NYC Resources 311 Office of the Mayor
NYC Administration for Children's Services: The City's child welfare agency, dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families

How Do I Adopt?
Facts and Fiction

woman and a child

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about adoption. You may have more specific questions and situations vary. So read on. And then call the Parent Recruitment Hotline at 212-676-WISH (toll-free outside New York City 877-676-WISH) to request an information packet, schedule an orientation, and find out all you need to know.

Do I have to be married to adopt a child?
Both single and married people can adopt. 
Can I adopt a child of a different race?
Our children are diverse and so are our families. Neither ACS nor the agencies it works with discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual preference, gender, or age (However, you must be at least 21 years of age). 
Will I need to pay for adoption services?
There are no fees when adopting through the City of New York. The homestudy will be prepared without cost to you and financial assistance is often available to cover legal fees. 
I do fine by myself, but am not sure if I make enough money to support a child. Is there financial support available?
You don’t have to make a lot of money to adopt. Adoption subsidies and income tax credits may be available to help with the costs of raising a child. 
What kind of help will I receive through the adoption process and after?
ACS and the agencies it works with will be there to assist you--from your first call to adoption finalization. You will have your questions answered, the agencies will work with you to match you with your child, and a staff member and your adoption attorney will help you complete the paperwork. After you adopt, there are parent groups to provide ongoing support and information. 
I have children at home already and no empty bedrooms. Can I still adopt?
Children of the same gender may share a bedroom. Call the Parent Recruitment Hotline for more information. 
I don't live in New York. Is it possible for me to adopt a NYC child?
Yes. First you need to have a homestudy completed by the child welfare agency in your state. With a completed homestudy in hand, ACS will begin to work with you to match you with a child. 
I was arrested when I was 18. Will that affect my eligibility to adopt?
It depends on the nature and severity of the offense and the length of time that has passed since then. When you attend an orientation, the staff will be able to give you more specific information. 

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