New York Adoption Agencies, Information, and Resources

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This page provides adoption information to those who live in New York. If you are considering adoption for your baby, we have gathered information about Pregnancy Resource Centers/Crisis Pregnancy Centers to assist you to confirm your pregnancy, clinics where you may get prenatal care, and a list of hospitals with birthing centers.

What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in New York

If you are considering placing your baby for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Although we recommend that any specific adoption circumstances be discussed with an adoption professional who is experienced with current New York laws and regulations, here are a few things to know about when considering adoption for your baby:

Who Must Consent to an Adoption in the New York?

Consent to a proposed adoption of a person under age 18 is necessary from the child’s mother, and if she is married to the child’s father, then his consent is also necessary. When a child over the age of six months is placed for adoption an unmarried father must give his consent to the adoption if he has “maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact.” For a child aged less than six months at placement, an unmarried father must take specific action as stated by law (including live with the child and provide financial support) in order for his consent to the adoption to be required. A proposed adoptee in New York who is age 14 or older must consent to his or her own adoption.

When is consent not necessary for adoption in New York?

Consent to a proposed adoption of a person in New York who is under age 18 is not necessary from any parent who has custody but has:

• Surrendered the child to an authorized agency (through the appropriate surrender process),
• Failed to provide support for or contact the child for six or more months even though able to do so, or
• Has signed a formal, irrevocable document that denies paternity of the child.

When a child’s parent is not capable of providing care because of mental illness or because they don’t have the mental ability to do so, or when a guardianship is in place for a child, then that parent’s consent to adoption is not required.

How is consent to adoption given in New York?

The laws in the state of New York provide more than one way for adoptive placement to take place, which is something that should be explained to an expectant parent in detail when meeting with a Social Worker or legal representation as part of their specific adoption plan. Some adoptive placements are immediately irrevocable, and some are not. Consent to a private placement adoption may be signed in court or, if signed prior to the appearance, is confirmed before any judge or surrogate in the state having jurisdiction over adoption proceedings. The consent will state that it is irrevocable upon such signing or confirmation. When a parent appears in front of a judge or surrogate to sign or confirm a consent to adoption, the judge or surrogate makes sure that the parent is informed of the consequences of that act of consent, and will also inform the parent of the right of legal representation by legal counsel that the parent may select and of the right to obtain supportive counseling. The judge or surrogate makes sure the parent is given a copy of their signed consent.

When a consent is not signed or confirmed before a judge or surrogate, New York law requires that the consent shall be executed or acknowledged before a notary public or other officer authorized to take proof of deeds. A copy of the consent is given to the parent upon the execution thereof. This type of consent is called an “extrajudicial consent” and becomes irrevocable 45 days after signing for a direct placement, or if adoption agency consent documents are used the revocation period is thirty (30) days.

When may consent to adoption be given in New York?

New York law does not specify a period of time that must pass before consent to adoption may be given.

Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in New York?

In circumstances where the placement is a direct placement and consent is given before a judge or surrogate as described above, the code section does not provide for a revocation period. The law in New York requires that if a judicial consent is given, because it is irrevocable, the judge or surrogate confirms that the placing parent is informed of the right to independent legal representation and supportive counseling. When consent to adoption is signed outside of court and is not confirmed through a court proceeding as described above, there is a revocation period. The length of the revocation period varies dependent on if the placement is direct or through an adoption agency, and it is important that this be addressed and explained by the social worker or legal representation that meets with and advises the expectant mother.

What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in New York?

A birth father in New York who is married to the baby’s mother may consent to an adoption in the same manner as a birth mother. He may also sign an irrevocable denial of paternity. If a birth father in New York does not agree with the adoption, and is not married to the baby’s mother, he will need to take court action to establish parental rights in order for his consent to the adoption to be required.

Pregnancy Resource Centers in New York

Pregnancy Resource Centers, sometimes also called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” are usually not-for-profit clinics where expectant parents may seek assistance to confirm a pregnancy and review and discuss available options. Most Pregnancy Resource Centers are not staffed by medical personnel, and do not distribute contraceptives. Many are affiliated with pro-life organizations, so encourage parenting or adoption, however not all have religious affiliation. Our city pages provide information for Pregnancy Resource Centers throughout New York: Albany, Buffalo, Long Island, NYC, Rochester, Syracuse, and Westchester.

Pregnancy Clinics and Low Cost Prenatal Care in New York

Clinics are staffed by medical personnel and can address most aspects of prenatal care and family planning. They are able to perform STD and cancer screenings (pap smears, and sometimes mammograms), and can prescribe and distribute contraceptives. Clinics in New York that provide prenatal care may be found here:  Albany, Buffalo, Long Island, NYC, Rochester, Syracuse, and Westchester.

In addition, information about prenatal care through Medicaid that is available to women in New York with limited financial resources may be found at ACCESS.

Hospitals in New York

A hospital plan can be very useful to ensure that the desires and rights of all parties to an adoption are respected. You will work with your adoption professional and your delivery hospital to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Hospitals in New York with birthing centers are provided here: Albany, Buffalo, Long Island, NYC, Rochester, Syracuse, and Westchester.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in New York

For those in New York who wish to adopt a baby, you will wish to learn about home study agency resources as well as learn more about the process. Prospective adoptive parents should work with an agency authorized to operate by the New York State Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) to have a home study prepared so that they will be appropriately screened and cleared to adopt.

What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in New York?

The minimum age for prospective adoptive parents residing in New York is 18. There is no requirement that the adoptive parent(s) be married, however if married, both adoptive parents must adopt together, unless they are legally separated or have lived apart for at least three years prior to the filing of the adoption petition. Same sex couples who reside in New York may file their joint petition to adopt in this state. Minors may adopt the biological child of their spouse.

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in New York?

As with all states throughout the U.S. the cost of adoption will vary depending on several factors. Adoption of a child that is a dependent of the New York dependency (foster care) system is often at little or no cost while private domestic adoption of a newborn baby located through a private attorney or licensed adoption agency will range from $30,000 to $50,000. Prospective adopted parents may pay reasonable living expenses for an expectant mother in New York, but state law does limit the time frame during which this is permitted.

How do you become a foster parent in New York?

Families and individuals who are able to provide a child in need with a stable and secure home are always needed, and becoming a foster parent can be very impactful for you as well as the child(ren) you help. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Parent in New York you will need to undergo the home study process and training to confirm that your home is suitable and that you are well prepared. Additional information about foster care in New York is available on the Office of Child and Family Services website.

What is a facilitator and is it legal to use their services for adoption in New York?

An adoption facilitator specializes in matching prospective Adoptive Families with expectant mothers. New York law allows prospective adoptive parents to utilize the services of an adoption facilitator provided the facilitator is employed by or affiliated with an adoption agency authorized by New York’s Office of Child and Family Services.
Click here to read about the difference between adoption agencies, attorneys, and facilitators.

Home study and Post Placement Requirements in New York

As is the case throughout the United States, prospective adoptive families living in New York are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and also undergo post-placement assessment once a baby is placed in their home. The home study process confirms that the home and its residents will provide a safe and stable environment for an adoptive placement.

What is the home study and what happens during the process?

In New York, the home study is conducted by a social worker who works with a child-placing agency authorized by the New York Office of Child and Family Services (in New York adoption agencies are “authorized”, not licensed.) A criminal records check is required for prospective adoptive parents and everyone in the home over age 18. The home study assesses the motivation for adoption and the applicant’s readiness to parent a child placed into their home. The Office of Child and Family Services provides New York residents with additional information on its website about choosing an adoption agency.

What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside of the state is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

What is a post-placement requirement, and what happens during the process?

New York residents are required to have post-placement supervision for a minimum of three months before they may finalize their adoption. More information may be received directly from home study providers serving New York:

Adoption Choices of New York
(800) 505-8952
Adoption Choices’ professional staff are leaders in the adoption community with a genuine commitment to a sensitive, comprehensive, and supportive experience for all involved in the adoption journey.

Family Connections
(800) 535-5556
Family Connections, Inc. is an authorized New York State child-placing agency, who offers a full range of adoption services for dual parent and single parent households.

Family Services of Westchester
(914) 937-2320
Families today have a wide range of adoption options when deciding how to build their families. FSW/Adoption & Children’s Services has over 60 years of experience in working with families adopting U.S. born infants, and 30 years of international homestudy work

New Beginnings Child & Family Services
(516) 747-2204
New Beginnings is a small agency, but the professionalism in services is outstanding. The approach we take with our families is one of mutual respect and cooperation.

(212) 400-8150
Spence-Chapin has more than 100 years of providing adoption services and we are here to guide you through the home study process. No matter your adoption pathway your process will begin with the home study.

Every adoption is unique and most adoptions will transcend state boundaries requiring local representation. Adoption Network Law Center works with skilled and experienced professionals to handle all of the legal aspects of your adoption, and providing quality adoption services to prospective Birth Mothers and Adoptive Parents nationwide. Adoption requires significant coordination between the attorney, the home study agency and a licensed adoption agency. Adoption Network Law Center provides access to all necessary adoption services that will coordinate the accomplishment of your adoption plan.

New York Attractions

Spending time in New York? Be sure to check out these awesome and interesting places!

911 Memorial
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Central Park
Coney Island Park
Eastman Museum
New York State Capitol/Empire State Park
Niagara Falls State Park
Rockefeller Center
Statue of Liberty
Times Square

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