What is child adoption? 

Adoption is a social, emotional and legal process where children who are unwanted or abandoned become full and permanent members of a new family. It involves an intensive and sometimes lengthy process that touches everyone involved in the adoption process in different ways. 

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Almost anyone can adopt in New York State, including single people or couples, parents, lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals, non-parents, renters or homeowners, and even those who have not had any children. However, certain requirements are required for some adoptions, such as a home study, and others must be met in order to qualify to adopt. 

In the United States, there are about 135,000 children in private adoption and another 117,000 who have been adopted through foster care, according to American Adoptions. Approximately 26% of private adoptive children are infants and about 40% are children from another country. 

How many children are there in the United States who need to be adopted?

The number of children who need to be adopted varies from state to state. In New York, there are about 130 public and authorized voluntary agencies that work with families who are interested in adopting children in the State’s custody. In addition, CP&P maintains a photo listing of available children. 

How do I find an adoption agency?

There are about 130 licensed adoption agencies throughout the state, and each of the 58 social services districts in New York has an adoption unit. Each agency offers a variety of services to prospective adoptive families, and many also provide adoption subsidies, which can help reduce the cost of adoption. 

What do the staff at CP&P do?

When a family applies to adopt, a social worker from CP&P will meet with them in person to discuss their background, family history, employment and education, finances and any other factors that are relevant. These interviews are an opportunity to learn about the potential adoptive parent’s lifestyle, values and interests. 

After the meeting, the social worker will prepare a home study for the family. This will contain information about the family’s financial situation, background, medical and psychiatric history, previous parenting experience, and references. The social worker will make sure that the home study reflects the facts and is comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date. 

What are the requirements to get a home study approved? 

If you are planning to adopt, it is a good idea to start your home study as early in the process as possible. This will allow you to explore a number of children before making your final decision. 

A successful home study can include passing a series of background checks, including FBI fingerprints. If you are found to have a criminal record, for example, this will be disclosed to your social worker. The social worker will also make sure that you have been cleared of the charges before your home study is approved. 

What is the most common reason for child adoption? 

In most cases, adoption happens when a child’s birth parent is no longer able to care for the child or cannot care for him or her safely. These situations are called “relative” or “foster-care” adoptions. If you are considering a relative or foster-care adoption, it is important to contact the local social service district or authorized voluntary agency to find out more about the laws in your area.