Legal Guide

How Long Is The Wait For Adoption?

For many people, adoption is an option that allows them to have children if they couldn’t otherwise. For others, it’s a way of spreading love and giving a loving soul a home. But getting to the point where you're taking your child home can be a long, stressful process that many aren’t prepared to take on or wait for. 

Before talking to any number of Denver adoption attorneys, it’s important to educate yourself about the obstacles you may face when you decide to adopt. The last thing you want is to be blindsided by a roadblock or delay in the process. 

In this blog, we’ll break down the average wait for adoption, what materials an adopter needs to have, information about how to qualify for adoption, and more. Many aren’t prepared for all that goes into the process. But by the end of this piece, you’ll be informed about the main questions many ask about adoption. 

How do I apply for adoption? 

First, ask your family law attorney about the adoption process, what to expect, and how to get approved. Then, you’ll want to locate specific agencies in your area to apply. Find foster care or adoption information to see where to begin. Then, you’ll want to complete an application. 

You’ll need to go through some standard adoption training as well. Through a series of sessions, generally lasting a few weeks at least, you’ll be able to learn more about the process, meet and talk to other adoptive families and professionals, and learn how to integrate a child into your family. Finally, a home study will be required to get approved. 

What do I need to be able to adopt? 

In Colorado, those who want to adopt need to be at least 21 years old, pass background checks and complete the home study. Prospective adoptive parents need to prove they are stable financially and emotionally and responsible, mature, and capable.  

Is adoption expensive? 

As rewarding as completing the process ultimately is, adoption is a long, tedious, and expensive process. How expensive your adoption is depends on how you go about it. Below we break down the differences in types of adoption and how the costs vary for each. 

  1. Foster care: Adoption from foster care is the least expensive option, generally. Because state and federal programs are in place, adoption is more accessible to more people. Labeled virtually cost-free, foster care adoptions can cost under $1,000. 
  1. Private adoption: This is more pricey. Working with an agency, prospective adoptive parents can expect to spend between $30,000 and $60,000. An independent adoption requires working with an attorney, and this costs around $25,000 to $45,000. Private adoptions often involve newborns, which come with medical and other fees awarded to the birth mother.
  1. International or intercountry adoption: These vary greatly depending on the organization you’re working with and the country you’re adopting from. But on average these adoptions cost between $20,000 and $50,000. 

How long is the waiting period? 

Though the process will vary depending on several factors, including the organization you’re working with, the type of adoption you’re exploring, and how you perform in the application and home study process. 

In general, the wait for adoption is between several months to one or two years. The application period for the home study alone could take six months. If you’re looking for international adoption, you could wait up to seven years. 

It’s important to be 110% committed before entering the adoption process. You’ll likely be waiting a long time before you bring home your addition to the family. 


Adoption is a long process that requires a lot of time, money, and patience. Depending on the type of adoption you’re looking for, what agency you work with, and your home situation, it could vary greatly. 

Before exploring adoption, consult with a family law attorney in your area that can answer your questions and make recommendations to popular agencies. They can also prepare you for what to expect financially, and help you kickstart the process. 

But at the end of your adoption journey, you and your newly expanded family will feel at ease and be ready to begin your new life together in happiness. 

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