Adoption in Connecticut
Are you a Connecticut resident looking to adopt or place your child for adoption? Are you unsure of where to begin? We’ve got you covered. The following information will help you navigate the process in Connecticut and answer some frequently asked questions about adoption, as well as provide some resources to help guide you along the way.
If you don’t find the information you’re looking for after reading, click here to navigate through the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
What You Need to Know About Placing your Child for Adoption in Connecticut
Making the decision to place your child for adoption can be one of the toughest, but selfless choices you make, but being well-informed about the process may help ease some of your stress. The following information will provide some important factors to think about when considering placing your child for adoption in Connecticut.
Who Must Consent to a Connecticut Adoption and How does it Work?
In Connecticut, adoption consent must be given by the following:
- The adoptee if they are 12 years or older
- The child’s legal parent or guardian
- Any parent of a minor who agrees in writing with his or her spouse that the spouse (stepparent) can adopt the child if that parent is:
- The surviving parent if the other parent has died
- The mother of a child born out of wedlock, provided that there is a Putative Father who has been notified and his rights have been terminated
- A former single person who adopted a child and then got married
- The sole guardian of the child, if the parental rights of any person have been terminated
When is Consent Not Necessary for Adoption in Connecticut?
Consent to adoption is not required from any parent whose parental rights have been involuntarily terminated because he or she has:
- Abandoned the child
- Killed another child, deliberately or accidentally
- Subjected the child to sexual, physical or mental abuse
- Failed to establish an ongoing relationship with the child
- Had his or her parental rights revoked from a previous child
- Been convicted, as an adult or juvenile, of sexual assault that resulted in the conception of a child
Can a Birth Parent Revoke their Consent to Adoption?
In Connecticut, the court may void the termination of the Birth Parents parental rights if it finds it is in the best interest of the child. After the final decree of adoption has been issued; however, no petition for revocation will be granted.
What Rights do Birth Fathers Have in the Adoption Process?
In Connecticut, unmarried Birth Fathers may submit their information to the state’s paternity registry to receive notice of any adoption proceedings pertaining to a child they may have fathered, but registration must be completed within 60 days of the child’s birth to be valid.
Once a man claims his paternity, he will not be able to deny it. Therefore, he will be required to help care for the child and contribute to any necessary Birth Mother expenses.
Custody of a child will not be permitted to any Birth Father who:
- Has not been legally declared the child’s father by court
- Has not acknowledged his paternity in writing
- Has not contributed regularly to the support of the child
- Does not appear as the Birth Father on the child birth certificate
What You Need to Know About Adopting a Child in Connecticut
Adoption is no easy decision, but it is a life-changing one, so it is important that you understand the process before you begin your journey. Continue reading from more information about the adoption process in Connecticut or scroll to the end of the article for a list of adoption agencies to help get you started.
What are the Laws and Requirements for Adopting a Child in Connecticut?
In Connecticut, a person must be at least 21 years old to become an Adoptive Parent, and a person’s marital status will not be considered. You must also complete the home study process, pass a criminal background check, have sufficient income to support a child, and own or rent at least a two-bedroom home.
How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Child?
Connecticut adoption expenses may vary depending on the type of adoption you decide to pursue. International adoption will be different from a domestic adoption, and adoption from a private agency will be different from a government agency. Regardless of the type of adoption you decide to pursue, here are a few expenses you may need to consider when becoming an Adoptive Parent:
- Medical care for the Birth Mom and child
- Counseling services for the Birth Mom (up to 72 hours after the child is born)
- Legal and agency fees
- Living expenses (up to $1,500)
- Maternity clothes and telephone bills (if approved by the court)
How do you Become a Foster Parent?
To become a foster parent in Connecticut, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Pass criminal background checks
- Complete the home study process
- Attend a 10-week foster parent training program
- Prove you are financially stable and able to care for the child
- Have at least a two-bedroom home (foster children can share a bedroom with a child of similar age and sex, but not the same bed)
For more information and to begin the process, click here.
Can you Finalize an International Adoption in Connecticut?
In order to adopt a child internationally, the child must be from a country that is a part of the Hague Convention, which is an international agreement that establishes standard adoption practices for inter-country adoptions.
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- If married, your spouse must also be a U.S. Citizen or have legal status and together you must file for adoption
- Pass criminal background checks, the home study process and fingerprinting
- If unmarried, be at least 25 years old
Who can Legally Facilitate a Connecticut Adoption?
There are many agencies, attorneys, and facilitators offering adoption services in Connecticut, so it is important to understand the differences between them.
Agencies are regulated businesses and attorneys are experts in adoption law, both licensed and trained in adoption processes.
Adoption Facilitators are individuals who are usually unlicensed and unregulated that match Prospective Adoptive Parents with expectant Birth Mothers.
A facilitator will help advertise and match his or her client with an expectant Birth Mom, but once they have made a match, the facilitator will then refer their clients to a licensed adoption professional to complete the process.
In Connecticut, all of these are legally allowed to facilitate adoption services.
Home Study and Post Placement Requirements in Connecticut
What is a Home Study and What Happens During the Process?
Before adopting a child, a Prospective Adoptive Parent and his or her family must undergo a home study to assess their ability to care for a child and provide a safe, stable home environment. This process will also help determine what kind of adoption is appropriate for the family and what child will fit best within their lifestyle.
In Connecticut, the home study process will include and require the following:
- Reports of the physical condition of the home
- Information regarding the health or the applicants and members of the household
- The ability of the applicant to create an environment that fosters the mental, physical, emotional, social, and educational development of the child
- Interviews with household members about their feelings about the adoption
- Criminal background checks and child abuse registry checks for anyone in the household over 16 years old
While this process is to ensure that adoption is in the best interest of both the child and family, it is also a time for the family to ask questions, make any necessary adjustments, and prepare for a new member to the family.
Who Oversees a Home Study in Connecticut and Who is Included in it?
The Department of Children and Families or a licensed adoption agency will oversee the home study process in Connecticut and it will include all members of the Prospective Adoptive household.
Why Would my Home Study Not be Approved?
In Connecticut, if the Prospective Parents or any adult living in the home have committed the following, it may be grounds for disapproval of your home study and eligibility to adopt:
In Connecticut, a home study may be denied or disapproved, making you ineligible to adopt if the Prospective Parent or any adult living in the home:
- Has been convicted of injury or risk of injury to a minor
- Has been convicted of a violent crime against a person
- Has been convicted of impairing the morals of a minor
- Has been convicted of illegal use of a firearm
- Has been convicted of the possession, use, or sale of controlled substances within the past 5 years
- Has been convicted of child abuse or neglect
- Has ever had an allegation of child abuse or neglect substantiated
- Is awaiting trial, or is on trial, for any of the above charges
- Has a criminal record that the department or child-placing agency believes makes the home unsuitable
What are the Requirements for Adopting a Child from Another State?
If you are a resident of Connecticut, but are presented with the opportunity to adopt a child who was born in another state, you must comply with the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, which is a contract among the states to ensure safe adoptions across state lines.
Is a Home Study Different for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions?
In Connecticut, a home study is not required for an adoption by the child’s stepparent or relative, unless otherwise ordered by the court
What are the Requirements for a Foster to Adopt Placement in Connecticut?
“Foster to Adopt” is when a foster parent or family decides to adopt a foster child that is currently in their care.
The goal of foster care is to eventually reunite the child with his or her family, but in the case that reunification is not an option, the foster parents may be eligible to adopt the child. In Connecticut, requirements for foster to adopt placements are not specified, and anyone who is a licensed foster parent may be eligible.
What is a Post Placement Requirement and What Happens During the Process?
A post placement assessment is an evaluation of the child’s integration into the adoptive family’s home that takes place before the adoption can be finalized. It is meant to ensure that the child and family were a good fit for adoption.
In Connecticut, adoption laws and regulations do not specify the requirements for a post placement study.
Connecticut Adoption Agencies and Professionals
Going through the adoption process can feel overwhelming at times, but the adoption professionals in Connecticut are eager to help you throughout your journey. Whether you are looking to adopt a child or deciding to place your child for adoption, the following agencies are ready to offer you support, advice, and answers to your questions as you pursue the adoption process:
Is your adoption journey bringing you to the charming state of Connecticut? Here’s a list of some of the Constitution States’ most exciting spots to visit while you await the process:
The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford
Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic
The Submarine Force Museum in Groton
Yale University in New Haven