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?
Adoption Process


Step 1: Contact Us.
Contact the Parent Recruitment Hotline at 212-676-WISH (toll-free outside of NYC 877-676-WISH). We can mail you the packet of information or you can get the packet by clicking here and filling in the requested information

Step 2: Attend an Orientation.
After you receive your packet of information, call one of the recruitment agencies listed in the packet and make an appointment to attend an orientation or register on-line. At the orientation, adoption professionals will give you an overview of the adoption process, guide you through every step of the process, and answer your questions. 

Step 3: Complete the Adoption Application.
At the end of the orientation, you will be given an application to fill out. Return the completed application to your adoption recruitment agency. Once social workers have reviewed it and are satisfied that the basic elements are in place, they will contact you to begin a home study. 

Step 4: Have a Home Study Prepared.
The home study provides the child welfare agency and the courts with comprehensive information needed to place a child in your care. You and your social worker will meet several times during the process. You will submit various documents including copies of your birth certificate(s), marriage license (if applicable), income tax returns, and medical reports completed by your physician. All adults in your home must be fingerprinted and cleared through the State Central Registry for Abuse and Neglect. Depending on the particular circumstances, a home study can take up to several months. 

Step 5: Complete a Training Series.
While the homestudy is underway, you will attend an 8-10 week Model Approach to Parenting Preparation (MAPP) training, where you will learn parenting skills, assess your own strengths as a parent, and better understand the particular needs of adoptive children. 

Step 6: Be Matched With a Child.
Now you are ready to begin the matching process. You will have the opportunity to look at the New York City Family Album and Meet Our Kids, both of which feature New York City children waiting for adoption. Your agency will assist both you and the child to make the right match. At this point, you and the child(ren) can begin visiting each other. 

Step 7: Get to Know Each Other.
After visiting, the child(ren) will move into your home. During this pre-adoptive phase, you and your child will get to know each other. You will learn about your child's medical and family history.  You will also learn about  adoption subsidies and reimbursements.  You will sign an Adoptive Placement  Agreement. The agreement says that you will take care of the child and intend to adopt. 

Step 8: The Child is Placed in Your Care.
After the children move into their new home with you, it will take approximately 6-8 months — and in some cases longer — before the adoption can be finalized. The agency will remain involved with both you and the child during this time. 

Step 9: Choose an Attorney to File the Adoption Petition.
When you are ready to finalize the adoption, you will hire an attorney and work with your agency to file the adoption petition in Family Court. Fees for your adoption attorney will, in most cases, be reimbursed by ACS. 

Step 10: Finalize the Adoption.
Your adoption petition will be reviewed in family court. When the judge approves the match, you and your child can go to court to sign the final adoption papers. Congratulations! You are now a family. 

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