adoption registry

Every state has different adoption requirements because the adoption process is mainly controlled by state law. Though some states have certain laws, others may have very different ones, making each adoption process unique in many ways.
When choosing an adoption agency or professional, there are some that fulfill the adoption requirements in more than one state, while others only satisfy the requirements in their home state. It is important to know the different state policies regarding everything from adoption expenses, advertising for Birth Parents, consent procedures, and more.
This guide will run through the adoption requirements unique to each state, so that when you’re ready to begin the adoption process, you’ll be fully informed.

Adoptions by State: A - Z

Alabama
Who can adopt in Alabama? Any individuals who are 19 years of age or older are allowed to adopt in Alabama. Married couples must be married for at least three years, and all members in the household will be subjected to a criminal background check. LGBT singles are also able to adopt individually, though whether or not same­sex couples may adopt is not addressed in Alabama state statutes.
Domestic Adoption Laws: When it comes to domestic adoptions, there are some clear­cut rules adoptive and Birth Parents can follow. These include:
  • Adoptive Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Use an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses that Can Be Paid Include Medical, Living, Lost Wages, and Post­Partum Needs
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can Be Granted by the Birth Mother Before or Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable Within 5 Days of Child’s Birth (if signed prior to birth), or 5 Days After Birth (if signed after)
Further information here.
Alaska
Who can adopt in Alaska? In Alaska, individuals may adopt singularly or jointly by married couples. Same­sex couples may petition for a joint adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adoptive Parents Must Inquiry About Adoption Advertising
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize Adoption
  • Adoptive Parents Must Inquiry About Using an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Living and Medical as well as other adoption­related needs
  • There is No Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption can Be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 10 Days After Consent is Given or After the Child is Born – whichever happens later
  • Post­Adoption Contracts Are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Arizona
Who can adopt in Arizona? Any legal adult resident of Arizona may adopt a child. Whether the individual is married, single, legally separated, or part of a same­sex couple, they may adopt.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Adoption Advertising
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses Include: Otherwise Reimbursed Medical, Legal, and Counseling Expenses. If Living Expenses Exceed $1,000, Advanced Court is Required.
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Arkansas
Who can adopt in Arkansas? In Arkansas, a single adult or married couple may adopt a child. A married individual without their spouse may also adopt if the spouse is the parent of the child to be adopted and consents to the arrangement. If the couple is legally separated or the court actually excuses the spouse due to absence, incapacity, or other circumstances that result in withholding consent, an individual may still be able to adopt. Same sex couples and LGBT singles are not addressed in Arkansas laws.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adoptive Parents Must Inquiry About Adoption Advertising
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize Adoption
  • Adoptive Parents Must Inquiry About Whether or Not They May Use a Facilitator
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can Be Given Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 10 Days After Birth or Signing – Whichever Happens Last
  • Adoptive Parents Must Inquiry About Whether or Not Post Adoption Contact Agreements Are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
California
Who can adopt in California? In California, a child may be legally adopted by an adult who is at least 10 years older than the child. If the adoptive parent is a sibling, stepparent, aunt or uncle, first cousin, or another family member who is married and looking to adopt jointly, an exception may be made. Same­sex couples may petition for joint adoption in this state as well.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adoptive Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize the Adoption Only if the Birth Mother was a Resident of California at the time of Consent
  • Adoptive Parents May Use an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses that May Be Paid Include Legal, Counseling, Living, and Medical
  • There is No Putative Father Registry
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 30 Days After Signing for Private Adoptions, and 10 Days After Acknowledged by Social Services for Agency Adoptions
Further information here.
Colorado
Who can adopt in Colorado? Anyone 21 years or older may adopt. A minor with court approval may also adopt, as well as any individual jointly living with a spouse unless they are legally separated. Same­sex couples may also petition for joint adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adoptive Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize Adoption Only if Using a State­Licensed Agency
  • Adoptive Parents May Use a Facilitator Only if from a Licensed Agency or County Department
  • Birth Parents Expenses to Be Paid May Include medical, Legal, Counseling, and Approved Pregnancy­Related Needs
  • There is No Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption May Be Granted Before Birth or Four Days After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Being Filed with Courts and Signed By a Colorado Judge.
  • Post­Adoption Contact Agreements Are Not Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Conneticut
Who can adopt in Conneticut? Same­Sex couples may petition for adoption and any adult may adopt, but their sexual orientation may be considered during placement.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adoptive Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Adoptive Parents Must Inquiry About Using an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses to Be Paid May Include Medical, Legal, and Counseling. There is a $1500 max for living expenses
  • Consent to Adoption Can Be granted 48 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Finalization (30 Days After Filing Consent)
  • Post­Adoption Contact Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Delaware
Who can adopt in Delaware? Single individuals, married couples, same- sex couples, or divorced/legally separated persons may adopt or petition for joint adoption if they are 21 years or older. If the adoptee is 18 or over, any individual or married couple may legally adopt them.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses that Are Permitted are limited to Court Costs and Legal Fees
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 14 Days After Signing
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
District of Columbia
Who can adopt in District of Columbia? Any adult may adopt and all spouses, same­sex or otherwise, may petition for joint adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Adoption Advertising
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Use an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses Include: Otherwise Reimbursed Medical, Legal, and Counseling Expenses.
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted at Any Time
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Florida
Who can adopt in Florida? Single individuals and married couples may adopt. LGBT individuals may also adopt, but Same­Sex couples cannot jointly adopt.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Adoption Advertising
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses Include: Otherwise Reimbursed Medical, Legal, Reasonable Living Expenses, and Any Adoption­Related Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 48 Hours After Birth or Release from the Hospital
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing (for Newborns), or 3 Days After Signing for Children 6 months or older
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Requirements to adopt a child
Georgia
Who can adopt in Georgia? While LGBT individuals are allowed to adopt, it is not addressed whether same­sex couples may petition jointly. Aside from this, any adult, foster parent or otherwise, who is at least 25 years or older, or married and living with their spouse, or 10 years older than the adoptee may adopt. They must, however be financially, physically, and mentally prepared to become a parent.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses to be Paid Include Medical, Legal with affidavit, and Reasonable Living Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 24 Hours After Birth for Agency Adoption or Any Time After birth for Private Adoptions
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 10 Days After Birth as long as the 10th day is a Business Day
  • Post Adoption Agreements Not Addressed
Further information here.
Hawaii
Who can adopt in Hawaii? Single adults, married couples, or the spouse of a legal parent may adopt a child. Same­sex couples may petition jointly.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Adoption Advertising
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquire About Using a Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Living, Medical, Legal, and Counseling.
  • There is a No Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Idaho
Who can adopt in Idaho? Any resident 25 years or older or at least 15 years older than the adoptee. Married couples must have mutual consent. Same­sex couples may petition for joint adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize Adoption
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquire About Using an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Counseling, Legal, Living and Lost Wages
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Illinois
Who can adopt in Illinois? Any adult 21 years or older without legal disability may petition to adopt. Age restriction may be waived in some special cases. Married couples must petition jointly.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption Only if the Adoptee is a Relative of the Adopting Parents
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include up to $1,000 for pregnancy related expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Indiana
Who can adopt in Indiana? Singles and married couples may petition. Adoptive Parents must complete the county agency application, a home study process, 26 hours of training, and undergo a CPS and criminal background checks.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Adoption Advertising
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption for “hard to place” Children
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, Counseling, Travel, and Living up to $3,000 unless approved by court
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 30 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable for Children Ages 2+
Further information here.
Iowa
Who can adopt in Iowa? Singles and married couples petitioned jointly.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquire About Using an Adoption Facilitator
  • Costs Covered May Be Birth Parent Expenses, pregnancy related expenses, Counseling, Transportation, and Medical
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 96 After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Kansas
Who can adopt in Kansas? An adult 10 years older than the adoptee may adopt. Exceptions are in place if the adoptive parent is a sibling, stepparent, or relative of the child. Same­sex couples face some legal restrictions when petitioning.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses Reasonable Living Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 12 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Kentucky
Who can adopt in Kentucky? Any adult who has lived in Kentucky for at least 12 months may adopt. A wife and husband may adopt jointly unless the adopting parent is the spouse of the biological parent. Same­sex couples may face legal restrictions.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses Include: Otherwise Reimbursed Medical, Legal, and Counseling Expenses. If Living Expenses Exceed $1,000, Advanced Court is Required
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 20 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Louisiana
Who can adopt in Louisiana? Any single adult 18 years or older or a married couple. Same­sex couples may face legal restrictions.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include reasonable Medical, Counseling, Legal, Training, and other Final Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 5 Days After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 5 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Maine
Who can adopt in Maine? Any married couple or same­sex couple may petition jointly, or any single individual may adopt.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Using An Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Counseling, Legal, and Other Reasonable Living Expenses
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable Any Time After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Requirements to adopt a child
Maryland
Who can adopt in Maryland? Any adult can adopt in Maryland. Married couples must adopt jointly and same­sex couples may petition for joint adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Reasonable and Customary Legal and Medical Expenses
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 30 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Massachusetts
Who can adopt in Massachusetts? A single person may adopt, or a married couple may adopt jointly. Same­sex couples may petition for joint adoption. Minors may adopt in Massachusetts with their spouse if they are adopting the biological child of their spouse.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption of the Child is a State Resident
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Counseling, Medical, Legal, and Transportation, as well as Living Expenses for the Birth Mother up to $980 a month for living and $500 for educational or vocational needs. Payments are made through the agency only
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 4 Days After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Michigan
Who can adopt in Michigan? A single individual or a married couple jointly may adopt though same­sex couples may face some legal restrictions.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include any Medical Expenses not Covered By Insurance
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth but Must Be Given During a Scheduled Court Hearing
  • Consent Will Not be Revoked; Parents Have Time for Reconsideration but it Is Seldom Granted
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Minnesota
Who can adopt in Minnesota? Any individual who has lived in the state for a year may adopt in Minnesota.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption Unless Related or a Close Family Friend of the child
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Legal, Counseling, and any Necessary Living Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 10 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Mississippi
Who can adopt in Mississippi? Same­sex couples may face legal restrictions, but single individuals or married couples may jointly adopt. Adoptive parents must have lived in Mississippi for 6 consecutive months before beginning the adoption process.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include only Expenses that are Reasonably Connected with the Mother’s Pregnancy, the Birth, and the Adoption Process
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Missouri
Who can adopt in Missouri? Any adult or married couple will be able to adopt jointly notwithstanding state residency. Same­sex couples should inquire about their Missouri Adoption rights.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Living, and Legal.
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 48 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Court Approves within 3 Days
  • Post Adoption Agreements Are Not Addressed
Further information here.
Montana
Who can adopt in Montana? In Montana, singles who are 18 years or older may adopt, as well as married couples who are adopting jointly. Stepparents and individuals without their spouse, if they are legally separated, may also adopt. Same­sex couples may be able to petition for second­parent adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Legal, Medical, Counseling, travel, and living expenses.
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Termination of Parental Rights
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Nebraska
Who can adopt in Nebraska? Any adult or married couple may jointly adopt. Same­sex couples may face some legal restrictions in this state.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical not covered by Insurance, Legal, and any Birth­Related Living Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 48 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable Only if the Court Approves
Further information here.
Nevada
Who can adopt in Nevada? An adult who is at least 10 years older than the adoptee (if the adoptee is a minor) may adopt. If the adoptee is an adult, and adult who is older than the adoptee has the right to adopt.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Legal, Living, Counseling, and Medical
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
New Hampshire
Who can adopt in New Hampshire? A single individual may adopt and married couples may adopt jointly. A married person may adopt without their spouse if they are the adopting parent or are a stepparent. If legally separated, they may adopt if the spouse is gone due to unexplained absence or if the individual to be adopted is 18 or older.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Using a Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Counseling, Legal, and Reasonable Living Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Final Hearing
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Requirements to adopt a child
New Jersey
Who can adopt in New Jersey? Any individual 18 years or older who is also at least 10 years older than the child may adopt. Married couples, a married person without their spouse, or the child’s sibling, relative, birth father, or stepparent may also adopt.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Use an Adoption Facilitator Only If the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Counseling, Living, Legal, and Medical
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Surrender to a Judge (Agency Adoptions) or When Birth Parental Rights are Terminated (Private Adoption)
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed in Statutes
Further information here.
New Mexico
Who can adopt in New Mexico? In New Mexico, any resident may adopt with the court’s approval, making it a case­by­case scenario for each family. Married couples and same­sex couples may also jointly petition for adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption if Using a New Mexico Agency
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Counseling, Legal, and Living
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 48 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable if Decided by the Courts
Further information here.
New York
Who can adopt in New York? Any single adult, married couple applying jointly, or a married person singly if legally separated may adopt in New York. Minor adults may also adopt if their spouse is the child’s biological parent.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Adoption Advertising
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption in Extenuating Circumstances
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, Living, Counseling, and other Needs I Found by the Courts
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 45 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization (Private Adoptions), 30 Days After Signing (Agency Adoptions)
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
North Carolina
Who can adopt in North Carolina? Any adult may adopt in North Carolina, including same­sex couples. However, same­sex couples may face legal restrictions in some parts of the state.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency. In North Carolina, only a Parent, Guardian, or Agency may actually Place a Minor for Adoption
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, Counseling, and Living
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 7 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization Granted the 7th Day is a Business Day
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
North Dakota
Who can adopt in North Dakota? Any single adult may adopt and a husband and wife may jointly adopt. A married person may be able to adopt singly if the adoptee is not the spouse of the adopting parent, if the adopting parent is a stepparent, if the adopting parent is legally separated from their spouse, or if the spouse is actually excused from petitioning to adopt for a reasonable cause.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Counseling, and Living Expenses Related to the Adoption and Placement for no more than 6 weeks after Delivery
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth for Agency Adoption, 48 Hours After Birth for Birth Mother, or Any Time for Birth Father
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Termination of Parental Rights at a termination Hearing
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed in State Statutes
Further information here.
Ohio
Who can adopt in Ohio? A married couple may jointly adopt in Ohio, though same­sex couples may face some legal restrictions if petitioning for second­parent adoption. In addition, a single adult or married person who is legally separated from their spouse, any unmarried minor if they are the birth parent to the adopted child, or a married adult without their spouse if the spouse is the adoptee’s birth parent may also adopt.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Adoption
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption in Some Courts
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency. Only an Agency or Attorney may Actually Assist in Placing the Child.
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, and Counseling in Agency Cases. Living Expenses are Prohibited in Private Adoptions Unless Permitted By Court.
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Surrender to Agency in Private Adoptions
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable Unless it Is an Open Adoption
Further information here.
Oklahoma
Who can adopt in Oklahoma? Any individual 21 years or older may adopt as well as a husband and wife, both 21 years or older. If a married person is 21 years or older and legally separated from their partner, they may also adopt if the child is a relative of the spouse.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents Only with a Valid Home study
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Living, Medical, Legal, and Counseling
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted After Birth with Help of Judge
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization Before a Judge
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable if Approved By Court
Further information here.
Oregon
Who can adopt in Oregon? Any person, including same­sex, may adopt if at least one of the adoptive parents has lived in Oregon for 6 months before filing for adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents Only After They Have Completed a Pre­Placement Home study
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption if the Birth Mother is a Resident
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, and Counseling, as well as necessary and reasonable Living Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Child is Placed in Agency Adoptions and After State Requirements Are Met for Independent Adoptions
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Pennsylvania
Who can adopt in Pennsylvania? Any individual may adopt in the state of Pennsylvania.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical Needs Directly Tied to the Birth and Delivery. Some Legal Expenses May Occur and Counseling Funds are Overseen by the Court System
  • There is a Putative Father Registry – The Bureau of Child Enforcement and Support
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 30 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed in State Statutes
Further information here.
Rhode Islands
Who can adopt in Rhode Island? Any adult residing in Rhode Island including married couples and same­sex couples may jointly adopt. A nonresident may adopt a child if the child is in custody of a child­placing agency.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses are not Addressed in State Statutes
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 15 days After Birth for Agency Adoptions, or After Termination of Parental Rights for Private Adoptions
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 180 Days After Decree is Entered
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Requirements to adopt a child
South Carolina
Who can adopt in South Carolina? South Carolina residents adopt in the state. If a person is a nonresident, they may adopt if the child has special needs, is being placed with a relative, or has one adoptive parent in the military who is stationed in South Carolina. LGBT singles may adopt as an individual, but couples must inquire about jointly petitioning to adopt.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents Only if They Have an Up­to­Date Home study Report Approving Them for Adoption
  • Out of State Residents Are Required to Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, and Living (Receipts are Required)
  • There is a Putative Father Registry – the “Responsible Father Registry”
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 24 Hours After Birth, but there is No Minimum Time
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable Immediately Unless Revoking Consent Can be Proved to Be In the Child’s Best Interest
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
South Dakota
Who can adopt in South Dakota? Any adult may adopt in South Dakota as long as they are at least 10 years older than the adoptee. A married couple may jointly adopt unless they are legally separated, in which case one may adopt without their spouse. LGBT singles are permitted to adopt, but couples must inquiry about joint adoption.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adoptive Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize Adoption
  • Adoptive Parents May Use an Adoption Facilitator but They Must Use a Licensed Agency and the Court Must Approve Charges for Services
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Any Charges Approved by Court
  • Consent to Adoption can Be Granted 5 Days After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 30 Days After Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements Are Not Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Tennessee
Who can adopt in Tennessee? In Tennessee, an individual who is 18 years or older and who has lived in the state for 6 consecutive months before petitioning to adopt may do so. Married couples may petition jointly, while LGBT singles are permitted to adopt individually and must inquire about same­sex couples jointly petitioning.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, Counseling, and Reasonable Living for 90 days before birth and up to 45 days after birth or surrender of the child
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 3 Days After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 10 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization as long as the 10th day is a business day
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Texas
Who can adopt in Texas? Any adult may adopt in the state.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Not Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, and Counseling in Private Adoptions and Medical, Legal, Counseling, and Living in Agency Adoptions
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Termination of Parental Rights is Needed Rather than Consent
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 60 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization for Private Adoptions and Immediately After Signing for Agency Adoptions
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Utah
Who can adopt in Utah? Single adults who are at least 10 years older than the child may adopt. Married couples with at least one parent being 10 years older, stepparent(s), and legally separated adults may also adopt. In Utah, couples must be married in order to adopt. Same­sex couples may petition for joint adoption, though they may face some restrictions.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption if the Child is a Utah Resident/Was Born in Utah
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses Include Any Reasonable Adoption Related Expenses Limited to the Pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after Delivery
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 24 Hours After Birth for the Birth Mother and Any Time for the Birth Father
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed in State Statutes
Further information here.
Vermont
Who can adopt in Vermont? Any individual may adopt in Vermont including the birth parent’s partner.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption Unless Using a Licensed Agency with Custody of the Child
  • Adopting Parents May Use an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, Transportation, and Some Living Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 36 Hours After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 21 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization in Court
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
Virginia
Who can adopt in Virginia? A resident, any individual with custody of a child already placed by a child­placing agency, and an adoptive parents who has already been involved in consent proceeding may adopt. Married couples may adopt jointly, as well as a stepparent or a spouse from a marriage that has been made void.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses Include Birth­Related Medical Expenses, Legal, Counseling, and All Related Transportation. Living Expenses May Be Included if the Mother is Unable to Work Due to Pregnancy
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth for Birth Mothers; Any Time for Birth Fathers
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable 7 Days After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable if Court Approved
Further information here.
Washington
Who can adopt in Washington? Individuals who are 18 years or older may adopt. If a person is legally competent and has completed an approved home study, they may adopt in Washington.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator Unless the Facilitator is Employed or Otherwise Affiliated with a Licensed Adoption Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses Include: Medical, Living, Counseling, Legal, and Potentially Lost Wages
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable Upon Approval by Court (up to 48 hours)
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable
Further information here.
West Virginia
Who can adopt in West Virginia? Both singles and married couples may adopt in West Virginia.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Not Use an Adoption Facilitator, but Only an Agency or the State May Accept Fees
  • Birth Parent Expenses Include Medical, legal, and Counseling
  • There is Not a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted 72 Hours After Birth
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Legally Enforceable as Long as Approved by Court
Further information here.
Wisconsin
Who can adopt in Wisconsin? A child’s stepparent, a single adult, or a married couple may adopt in Wisconsin.
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents (Only home studied parents and Wisconsin Licensed Agencies)
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents May Use an Adoption Facilitator if they are From a Licensed Agency
  • Birth Parent Expenses May Include Medical, Legal, and Counseling before and after the Adoption. Up to $5,000 may be spent for Living Expenses
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization and Terminating Rights
  • Post Adoption Agreements are Not Addressed in State Statutes
Further information here.
Requirements to adopt a child
Wyoming
Who can adopt in Wyoming? Any individual who has been deemed competent and has lived in Wyoming a minimum of 60 days (about 2 months).
Domestic Adoption Laws:
  • Adopting Parents May Advertise for Birth Parents
  • Out of State Residents May Not Finalize an Adoption
  • Adopting Parents Must Inquiry About Using an Adoption Facilitator
  • Birth Parent Expenses are Not Addressed in State Statutes
  • There is a Putative Father Registry
  • Consent to Adoption Can be Granted Any Time After Birth
  • Consent Becomes Irrevocable After Signing Adoption Finalization
  • Post Adoption Agreements Are Not Addressed in State Statutes
Further information here.
To find more information about international adoptions, private adoptions, or to become connected with adoption professionals and attorneys, follow the links at the bottom of each state section.
If you need to know more about the general adoption process, who to get connected with, or have questions as either a birth parent or adoptive parent, you are not alone. Though your adoption journey is unique, you can find community when you need one.