialist won’t care if you rent or own.
However, here’s what does matter.
Your Home Needs to Be Safe and Suitable for a Child
Regardless of whether you rent or own where you live, it’ll need to be deemed a safe place to raise a child. All hopeful adoptive parents must complete a home study, which includes in-person visits within the home. During those pre- and post-placement home study visits, the social worker will check to make sure your home is safe and seems ready for a child.
Nobody’s home is perfect, and your social worker won’t expect yours to be. But all parents will want to make preparations to ensure that their home is as ready for a new child as possible. As you prepare, you should:
- Have a separate bedroom for your future child
- Start thinking about and implementing standard child-proofing measures
- Lock up hazardous items like weapons, cleaning chemicals, or medicines
- Consider how you’ll gate off stairs, pools, hot tubs, etc.
- Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Live in a reasonably safe, family-friendly building and neighborhood
If you don’t own the property where you live, it may be harder to make some safety upgrades like installing gates or fences. Ask other parents for some renter-friendly tips, and let your landlord or property manager know what’s going on — people are willing to help!
Renting where you live is perfectly fine. What really matters is that you’re able to provide a safe, stable loving home for a child.
Consider What Expectant Parents Might Want for Their Child
As you move through the adoption process, you’ll create an adoption profile like these families. That profile allows expectant parents who are considering placing their child for adoption to get to know you. You’ll be asked to talk a bit about your home and neighborhood and to showcase some of what might make it a nice place for a child to grow up.
That’s because, when an expectant parent is considering adoption for their child, they want to know that the baby will grow up in a nice place. A “nice place” doesn’t mean a huge house that you own — it usually just means a tidy and safe home full of love, as well as access to some outdoor space like a park or yard where their child could play.
So don’t be discouraged from adopting a child if you rent! Owning a home is not a requirement for adoption — because it doesn’t affect your ability to be a good parent to a child.