Prospective adoptive parents often question whether they will qualify to adopt. If you are adopting internationally, domestically, or from foster care, there are some requirements that all prospective adoptive parents must fulfill. However, there are no specific income or educational requirements. Although, there are some general guidelines to consider to determine if you qualify.

In terms of income, you will need to prove you have the means to support a child. It doesn’t mean you need to be wealthy, completely debt-free, or even homeowners. You will need to provide just some sort of proof that your income is sufficient to care for a child’s basic needs. The social worker responsible for your home study won’t be going through your bank statements or scrutinizing your finances. Generally, you need to provide a letter from your employer stating your position and salary or pay rate. If adopting from foster care, there are subsidies that vary from state to state that help with medical care or support services. If adopting through any means, you are eligible for the adoption tax credit, which can help offset your tax costs after your adoption finalizes.

Educational requirements, concerning your formal education, are minimal. Generally, most adoption agencies do not accept couples under the age of 25, so odds are if you meet that age requirement you have completed a high school diploma at the minimum. However, there may be some educational requirements of courses or seminars you must complete to be approved to adopt. These vary from state to state and even amongst agencies, but most agencies have some basic adoption education courses or readings they ask you to complete. Sometimes they have in-person seminars to attend; often they have online materials. Regardless the requirements, it is a great idea to learn as much as you can about adoption in general and the specific type you are pursuing, ideally before deciding if it is right for you, or at least before you bring your child home. When considering adopting a child and determining how to raise them despite biological factors: navigating an open adoption, learning about your child’s culture, and learning how to advocate for them in educational settings are just some of the things that might be relevant for you to learn as much as possible about before adopting.

Julianna Mendelsohn lives in sunny South Florida where, odds are, it is hot enough right now that she’s sweating just a little, no matter what she’s doing. She is the brains, brawn, blood, sweat, and tears behind The Adoption Mentor and is thrilled to be able to help others build their families through adoption. She is a former elementary school teacher, current MS in school counseling student, Sephora junkie, and the momma via domestic adoption to one lovely daughter.