When you adopt a child, it is an exciting and joyful experience. However, it does involve a detailed process, and that can be intimidating.
The exact preparation you need to go through to adopt a child can vary depending on the type of adoption you choose, e.g., international, domestic or foster care adoption. Nevertheless, some steps are fairly universal.
Before you can adopt a child, state officials and caseworkers need to be sure that you can provide a safe environment for him or her to live. Therefore, you need to go through a background check. This looks specifically for a criminal history of offenses involving children, such as neglect or abuse, as well as convictions on other serious crimes. You must have your fingerprints taken for comparison with the FBI database.
A background check is part of a larger home study. During the home study, your caseworker will also conduct interviews with you, visit your home and talk to friends and relatives whom you name as references. All the information gained during the home study goes into a written report.
If the background check or larger home study turns up any disqualifying information about you, the adoption will not proceed. However, the point of the home study is not to prevent you from adopting if you are eligible. Rather the purpose is to help to make a good match between you and the child you will eventually make part of your family.
These requirements are standard for any type of adoption. However, if you choose to adopt a child from foster care, you must meet the Department of Child Services licensing requirements. These include training in universal precautions, CPR and first aid.