Preparing for Adoption

Getting Ready to Adopt

What steps do I follow?

Choose the type of adoption that fits you best. Adoption competent staff is available at CHS to help you develop your unique plan.

Select an agency or attorney

Selecting the right agency or attorney may be the single most important decision you make in the adoption process. Ask for testimonials from past clients, check licensure/accreditation status, ask about how long they have practiced in adoption, ask about what other post-adoption services are offered, compare fees and “get a gut feeling.”

Complete a Home Study

All adoptions require a screening of applicants. While often initially a source of anxiety, the process can be a great opportunity to receive additional education and support in preparation for parenting through adoption. To complete the assessment, several sources of documentation are required, including: fingerprint checks with the FBI, child abuse and neglect background screenings and physician statements regarding physical and mental health, marital history, references, employment verification, income stability and physical standards of the home. The adoption staff at CHS will assist you in all aspects of the process.

Meet your child

Depending on the type of adoption that suits you best, the time from home study to placement varies greatly. Around the time of placement, the legal rights of the birth parents are most often legally terminated by the court and are irrevocable. At this time, the court will order the lawful transfer of custody to you and the agency. For the next 6-months (the time varies by state), the agency will provide ongoing support to your family.

Finalize the Adoption

After the required period of supervision, you will return to court to finalize the adoption. The agency must provide a recommendation for approval. The judge will finalize the adoption by awarding the adoptive parents all legal rights and responsibilities as if the child has been born to them. This final step varies with international adoptions, which are often finalized in the country of origin. An amended birth certificate will be issued following the finalization.

For more information, please contact us at adoption@chsmo.org or 314.968.2350 x230.