Who Can Adopt?

Get information about who can adopt and general qualifications of adoptive parents.

Many different people can be successful parents. You don't have to own your own home or meet a pre-determined income level to be eligible. Your income may come from employment, a pension or disability payments. Both members of a couple may work.

Prospective parents are usually in the 25 to 50 year old range, but age requirements can be even more flexible depending on the age of the child. You can be experienced parents with children in your home, or you can be first-time parents or even have grown children. Agencies will consider single men and women, those who are married and many will also accept those in committed, yet-unmarried relationships.

Most agencies will also accept members of the LGBTQ+ community. People living with disabilities can and do adopt, and their rights are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For information on who may adopt and how the adoption process works in your state, please refer to your state's website for up-to-date information.

Can a Resident of Another Country Adopt a U.S. Child?

Foreign nationals residing in the U.S. are permitted to adopt a U.S. child who is in the custody of a public agency. Most agencies and courts of jurisdiction will require that you furnish proof of residence in the U.S. as part of your adoption application and legal filings.

While private agencies may permit residents of other countries to adopt a U.S. infant, this has not been common practice with public agencies and older children. However, this may be changing as workers make more exhaustive searches to find families for children ready for adoption. The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is followed in the United States currently.