FAQ’s

Below is a list of many commonly asked questions about adoption.

Download our more comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions brochure

Must I be married in order to adopt?
No. Adoptions by single people are on the increase, and some children actually do best with a single parent. Unmarried heterosexual couples may also adopt, and single people and couples of any sexual preference are welcomed as adoptive parents.

Must adoptive parents meet age requirements?
In Rhode Island you may adopt a child if you are over 21 years of age. There is no upper age limit, and adoptive parents in their 40s and 50s are quite common.

How old are the children available for adoption?
Though there has been a slight increase in the number of younger children entered into state care, the children Adoption Rhode Island work with are typically of school age, with ages 8-16 being the majority.

What about infants?
It is not often that infants are registered with Adoption Rhode Island. If you are interested in adopting an infant, either domestically or internationally, visit our list of licensed adoption agencies . Adopting an infant often involves a long wait and considerable fees.

Are the children shown on the website the only children waiting for families?
No. The children you’ll meet in our Photo Gallery are children who are legally free for adoption. There are a number of additional children also seeking families who are not yet legally free and whose photos cannot be displayed. If you have a completed and approved home study and would like more information about any of the children waiting for families, please contact our Recruitment and Matching team.

How much does it cost to adopt an older child?
There is no fee to adopt a child in state care. The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is a public agency and offers its adoption services free of charge. Furthermore, some children in DCYF care are eligible to receive subsidies until they are 18 or 21, depending on their needs. (Our Frequently Asked Questions brochure provides more information about subsidies.)

What kind of income must an adoptive parent have?
There are no income requirements for adoptive families.

Must an adoptive parent be a homeowner?
No, and you are not required to provide a separate room for the adopted child.

What is a home study?
A home study is a series of group and individual meetings between prospective adoptive parents, family members, and a social worker. In these meetings you will learn about the kind of child you might best parent. The agency will also learn about you and your lifestyle in order to make the best match between you and the child or children eventually placed with you. The social worker will then write an official document about your family that legally approves you to adopt a child; this document is also called a home-study.

How long will it take?
Once you have been accepted into a home-study group (see STEP TWO under In-State Process above), the process takes three to five months to complete. The waiting period to be matched with a child can range from a few weeks to a year or two. Families who are most flexible about the type and age of child they are willing to consider are matched with children more quickly.

Where are the children while they are waiting to be adopted?
Most of the waiting children are living in foster homes, group homes, and residential treatment facilities.

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