Domestic Adoption Requirements

Processing Time
Once an adoptive family is approved to enter the placing pool of families, the wait time for placement cannot be predicted. Most birthparents ask to select the adoptive family for their child. A family may be selected immediately upon entering the pool or may wait two years or longer.
Children Available
America World works in counseling with birthparents who are making a voluntary adoption plan for their child. Primarily newborn infants will be available. However, the children may occasionally be up to 12 months of age. Gender preferences cannot be honored for the domestic program.

Preference will be given to families who are flexible in regard to race, birth family history, and medical and social risk factors. We strongly encourage you to fill out the free pre-application if you have questions about the child you hope to adopt.
Applications will be accepted from any state where America World is licensed and is able to complete a home study for domestic adoption. Read about your state on our State Pages.
Interstate Compact
There are laws concerning the transportation of children from one state to another for foster care or adoption. Approval for the placement must be given by the Compact Office in both states (the state of the child’s birth and the state of the adoptive parents’ residence). This process cannot be initiated until the child is born. Therefore, the adoptive parents should expect to remain in the state of the child’s birth while awaiting Compact approval. This normally takes less than one week but may take longer depending upon the states involved. Adoptive parents need to plan for this stay.
Parents' Ages
The minimum age for both applicants is 25 years. Applications will be accepted until one parent reaches their 43rd birthday. Families may be considered for placement until the older applicant reaches their 46th birthday. Fee policy for refunds apply.
Marriage Status
Applications are accepted for couples who have been married at least two years. Single applicants are not accepted. No more than one divorce per parent is accepted.
Children in Family
Children in the home must be at least 12 months of age and have been in the home a minimum of twelve months prior to the beginning of a home study for another child. It is expected that a couple is not actively engaged in treatment for infertility during the adoption process.
Families must be able to show that they can financially provide for a child. A family’s income and full financial status will be evaluated as part of the adoption process.
Criminal History
Applicants who have been arrested and convicted of a crime in the past five years (including DUI and DWI) will not be considered. Criminal history in the last 5-10 years will be considered on a case by case basis.
Medical History
Applicants and their child(ren) must be in good mental and physical health with normal life expectancy, as determined by the applicant(s) physician. Applicants must be physically able to care for a child.
It is expected that one parent will be at home to care for the child for at least 12 weeks after placement. This responsibility may be shared between the parents.
Home Study
Home studies must be completed by America World. Home studies will not be accepted from other agencies.
Both parents must be willing to travel to the state where the birthparent is residing for meetings with her/him prior to the birth of a child and for the birth and placement upon discharge from the hospital. Parents who live outside the state of the child’s birth will be required to comply with the Interstate Compact requirements regarding the placement as outlined above and may not leave the state with the child until approval has been issued by the Interstate Compact offices in both states.
America World requires that all families be willing to meet these openness requirements:
• If she requests, meet the birthmother (and birthfather if he is involved) prior to the child’s birth. This will occur in a neutral location with a representative from America World present with no identifying information exchanged.

• Schedule follow up meetings prior to the birth of the child, as requested by the birthparent(s), with no identifying information exchanged.

• If the birthmother requests placement directly from the hospital after birth, visit the birthmother at the hospital and be present at the hospital at discharge (all with an America World representative present)

• Allow the birthmother to keep the non-indentifying family profile book

• Provide non-identifying updates about the child to the birthparents in the form of a letter at least one full page in length with at least 4 photos of the child quarterly for the first year after placement, twice yearly in the second year, and then annually each year until age 18.

**Please refer to America World's Agency Adoption Requirements for a complete list of requirements.