1 Residence. Adoptive applicants must reside within the area that the agency can serve directly, or, in an area where the agency can procure services through another agency, social worker, or attorney with acceptable standards. Appropriate arrangements usually can be made to obtain the necessary services in most areas of the United States and even in foreign countries.

2 Age. We do not have strict age limits for determining whether prospective applicants would be good parents. More important than age are emotional stability, physical health and life expectancy in considering families.

3 Health. A recent physical examination is required. Applicants should have reasonably good physical and mental health, and a normal life expectancy. Approval committee reviews all information when making decisions of the health of applicants. Consideration is given to the capability of the applicant to meet the needs of a specific child. Health issues do not always preclude applicants from parenting a child.

4 Health Insurance. Applicants must provide a letter from their insurance provider directly to the agency verifying medical coverage for the child. Applicants who are self-employed or between jobs are nevertheless required to obtain coverage for the child.

5 Marital Status. Married applicants must be married for at least one year and maintain a residence together for at least that long. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis. The relationship must also be shown by the home study process to be stable. Single parents are considered to the extent they have the ability to meet the needs of a child. Single parents may not be cohabiting with another person. Having a good support system in place is important.

6 Housing. Housing and neighborhood situations should provide adequate space and living conditions necessary for the health, safety, security and self-respect of the adoptive child and the family. Specific space requirements are not important. It is not a strict requirement that the child has a room to him or herself. Home ownership is not a requirement.

7 Working Parents. Applicants who work outside the home are considered equally with applicants where one or both spouses work from home. In the home study process, an evaluation will be made as to the suitability of the plan to provide safe and responsible child care adequate to meet a child’s needs.

8 Lifestyle. Lifestyle issues are not the sole criteria by which the suitability of an adoptive applicant is determined. Consideration is given to the capability of the applicant to meet the needs of a specific child.

9 Religion. Religious affiliation or lack thereof will not exclude prospective adoptive parents from consideration. We look at the ability of applicants to provide for the specific needs and well-being of a child.

10 Criminal and Child Abuse and Neglect Checks.  All Utah residents must receive criminal background and child abuse background screening clearance through the Office of Licensing of the Utah Department of Human Services.  We will help you fill out the forms needed to obtain these clearances.  All Utah residence will now be required to complete a FBI national criminal history check and may be required to submit background checks from states where they previously resided.

Applicants who live outside of Utah need to obtain a similar background screenings from their state of residence or complete FBI fingerprint background checks. We can help you with the FBI fingerprint background checks, if necessary.   Applicants who reside in foreign countries must also receive background screenings. If one spouse is a U.S. citizen, background screenings will be required from each state or country the applicants resided in during the last five years.  If neither spouse is a U.S. citizen and you are from a Hague Country, you must follow the rules set forth separately for Hague adoptions.  If you are not from a Hague Country, you must follow the same rules for U.S. citizens who reside abroad.

Applicants are required to obtain the appropriate background screenings listed prior to placement of the child with them.  Background checks are also required for each person 18 years of age or older residing in the home and for any child care provider that who will be providing on-going child care services for your adopted child after placement.

For your information, Utah regulations preclude a child-placing adoption agency from approving adoptive homes where a person resides who has been convicted of a felony.  Applicants also may be denied if a person in their home has committed certain misdemeanors or infractions identified by Utah law.

11 International Adoption Clearances.  All international adoptions require criminal record clearance through fingerprinting for all applicants.  Immigration regulations require that prospective adoptive parents and anyone older than 18 years old living in the home provide fingerprints to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for completion of FBI background checks.  All applicants must have a child abuse registry check done as well and any member older than 18 years old living in the household.  The USCIS may also conduct child abuse registry checks that it has access to.

12 Family Income. Adoptive applicants must have sufficient income to provide financial stability and security for a child. Income is not the determining factor for the selection of adoptive applicants. Applicants may be required to provide financial records which indicate adequate income, savings or assets to cover adoption related expenses and sufficient funds to raise a child.

For further clarification on requirement, please contact a representative at Act of Love.

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