How Does A Person Become An Adoptive Parent?

  1. Gather as much information about adoption as possible, read articles and books, talk with adoptive families, etc.
  2. Gather information about the licensed adoption agencies in Delaware and determine which agency best meets your needs. Only licensed adoption agencies can place children for adoption. The Office of Child Care Licensing, Division of Family Services, can provide information about agencies.
  3. The licensed agency will invite you to come to an information meeting.
  4. The licensed agency then invites you to begin the education and assessment process referred to as the home study. The process is an opportunity for you to determine if adoption is right for you and helps you consider the type of child you can best parent.
  5. Home study processes vary from agency to agency. However, each must offer the following:
    • an opportunity for parents to explore their motivation for adopting, their strengths and weaknesses, and their parenting style
    • education about children that are currently available for adoption
    • personal and employment reference check
    • criminal history background check
    • review of physical and mental health history of all members in the home
    • home visits
    • physical and safety review of the home
  6. Once you have an approved home study, the licensed agency will try and match you with a child to ensure that the child’s needs will be met.
  7. When a child is matched and all parties believe that this child’s needs matches your strengths and abilities, a discussion of how to proceed with the placement should occur. It may be necessary for the child to visit initially with you so that familiarity and comfort increases before placement of the child into your home.
  8. When all the involved parties feel confident that this is a good match, the child will be placed in your home.
  9. If the placement involves a child from another state or country, contact will be made with the Office of Interstate Compact on Children, the Immigration and Naturalization Office or the State Department, as applicable.
  10. The placement of the child will be supervised and supported by the licensed agency for a period of six months to one year, depending on the age of the child, as required by Delaware law.
  11. Once the supervision period has passed and all parties involved feel confident that the adoption should occur, a petition will be filed in Family Court to finalize the adoption.
  12. Children who are special needs may qualify for financial assistance after adoption. This will be determined before the adoption is finalized.
  13. Information about post-adoption support groups, counseling, and other resources will be shared with you to support you and your new child.

Resources

DSCYF Adoption Contact Information

Mailing Address: 1825 Faulkland Rd, Wilmington, DE 19805
         Telephone: 302-633-2655
                Email: adoption.dscyf@state.de.us