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How to Adopt a Baby in Washington, D.C.

If you and your family are wondering whether or not to adopt a baby in Washington, D.C., it’s likely that you have quite a few questions. By learning how the process works, you may be able to determine if adopting a baby in D.C. makes sense for you. It’s important to understand that adoption is both a beautiful and complex process, and everyone’s journey will be different. However, if you hope to adopt a child in the District of Columbia, you can expect the process to look something like this:

Step 1: Choose to adopt a baby in D.C.

While it may seem obvious to you, it’s important to completely commit to adopting a baby before you begin the process. Many families have undergone years of struggling with infertility and attempting to have a biological child, and it’s crucial that the grieving process is completely finished before deciding to pursue a baby adoption in Washington, D.C. This isn’t an easy process, but it’s important that you are equally as excited to adopt a child as you would have been to become pregnant.

Step 2: Determine which type of D.C. child adoption you’d like to pursue.

When you and your spouse can look at each other and each confidently say, “I want to adopt,” it’ll be time to determine exactly which kind of child adoption you want to pursue. Are you and your family hoping to adopt a baby who has just been born, or would you prefer to adopt a child who is older or perhaps from the foster care system? Do you want to adopt within the United States, or would you rather pursue an international adoption? After you have selected the kind of child adoption that makes the most sense for your family, it will be time to officially begin the adoption process.

Step 3: Select an adoption agency to help you adopt a baby in the District of Columbia.

Depending on the type of child adoption you and your family decide to pursue, there will be multiple different adoption agencies in Washington, D.C., to choose from. Of course, we’re a little biased in this department. As a national, full service adoption agency, we can provide every service you’ll need along the way to complete a baby adoption in the District of Columbia. However, if for some reason you choose to work with a different professional, make sure you research the following:

  • The agency’s total cost estimates and whether or not there will be any hidden fees

  • Should an adoption be disrupted, what will happen to your money?

  • Whether or not the agency offers any financial protection

  • Potential support and education offered to both adoptive families and pregnant women considering adoption

  • Estimated wait times before a child is placed with an adoptive family

To learn more about how American Adoptions serves both its adoptive families and prospective birth mothers, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a licensed social worker.

Step 4: Complete the necessary steps to become active with your agency.

You’ll have to meet certain requirements before you can begin actively pursuing an adoption in the District of Columbia. If you work with American Adoptions, you’ll be required to:

  • Complete an adoption home study, which includes a documentation phase, interviews with each family member living in the home, and a home inspection.

  • Complete an Adoption Planning Questionnaire, which will help your adoption specialist to get a better idea of what you’re looking for in an adoption opportunity and identify which adoption opportunities might be right for you.

  • Complete an adoptive family profile, which will allow you to show a pregnant woman considering adoption what her child’s life could be like if she chose to place him or her with you.

Step 5: Find an adoption match and begin to develop a relationship with your child’s birth parents.

Once you have completed the above steps and become active with American Adoptions, you’ll be connected with a prospective birth mother based on your mutual preferences. When a birth mother chooses you, we’ll help to facilitate a call so that both parties can begin getting to know each other.

When anyone goes to adopt a baby in Washington, D.C. — or anywhere else in the U.S. — we always recommend at least some degree of openness, or communication, in an adoption scenario. Over time, people have come to realize that an open adoption benefits everyone involved in an adoption — the adoptive parents, birth parents and, most importantly, the child. No matter how much contact you and your child’s birth parents decide to have, it’s good to begin working on the relationship and figuring out what everyone is comfortable with before the baby is even born. This also helps a pregnant woman to feel comfortable with her decision to place with you.

Step 6: Finalize your child’s adoption.

The day your child comes home with you will undoubtedly be one you remember for the rest of your lives, but it isn’t actually the end of the adoption process. After adopting a baby in Washington, D.C., you’ll need to attend a finalization hearing to receive the final decree of adoption and your child’s amended birth certificate. Once this is complete, your child is permanently and legally yours!

Interested in adopting a baby in D.C.? Reach out anytime at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

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