In the case of any adoption involving unrelated persons, the process always involves a pre-placement home study of the prospective home. A pre-placement home study involves the assessment of the proposed home as a safe and nurturing place for a child through contacts with a Social Worker experienced in making such assessments; background clearances such as criminal history and child abuse checks; references; verification of income, financial obligations, employment; marriage, divorce and insurance coverage.
In the event of an international adoption, the country that the child comes from may have additional requirements to be included in the home study. Also, approval must be obtained from the United States Consulate and Immigration Services (CIS) through their own approval methods.
In either of the above cases, it is important to connect with the agency or attorney you plan to use for the adoption to ensure that the home study is completed correctly for the type of adoption you seek.
Once the home study is completed and approved, the next step really depends on the type of adoption, for example: if it is an open domestic adoption, the next step would be to locate a birth mother who wishes to make an adoption plan through an open adoption. If it is an international adoption, the next step would be to gather further documentation required by the country adopting from, have them properly authenticated and send them to the country requesting a child.
In any type of adoption, the process will follow certain steps to its happy conclusion. Therefore, it is critical that the prospective adoptive parents make the right choice for them when choosing any agency.